7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
Wells of the ancient world were places of social encounter. Jesus now initiated a conversation with a woman of ill repute. The woman spoke six times and Jesus seven. His interest was her eternal welfare.
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water.
A woman from the region of Samaria came to Jacob’s Well alone. This was not common because generally women came to draw water in groups. That the Samaritan woman drew water at noon was also unusual. It was usual to obtain water in the cooler times of morning or evening. She may have come at noon because she was a social outcast among women. Because she was a pariah in society, she carried a sense of shame. The public isolated her because of her immoral sexual reputation.
Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
The fact that Jesus spoke to a woman alone in public was unusual for a Jewish man. He broke social protocol to reach a person of low repute. His disciples noted this when they came back from buying food (Jn 4:27). Jesus’ intent was to have a private exchange with her. He took the initiative in the conversation because He valued her soul.
Jesus had never met the woman at the well before this. He was thirsty from the noonday sun and asked her for a drink. A Jewish rabbi would never ask a woman for a drink. It was a major rupture of social custom. Jesus was willing to break social custom to reach a needy woman. A taboo is no reason to resist sharing our faith.
Jesus’ request for a drink of water was no ploy. He was genuinely thirsty. However, He used this true situation of thirst for water to illustrate eternal life, an eternal quenching of satisfaction for the soul.
Social protocol is no reason not to share our faith.
Jesus’ appeal to the woman to give Him a drink provided an opportunity for her to serve Him. We do not have to approach people by a high-handed approach with the negative attitude that “I have something to give this poor soul.” It is important to possess an understanding of people before we share our message. Jesus met her in her need.
Jesus broke social protocol to reach the social outcast. His interest was to allay fears of her rejection by Him. The gospel message accepts anyone at any time.