Jesus and His followers passed through a land called Samaria. The people there, the Samaritans, were long time enemies of the Jews. No Jew ever wanted to talk to a Samaritan.
All the same, when Jesus arrived at a well in Samaria, he started talking with a Samaritan woman. Jesus was very tired from all the walking. He asked her, “Can you give me a drink of water?”
She was surprised that a Jew would talk to her. She drew some water out of the well and gave it to him. “Why do you, who are a Jew, talk to me, a Samaritan?” she asked.
Jesus said, “If you knew the life God could give you, if you knew who I was, you’d be the one asking me for water. Then I would give you the living water from God. If you drink the water I give, you’ll live forever and never be thirsty again.”
This puzzled the Samaritan woman. Water is something we all need in order to keep living. Especially in hot countries like Samaria, water is very precious. It is often hard to find. Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I can give will never be thirsty again.”
“Oh, I want that!” she cried.
Then Jesus told her to get her husband. When she said she had no husband, Jesus told her all about her life. He even knew how many husbands she had. “And the man you are living with now is not your husband,” he added.
The woman was very confused. How could he know all her secrets? She was scared of him and tried to change the subject. Jesus knew what she was thinking. He wanted to help her. She said she did not know much about God, but had heard about a Messiah who would someday come to earth.
Then Jesus said, “The Messiah is already here. You’re talking to Him now!”
“Who is that woman at the well?”
Jesus’ disciples were walking back from the town where He had sent them to get food. When they saw him talking to the woman they became very upset. “Jesus shouldn’t do that. She’s a Samaritan. No Jew wants to talk to those people,” they said to each other.
When the woman looked at the disciples’ angry faces, she thought she had better go home. Jesus had given her a great deal to think about. She left her water pot behind and hurried into town. There she told a group of people, “Come and see a man who told me all about my life! Is it possible? Could this really be the Christ?”
The woman’s story made the people very curious. They followed her to the well and met Jesus. They listened to him teach and felt their hearts and minds open to what he said. “Please, stay with us and tell us some more, “they begged.
Jesus’ disciples did not like this. They did not want to stay with the Samaritans. But Jesus showed his love for all types of people. He stayed in that city for two days. Many people believed he was the Messiah. Some believed because of the story told by the woman at the well. Most believed for themselves because of what they heard Jesus said. He taught about love and then had spent time with them, even though he was a Jew and they were Samaritans.