So it appears that Jesus deliberately chose to go through Samaria. He specifically went to a town named Sychar which was near the “well” known as Jacob’s Well.
And John says that it was about the 6th hour, which would be around 12 noon. It was also known to be one of the hottest times of the day. Tired from His journey, Jesus sat down by the well, though not free from the heat, while His disciples went into the town to buy some food (verse 8).
Fully God and Fully Man
I believe it is important for us to stop here and see that though Jesus is fully God, He is also fully man. He too became hungry and tired as we do. And though He experienced those things that you and I experience on a daily basis, He still remained sinless.
Jesus became a man and experienced all that we experience. But the point of the incarnation is that He did this to redeem sinful men and women. And it is important to know that these two parts of Jesus were not in conflict. Rather, they worked together to accomplish God’s will for all people.
Hebrews 4:15 tells us that we do not have a great high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but we have one who was tempted in every way, just as we are, yet was without sin. Jesus understands what it is to be tired and weary, hungry, and lonely. He even knows what it’s like to experience disappointment, stresses, and strains of daily life.
He became a man that He might experience everything we do and to set the example of how to do it well and to the glory of God.
Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
And so while Jesus was sitting by Jacob’s well, John tells us in verse 7 that a Samaritan woman came to draw some water. Now it was customary for women to come to draw water from the well twice a day. They usually came early in the morning for the day’s chores, and then again in the evening.
However, this was midday, when the heat would have been at its worst. All the others would have been home doing whatever needed to be done. But this woman came at noonday. It leads us to surmise this was a different woman and very possibly a social outcast.
So, I am sure she was more than surprised and curious about this man. Why would a Jewish man be sitting there, by the well, in the heat of the day and in Samaria, a place all decent Jews avoided?
I wonder what she thought. I wonder if she had just encountered Jesus’ disciples and their rebuke as they passed by her on their way to town to purchase food. And now here is this guy; I wonder what he wants? Is he like all the rest, just wanting what he can get from me? Is he going to ridicule me like all the rest? Will he treat me as if I am nothing more than a piece of dirt, or the social outcast that I am?
And then Jesus did something that surprised everyone but Him.
He interrupted her thoughts and asked her for a drink of water. Well, I can almost bet that that was not exactly what she had expected. Yet she replied (verse 9), knowing all too well, and actually stating, the facts, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”
This woman knew that this action of Jesus as a Jew would put Him at risk to be considered ceremonially unclean. Why was He willing to put Himself at risk in this way? Curiosity must have gripped her thoughts as she drew a cup of water from Jacob’s well for Jesus.
And Jesus continued the conversation by saying, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
Still not quite sure who Jesus was and what He really wanted, the woman continued the conversation with Jesus. She asked in verse 11, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?”