The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” (John 4:25-26)
I Am He
The identity of the Christ was always a great topic of dispute in the days of Jesus. In part because the Jews had been looking for the promised Messiah for more than 400 years and no definitive evidence of His coming had been established. Many were supposed to be the Messiah but were found to be false. To claim that one was the Christ suggested divinity. John the Baptist sent messengers to Jesus asking if He was truly the Coming One. The problem with Jesus was the people knew his (supposed) father was Joseph and His mother was Mary. Jesus was from Nazareth in Galilee. He had brothers and sisters and was a common man as much as any other man. For thirty years, Jesus had not appeared on the radar of interest to the Jews and certainly not the Romans. Everyone knew that when the Christ came He would come from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was from. Jesus seemed to not fit that mold.
On a certain day, Jesus was traveling with His disciples near the city of Sychar where Jacob’s well had been for more than a thousand years. As the disciples went into the city to buy food, a woman came to the well where Jesus rested. He asked her for a drink of water. She was startled that a man would openly speak to a woman; much less than a Jew spoke to a Samaritan. Always the teacher, Jesus knew the woman’s heart and began to implore her with a story of everlasting water. This intrigued the woman and she inquired how she might obtain such. Examining the life of the Samaritan woman, Jesus revealed her past by asking her to bring her husband. In fact, she was not married at the time but lived with a man. The woman had been married five times previously. Astonished, the woman perceived Jesus was not an ordinary man but a prophet.
The Samaritan woman defends herself by asking Jesus why the Samaritans worship in one place and the Jews in another. The Lord shows her that God seeks those who worship in spirit and truth. This impacts the woman as she acknowledges the Samaritans also look for the coming Messiah (who is called Christ). She tells Jesus that when the Christ comes, He will explain everything to them. It is then Jesus tells the woman that He is the Messiah, the Christ. To claim one is the Christ is very serious and while Jesus has performed no miracle, His knowledge of her past life strikes a responsive chord in her heart as she leaves her water pot and returns to the city. The Samaritan woman implores the men to come and see a man who told her all things she had ever done. She openly asks if Jesus could be the promised Messiah. At her pleading, the men come to the well to see Jesus. Many of the Samaritans who came to see Jesus believed in Him through the word of the woman who proclaimed that Jesus knew all about her life.
Miracles were often used to testify to the divinity of Jesus as Christ. This was not the case with the Samaritan woman. The divine nature of Jesus was impressed upon the heart of the woman through the word. Jesus knew of her past which she freely acknowledged was true. Viewed by society as an outcast, the woman’s heart was open to the word of the true Christ. Jesus came to bring the disenfranchised, despised, and dejected souls to the Father. The coming of the Messiah would be more than to fulfill prophecy. Christ came to change the world. Through His gospel prejudice would be removed, darkness took away, and hope restored to a lost world. He was the Messiah to bring joy to the heart of humanity again. Only through His sacrifice as the Lamb of God would the true nature of the Messiah, the Christ be realized in Jesus. The Samaritan woman came to know the Messiah because she had a heart ripe for the good news of Jesus the Christ. It was then she experienced the fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. Messiah water. Pure. Holy. Divine. The water of Christ.