As Christ traveled from Judea to Galilee, He passed through the region of Samaria. Near the city of Sychar, at Jacob’s well, the Lord met a Samaritan woman and asked her for a drink of water. From there the conversation proceeded to spiritual matters. In the course of this exchange, Jesus actually violated three cultural traditions of His day. In so doing, however, the Lord demonstrated the encompassing interest of Heaven in lost humanity.

First, Christ spoke to a woman in public. In the culture of Jesus’ day this was not done. Note that the Lord’s disciples, when they returned from their errand to the city, were amazed that the Master was talking with a woman (v. 27). In the interest of souls, Christ bridged the gender gap.

Second, the Lord, a Jew, was conversing with a Samaritan. Normally, Jews had no dealings with these despised people (v. 9). The Savior bridged the racial gap. God’s love is international.

Third, Christ took time with this woman even though she was seriously flawed in moral conduct. She was living with a man who was not her legitimate husband (v. 18). Jesus bridged the character gap.

What wonderful illustrations these facts are of divine benevolence. Thus, underscore the terms “woman” and “Samaritan” in verse 7, and marginally note: Divine benevolence — gender, race, character (cf. vv. 27, 9, 18).