The apostle John writes of another Jesus encounter in chapter four. In this story, Jesus tired and thirsty, the dust of the arid countryside clinging to Him, stops at Jacob’s well in Samaria. When a Samaritan woman comes by for water, He asks for a drink. The woman in our story begins by seeing a thirsty Jew, after some discussion sees a prophet and finally hears the proclamation “I am He.”
A Thirsty Jew
When Jesus asks for a drink our woman is surprised. Jews usually took the long way around just to avoid Samaritans. But here is Jewish Jesus asking for a drink. Puzzled, she asks Him about it. “If you knew who I was you would have asked me and I would have given you living water.” He says.
His heavenly talk doesn’t register with her earthly experience. Jesus had nothing to draw with, and the well was deep how was it possible even if He was greater than Jacob? Then Jesus says, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life.”
We hear her exhaustion when she says, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst nor come here to draw.” We know it too in the drudgery of our routines necessary for the maintaining of our lives. Jesus begins to reveal Himself by speaking of her life’s circumstances. Her spiritual eyes are beginning to adjust to His light and she sees a prophet. The conversation turns to where worship should be held.
“I am He”
Again, Jesus the living water, gives her another sip. He clarifies that salvation is from the Jews and then directs her thinking. It isn’t where we worship, it is how we worship that matters. God is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. “God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
“I know the Messiah is coming,” she says, “He will tell us everything.” to which Jesus, this thirsty Jew, this possible prophet declares, “I who speak to you am He.” She is infused with hope and runs to her village where the revelation of Jesus progresses.
The woman in our story begins by seeing a thirsty Jew, after some discussion sees a prophet and finally hears the proclamation “I am He.”