Jesus, The Living Water

Jesus and the Woman at the Well



5/10/20246 min read

woman relaxing on body of water
woman relaxing on body of water

In this blog, I share one of my favourite stories in the Bible. Although you've likely heard this story before, I pray there's something fresh in it for you. Also at the end of the blog, there's some words you can pray.

The story starts in John Chapter 4 with Jesus walking to Samaria with his disciples. Around midday, they arrive at the well. Jesus is tired, so he rests there, while the disciples head into town for some food.

However, Jesus was doing more than resting. He was waiting for someone.

Soon, he saw her. Walking up the hot and dusty road, with a heavy water jug on her head. Perhaps you can picture her in your imagination?

This woman has a 'reputation' in town, and unfortunately it wasn’t a good one. I’ll share more about that soon, suffice to say, she’s likely the sort of woman a parent might warn their son “don’t hang around women like her” or tell their daughter “don’t grow up to be like a woman like that.” In her culture, she was at the bottom of the social ladder.

This woman had chosen to come to the well at the hottest time of the day, when the sun was at its peak for a reason. She didn't want to be there at rush hour, when other women came to fetch their water, typically earlier in the day when it was cooler. She wanted to avoid seeing them. She knew what they thought of her, what they said behind her back. And she didn't need the humiliation, rejection, judgemental eyes and tongues.

I think we can understand how this works. We can relate. Isn't it true that when things are doing great in our lives, we're happier to share ourselves with others? We don't even mind posting some happy snaps onto social media. But when life is difficult, when things are painful, when we feel like our world is falling apart … at those times - it can be a completely different story. Often, this is when we feel like pulling away from community, we're less comfortable being vulnerable or letting others know what's really going on with our 'messy' life. We can feel embarrassed, or a sense of shame or can even fear being judged.

Of course, there is another way to handle our difficult seasons - pretend that they don't exist! Yes, that's pretty common. Have you ever put on a happy face, worn a mask or projected "everything's great" despite feeling like your world is caving in? I have. It's a lonely and isolating place to be. How sad, that those who are doing it tough feel they can't be real. (It's a topic for another blog, but can I just say that if you've pulled away from community because you didn't feel genuine love in the midst of your pain, don't stay stuck. Ask the Lord to heal you. I know it's a process, but he will do it. Also I encourage you to reconnect with a loving community, because they do exist.)

Back to the woman at the well.

She's now arrived, and Jesus is the only person there. The first thing He does is ask her for a drink. As the discussion proceeds, he steers the conversation so she will eventually see her need for Him, the Living Water. He knows she is beaten down, weary and burdened. And oh, so dry and thirsty! But I get the feeling she's not so much thirsty for the temporary things of this world such as degrees, money, fame, position and power - they don't last. No. Her need is for something so much deeper. She's looking for genuine, true and unconditional love. This is the type of love that only Jesus can give us. It's a GRACE-FILLED love which lasts, not only for this life, but for eternal life.

Jesus continues his conversation with her, saying "Everyone who drinks water from this well, will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give, will never thirst. The water that I give, will be in them a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 14:4). He's is almost at the point where he's going to reveal He's the Messiah. (That's who she, and all the Samaritans are looking for.) He's about to show her He's the fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah Chapter 55:1 “Come to me, all you who are thirsty … come, receive and drink!”

As the conversation rolls on, she finally starts to see it. Jesus is not talking about the physical water in the well at all, but a different water. Spiritual water.

Her desire is awakened! She wants it. “Sir, give me this water” she says.

But not so fast. Jesus hasn’t finished. He now starts down a different path, one which must have felt very confronting to her. “Go and get your husband” he said. Jesus has certainly put her on the spot. It was so unexpected and probably not welcomed. After all, hadn't the conversation been rolling along quite well? It had only been about water ... how did it get to this??

Surprised and defensive, she is not about to tell him, a total stranger about her personal life. (I'm sure we all relate). So, she responded "I have no husband.” Then to her surprise, Jesus answered “It’s true that you have no husband. In fact, you have had five, and the man you’re with now is not your husband.” (John 4:17)


Well, the last thing he's trying to do is cause her shame and embarrassment. In fact, it's the complete opposite. He does it from a place of LOVE. By drawing out the truth, Jesus was showing her that even though he knew everything about her past, he wasn't condemning or rejecting her for it. Instead he wanted to offer her something else ... NEW LIFE! The gift of Himself!

He starts to reveal and declare that He is the true and Living water. He is what she needs. Only He can fill the void in her life. Only He has pure, clean, Living Water. Only He can heal her broken heart.


But I believe there's a further reason why Jesus told her He knew ALL ABOUT HER PAST. And that is, that so one day, she could never think or say "If Jesus really knew everything about my past, all the things I've really done, He would never have offered me Living Water." And this is a part of the story which I believe is really important for us. Sadly, many people stay stuck in the past. Despite the fact that they have asked God's forgiveness, they don't fully apply it to their lives. They keep remembering it, recalling it and counting it against themselves instead of living the full and free life Jesus died to give them. When you've asked God for His forgiveness, receive it and know it is over! This is the gift of Jesus. This is the gospel! So honor Jesus and the price He paid by applying this truth. Not doing so results in all sorts of bad fruit, including a lack of joy.

So, that's the end of the story, except to say, that this woman's life was so turned upside down, that she dropped her water jug and ran all the way into the village. She told everyone "Come and see the man who told me everything I ever did.” And they came! She was responsible for bringing her entire village to Jesus, and that's the way redemption is meant to work.

How good is Jesus! Thank you JESUS. You are the true and Living Water. Messiah. Savior. Redeemer. Restorer. Healer. Life-giver!


To finish, I'd like to invite you to receive the most wonderful invitation of Jesus. It's described in John 7:327

"Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice and said 'If anyone is thirsty, let them come to Me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the scripture has said ‘Streams of living water will flow from within them.'”

Are you thirsty at the moment? Do you feel tired or weary? Are you spiritually dry? Or maybe your burdened by something. It's time to drop your heavy water jug and receive the Living Water instead. Get ready to encounter Jesus afresh. If you would like to, open your heart and Jesus will do that, because he keeps his promises.

PRAY this simple and powerful prayer ...

Jesus, you are the Living Water

I release every burden and lay down my weariness now,

I invite you to come into the dry and thirsty places of my heart, and my life

Come and refresh me now

Fill me to overflowing with your presence!

Pour in your supernatural love and power so that joy and freedom bubbles up within me

I pray that every part of my being is filled to overflowing with your Living Water

So that it spills out of me, and into the thirsty world around me

Thank you Lord, I receive it now!

in your name,


And Jesus said to her "I who am speaking to you now, am He." (John 4:20)