"If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would h ave asked him, and he would have given you living water." (John 4:10 NRSV)

The longest recorded conversation of Jesus with any person is with the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus asks her, "Give me a drink." The woman is shocked. It was common knowledge that Jews did not share cups or bowls with Samaritans. The unnamed woman is surprised and questions Jesus. Jesus replies, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, `Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."

Naturally the Samaritan woman asks Jesus for some "living water," so that, in her own words, "I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." In her way of thinking not only would she never be thirsty again, but she would never have to face the humiliation or scorn from the other women because she would no longer have to go to the well.

Jesus felt her pain. The woman did not want to talk about it so she changed the subject. She began talking about the differences between Jews and Samaritans.

Just then the disciples return and are somewhat surprised to find Jesus speaking with a Samaritan woman although they had been with Jesus long enough to have expected this. Jesus confronts the woman at the well, so she can see herself in a new way. As a result of this conversation the woman is changed. She leaves her water jar and heads into town to tell other people that she has found the messiah.


God of healing, in my pain help me to find the messiah. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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