Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, "Jesus is baptizing and making more disciples than John"
(though Jesus himself didn't baptize them -- his disciples did).
So he left Judea to return to Galilee.
He had to go through Samaria on the way.
Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
Jacob's well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime.
Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Please give me a drink."
He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, "You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?"
Jesus replied, "If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am, you would ask me, and I would give you living water."
"But sir, you don't have a rope or a bucket," she said, "and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water?
And besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his cattle enjoyed?"
Jesus replied, "People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water.
But the water I give them takes away thirst altogether. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life."
"Please, sir," the woman said, "give me some of that water! Then I'll never be thirsty again, and I won't have to come here to haul water."
"Go and get your husband," Jesus told her.
"I don't have a husband," the woman replied. Jesus said, "You're right! You don't have a husband --
for you have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you're living with now."
"Sir," the woman said, "you must be a prophet.
So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?"
Jesus replied, "Believe me, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father here or in Jerusalem.
You Samaritans know so little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.
But the time is coming and is already here when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way.
For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth."
The woman said, "I know the Messiah will come -- the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
Then Jesus told her, "I am the Messiah!"
Just then his disciples arrived. They were astonished to find him talking to a woman, but none of them asked him why he was doing it or what they had been discussing.
The woman left her water jar beside the well and went back to the village and told everyone,
"Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did! Can this be the Messiah?"
So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus to eat.
"No," he said, "I have food you don't know about."
"Who brought it to him?" the disciples asked each other.
Then Jesus explained: "My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.
Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest.
The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!
You know the saying, 'One person plants and someone else harvests.' And it's true.
I sent you to harvest where you didn't plant; others had already done the work, and you will gather the harvest."
Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, "He told me everything I ever did!"
When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay at their village. So he stayed for two days,
long enough for many of them to hear his message and believe.
Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe because we have heard him ourselves, not just because of what you told us. He is indeed the Savior of the world."