A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “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.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water” (John 4:7–11, esv)?
For anyone who is serious about becoming more like Jesus, this exchange between Him and the woman at the well in Sychar is a conversation to study.
Jesus’ opening line, “Give me a drink,” may read rather abruptly, but the woman’s reply reveals that His tone was a genuine request rather than an order. “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?”
Her response could have been taken by Jesus as a personal affront. But He was not put off. When she asked, in effect, “Why are You talking to me?” His answer took the conversation to a whole new level: “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.”
Jesus was basically saying, “You hesitate to give Me water I deserve; but I am not going to hesitate to give you living water you don’t deserve.” What an awesome way of expressing what He might also say to each of us: “You hold back your life from Me, when I am freely offering you eternal life.”
The Samaritan woman didn’t have this insight—she did not realize what He was telling her. She lacked the knowledge of two things: the gift of God and the identity of the One with whom she spoke. Her focus was on the impossibility of drawing water from a deep well without a bucket. She revealed she was stuck in the physical realm. Jesus wanted to give her a spiritual reality, but she couldn’t think beyond her immediate circumstances.
How often have we been stuck on what’s going on around us when the Lord is trying to take us into a spiritual reality? How often do we limit God to the ways and means we can see rather than remembering who He is? It’s so easy to have our attention focused on earth and glance at heaven, instead of fixing our eyes on the final prize and leaving the world to our peripheral vision. This woman shows us how we often miss the spiritual point.
How often do you do the same thing? How carefully are you listening and watching for God’s efforts to speak into your life? You’re in the middle of a busy, hectic day, going a thousand miles an hour—and God is trying to get your attention, trying to take you to the mat with the full weight of who He is.
God has something better for you. He wants to draw your focus beyond the immediate and obvious to the eternal and less-than-apparent. If your soul is thirsty, if you’re not hearing from the Lord or seeing Him at work, but you want to, maybe it’s time to slow down and pay attention.
Heavenly Father, I want my eyes to be more open and my heart more tuned to hear Your voice. Help me listen for Your true and eternal Word among the lies and distractions that surround me. Keep me aware that the life You have for me goes beyond my physical senses, and You invite me to fix my mind on things in heaven, not on things on earth. Thank You for drawing me into Your presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.