Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (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, and 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, 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 replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then 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, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
“Sir,” the woman said, “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—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 Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”
Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked 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.- John 4:1-30
It’s hard to understand today, but in Jesus’ time the whole interaction is odd (that’s why his disciples are so shocked by it). She’s a Samaritan; he’s Jewish. She’s a woman; he’s a man. She has a questionable reputation; he’s… perfect. And how does he start this conversation? With a request.
“Please give me a drink.”
What happens next is inspiring. They banter back and forth until the woman realizes who he is and runs back to her village to invite everyone she can to meet him. But those first few words out of Jesus’ mouth take me aback.
“Please give me a drink.” If Jesus wanted something, would he ask me?
He doesn’t need her to get him a drink – he’s perfectly capable! But he asks nonetheless. He gives this woman a part to play in the miracle he’s about to perform in her life. And he does the same for you and me. The opportunities we have to serve, to give, to turn our attention away from our own needs and be generous toward what matters to God may very well be Jesus starting a conversation with us. “Please give me a drink.”
What Jesus knows of course is that what he has to give her is infinitely superior to what she has to give him. But he asks her to do what she can do before he does what he can do.
In what area of your life is Jesus asking you to give him a drink? It could be the start of something remarkable.
“Jesus, I’m striving to be the kind of person you can come to when you’re thirsty – the kind of person you can ask for a drink. You’ve had the grace to change my life; now everything I have belongs to you. Thank you for starting conversations with me through the opportunity to do things for you. I’m ready to do anything you ask. So ask away.”
Anthem Church’s A-Team is fueled by the belief that each of us can reach our full potential through serving God’s house, the church regularly. Every child led in an activity in Anthem Kids and Up+Coming, guest handed a program by our greeters, buttons pressed on computers in production and knobs turned, and chords attached in our media and tech department, or a person connected through the leading of a Anthem Group, a life touched through our Saturday in the city… all are opportunities to give Jesus a drink. We serve God by serving others for God – and the results (in our lives and theirs) are stunning. The Belong Track is the place to start. CLICK HERE to take your next step.