Jesus answered her, ‘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.’” John 4:10

Grace often comes as a surprise when we are least expecting it. There was a woman who went to draw water at a well.  It was around noon…the hottest part of the day. She wasn’t looking for anything, just going about her day, doing her duty as she always had.  She had no idea someone was waiting for her. She could not have guessed the surprise she was about to encounter.

“Draw me water,” Jesus asked.  He had been sitting there, tired and thirsty from his day of traveling.

Shocked and a bit startled, she wondered how he could ask her for a drink of water.  She was a woman, and a Samaritan woman whom the Jews despised. Asking for water would make him ceremonially unclean.

Jesus told her that he could give her “living water” so that she would never thirst again; an irresistible offering. This polite but gutsy woman pointed out the obvious: “You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?” (John 4:11). Her natural curiosity prompted her to ask questions. To quench her spiritual thirst, the Lord first confessed the truth about plain water: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again” (John 4:13). Then Jesus made a bold promise: “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst” (John 4:14). In one sentence he shifted from everyday life to everlasting life. The Samaritan woman wanted whatever he was offering, but only so she could avoid returning to the well for water. If we’re honest, in eagerness to satisfy our physical desires, we overlook our spiritual needs.

Jesus then told her, “Go, call your husband and come back” (John 4:16). Not an odd request, since women couldn’t converse alone with a man in a public place. But Jesus’ request was more about uncovering truth than about following society’s rules.

When she confessed, “I have no husband” (John 4:17), Jesus affirmed her answer, then gently exposed her sin: “The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband” (John 4:18). To the woman’s surprise, Jesus revealed she had had five husbands and was living with one whom she was not married to.  He caught her attention a third time.

Perhaps Jesus knew there was a longing in her heart that she hadn’t yet expressed. She needed redemption; someone to rescue her from the turmoil of her life.  We know she was touched in a powerful way because the accounts show that because of her story, many Samaritans came to believe in Jesus as their Savior.

Like the Samaritan woman, we need a daily touch of God’s grace when we long to find our way in the world.

Father God, thank you for Your grace so unexpected, so undeserved…a true gift enveloped with eternal love.  Thank you for capturing us with grace in moments we least expect.  Open my eyes to see how You continue to want to show me who You are so I may extend your gift of grace to others.  Amen

Published by Dr. A. Francine Green