Jesus also knew where the question would lead and that the conversation would change this woman’s life.
It really didn’t matter what her answer was going to be, He was going to have the conversation. So, it isn’t about the question as much as it is about the conversation. True with Jesus. True with us. But it did start with a question.
God’s goal for our life is to have conversations. He can quench our thirst. It starts with a conversation.
A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.) (John 4:7-8)
In that day, it was not considered proper for any man, especially a rabbi, to speak in public to a strange woman. But our Master set social customs aside because a soul’s eternal salvation was at stake. It certainly surprised her when He asked for a drink of water. She surmised that He was a Jewish rabbi, and perhaps she tried to “read between the lines” to find another meaning to His request. What was He really seeking?
The information in John’s parenthesis at the end of John 4:9 was for the benefit of his Gentile readers. Since the disciples had gone into the city to purchase food, it is obvious that the Jews did have some “dealings” with the Samaritans; so John was not trying to exaggerate. The phrase can be translated “ask no favors from the Samaritans” or “use no vessels in common with the Samaritans.” Why would Jesus, a Jew, want to use her “polluted” vessel to get a drink of water?
Of course, our Master’s request was simply a way to open the conversation and share with her the truth about “living water.” Whenever He witnessed to people, Jesus did not use a “sales talk” that He adapted to meet every situation. To Nicodemus, He spoke about new birth; but to this woman, He spoke about living water.
Jesus pointed out to her that she was ignorant of three important facts: Who He was, what He had to offer, and how she could receive it. Here was eternal God speaking to her, offering her eternal life! The Samaritans were as blind as the Jews. But our Master’s words had aroused her interest, so she pursued the conversation.