Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well would seem shocking to his disciples. A Jewish man of that time was not supposed to speak in public to a woman outside his family. Jews and Samaritans distrusted and shunned one another. And it seems that this woman may be an outcast even among her own people; she has had five husbands, and she comes to draw water alone, at the hottest part of the day, when the other women of the community won’t be around.
Jesus pays no attention to rules that divide and exclude. He enters into a conversation with the woman, and draws her to faith in him. She becomes a disciple, and then a missionary; her witness draws the people of her town to faith in Jesus. The Samaritan woman who came to the well to draw water has received the living water that Jesus promised. The Samaritan town has become a field that produces a rich harvest of faith. Jesus sets no barriers to his mission. He really is the Saviour of the world.