There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” John 4:7
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10
Who was this woman who Jesus approached at the well? She was a Samaritan, as it plainly says. What is a Samaritan, and why did the Jews hate them so much? (Go to your bible and read verse nine.) They were descended from the people of the Northern Kingdom (the “Israel” of the books of Kings and Chronicles) and the Babylonians who were brought in the populate the land and wipe out the Jews by marrying them and diluting their beliefs. They were religiously and ethnically a mixed people; they were not pure in anyone’s eyes.
Furthermore, she was of suspect morality. She had already gone through five husbands and was now living with a man. Jesus laid all this out when He said “” for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”” John 4:18. She was, therefore, an outcast among her own people. She was probably older, it took time to get married that many times, and as a result no longer as physically attractive as she once was. She was not wealthy, she had to get her own water. She was, by the standard of the day, and our day too, one of the outcasts.
But we can clearly see God’s graced in action by Jesus approaching her. Jesus was the one who started the conversation, He could have ignored her; that is what she expected. This was the way things were, and it was the way things were expected to be. But Jesus, then as now, is not One to leave things as they are. He will not leave well enough alone.
So, what did He do? He sent this woman as a messenger into her city. He sent the last person anyone (but Him) would choose to bring the message of the gospel to a city of His enemies. And they believed Him because of her, and THEN He went into the city. She went first. (John 4:27-30).
This is what grace looks like. It is when we do God’s will, and not our own. She could very well have rejected Him, and no one would have said anything. She would have thought “we cannot have anything to do with those Jews, it is not right”. Yet, by faith, she did respond, and many in her city were saved.
An unlikely revival, in an unlikely city, started with an unlikely woman. By grace, through faith!