13,14: "Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again ... It becomes a fresh bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life."
15: The woman at the well replied, perhaps with a bit of sarcasm, "Give me this water! Then I'll never be thirsty again, and I won't have to come here to get water."
Had she decided to play along with this stranger and his outlandish claims? Did she say, in effect, "I'm always up for a freebie! At least it'll save me a daily chore."
16: "Go and get your husband." Jesus told her.
Whoa. Time for Jesus to cut through her banter with a most-sobering question. I bet her face about slid clear off her head! As he did with this woman, the Lord has a way of lovingly confronting us with SERIOUS in the middle of our foolishness. Out of his extreme love for us he will being up subjects we'd rather be kept in that very back closet. The Light penetrates the blackest darekness. The Word is always ready to execute life-saving surgery. Heb 4:12
17: "I don't have a husband," the woman replied.
Surely she must have wondered why this talkative Jew jumped from water to her personal life! Why on earth did he bring that up? Well, she'd put a stop to that, pronto. To unstop the ears and eyes of our hearts, Jesus has to sometimes administer shock treatment. Painful, but effective.
"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. You certainly spoke the truth!"
Speaking the truth in love! He wasn't waiting for an opportunity to grind her into the dirt. He was not gleefully waiting to pounce on her sordid life and exclaim, "GOTCHA!"
He was shining the light on her gigantic need for spiritual healing. He wanted to clear the darkness from her soul. Don't you think she was probably squirming, as my mom used to say, "Like a worm in hot ashes."?
The Samaritan woman wriggled away from admitting she might have a teeny problem, and turned quickly to Jewish/Samaritan theology. How convenient it is to lather up on doctrine rather than fess up about our darkness!
Jesus isn't done with her yet.