The story of the nameless Samaritan woman at the well, recorded only in the Gospel of John, follows on the heels of the account of Jesus’ interaction with Nicodemus, a Pharisee and prominent member of the Jewish Sanhedrin (John 3:1–21). In John 4:4–42 we read about Jesus’ conversation with a lone Samaritan woman who had come to get water from a well (known as Jacob’s well) located about a half mile from the city of Sychar in Samaria.
This woman was a Samaritan, a race of people that the Jews completely despised as having no claim on their God, she was an outcast and looked down upon by her own people. This is evidenced by the fact that she came alone to draw water from the community well when, during biblical times, drawing water and chatting at the well was the social highpoint of a woman’s day. However, this woman was ostracized and marked as immoral, an unmarried woman living openly with the sixth in a series of men.
There are many other truths to glean from this story.
1) “Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:13–14; (John 14:6).
2) Jesus’ ministering to the outcasts of the Jewish society (the Samaritans) reveals that all people are valuable to God and that Jesus desires that we demonstrate love to everyone . . . including even our enemies (John 4:7–9; Matthew 5:44).
3) Jesus is the Messiah (John 4:25–26; 1:41; Matthew 27:22; Luke 2:11).
4) Those who worship God, worship Him in spirit and truth (John 4:23–24; Psalm 145:18).
5) “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” John 4:39–42
Additionally, we learn from Jesus’ dialogue with the woman at the well three absolute truths about salvation:
1) Salvation comes only to those who recognize their need for the spiritual life they do not have. Living water can be obtained only by those who recognize that they are spiritually deficient.
2) Salvation comes only to those who confess and repent of their sin and desire forgiveness. Before the woman at the well could embrace the Savior, she had to concede the full burden of her sins.
3) Biblically, salvation is found singularly in Christ alone..
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12