What did Jesus see when He looked at the woman at the well in John 4? He saw someone who wanted acceptance and desperately needed to know she was loved. Most of all, He saw someone who needed what only He could give—a new heart.

It was no accident that the disciples had all gone to town to buy food. Surely, they would have tried to warn Jesus not to talk to this person—a woman, a Samaritan, and someone with a bad reputation.

Not being one to follow protocol, however, Jesus used this encounter to bless her with the truth of “living water” (John 4:10). In just one conversation, He broke down barriers of old hostilities, of gender bias, of ethnic and racial divides. And this woman became the first of many Samaritans to confess that Jesus was the Messiah (vv.39-42).

When she told others of her encounter with a Man who knew “all that I ever did,” she was already practicing the principle of “sowing and reaping” that Jesus was teaching His followers (John 4:35-38). Many believed that day, and later Philip, Peter, John, and others would preach in Samaria and lead many more to Christ (Acts 8:5-14; 15:3).

When we tell others of our own “encounter” with Jesus, we bless them with living water.