Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John the Baptist (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.
Soon, a Samaritan woman came to draw water.
Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”
He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.
She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you, and who you are speaking to, you would ask me for a drink, and I would give you living water.”
“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this “living” water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.”
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “Give me this water! That way I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands. And the man you live with now is not your husband. What you have just said is very true.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “I see that you must be a prophet. So tell me: why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. But the time is coming—indeed, it’s here now already—when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth.”
The woman said, “I know the Deliverer is coming—the One who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus said, “The one you’re talking about is the one speaking to you. I am He.”
Just then his disciples came back.
They were shocked and embarrassed to find him talking to a woman. But none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?”
The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
“Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing His work.
Don’t you have a saying? You say, ‘It’s still four months until harvest time.’ But I tell you: Wake up! Open your eyes! Look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest right now. Even now, the one who gathers the crop is getting paid. They are already harvesting the crop for eternal life. So the one who plants and the one who gathers can now be glad together.
Here is a true saying: “One plants, and another gathers.” I sent you to gather what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work. You have gathered the benefits of their work.”
Many of the Samaritans from the town of Sychar believed in Jesus. They believed because of what the woman had said about him. She said, “He told me everything I’ve ever done!”
Then the Samaritans came to him and tried to get him to stay with them. So he stayed two days. Because of what he said, many more people believed.
They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said. We have now heard for our very own selves. We know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
~ The Gospel of John, Ch. 4