When Jesus realized that the Pharisees had discovered that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, (although it wasn't Jesus who was baptizing, but his disciples), he left Judea and returned to Galilee. On the way he had to pass through Samaria. So he came to the Samaritan city of Sychar, near to the field that Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, who was tired from the journey, sat straight down beside the well. It was around noon.
A Samaritan woman came to fetch water. Jesus said to her, “Please could you give me a drink?” for his disciples had gone to the town to buy food.
“You're a Jew, and I'm a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” the woman replied, for Jews don't associate with Samaritans.*
10 Jesus answered her, “If you only recognized God's gift, and who is asking you, ‘Please could you give me a drink?’ you would have asked him and he would have given you the water of life.”
11 Sir, you don't have a bucket, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get the water of life from?” she replied. 12 Our father Jacob gave us the well. He drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock. Are you greater than he?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks water from this well will become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give won't ever be thirsty again. The water I give becomes a bubbling spring of water inside them, bringing them eternal life.”
15 Sir,” replied the woman, “Please give me this water so I won't be thirsty, and I won't have to come here to fetch water!”
16 Go and call your husband, and come back here,” Jesus told her.
17 I don't have a husband,” the woman answered.
“You're right in saying you don't have a husband,” Jesus told her. 18 “You've had five husbands, and the one you're living with now is not your husband. So what you say is true!”
19 I can see you're a prophet, sir,” the woman replied. 20 Tell me this: our ancestors worshiped here on this mountain, but you say that Jerusalem is where we must worship.”
21 Jesus replied,Believe me the time is coming when you won't worship the Father either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You really don't know the God§ you're worshiping, while we worship the God we know, for salvation comes from the Jews. 23 But the time is comingand in fact it's here alreadywhen true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for these are the kind of worshipers the Father wants. 24 God is Spirit, so worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “Well, I know that the Messiah is coming,” (the one who is called Christ). “When he comes he will explain it all to us.”
26 Jesus replied, “I AMthe one who is speaking to you.”*
27 Just then the disciples returned. They were shocked that he was talking to a woman, but none of them askedWhat are you doing?” orWhy are you talking with her?” 28 The woman left her water jar behind and ran back to the town, telling the people, 29 Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did! Could this be the Messiah?”
30 So they went out of the town to go and see him. 31 Meanwhile Jesus' disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, please eat something!”
32 But Jesus replied, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 Did someone bring him food?” the disciples asked one another.
34 Jesus told them, “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to complete his work. 35 Don't you have a saying, ‘four more months until harvest?’ Open your eyes and look around! The crops in the fields are ripe, ready for harvest. 36 The reaper is being paid and harvesting a crop for eternal life so that both the sower and the reaper can celebrate. 37 So the proverb ‘one sows, another reaps,’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you didn't work for. Others did the hard work and you have reaped the benefits of what they did.”
39 Many Samaritans from that town trusted in him because of what the woman said: “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when they came to see him they pleaded with him to stay with them. He stayed for two days, 41 and because of what he told them many more trusted in him. 42 They said to the woman, “Now our trust in him isn't just because of what you told us but because we have heard him for ourselves. We're convinced that he really is the Savior of the world.”
43 After the two days he continued on to Galilee. 44 Jesus himself had made the comment that a prophet is not respected in his own country. 45 But when he arrived in Galilee, the people welcomed him, because they had also been at the Passover feast and had seen everything he'd done in Jerusalem. 46 He visited Cana in Galilee again, where he had turned water into wine. Nearby in the town of Capernaum lived a royal official whose son was very sick. 47 When he heard that Jesus had returned from Judea to Galilee, he went to Jesus and begged him to come and heal his son who was close to death.
48 Unless you see signs and wonders you people really won't trust me,” said Jesus.
49 Lord, just come before my child dies,” the official pleaded.
50 Go on home,” Jesus told him. “Your son will live!”
The man trusted what Jesus told him and left for home. 51 While he was on his way, his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and recovering. 52 He asked them what time it was when his son began to get better. “Yesterday at one p.m. the fever left him,” they told him. 53 Then the father realized this was the precise time when Jesus had told him, “Your son will live!” So he and everyone in his household trusted in Jesus. 54 This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.
* 4:9 Or “Jews do not share dishes with Samaritans.” 4:20 As a Jew. 4:21 Jesus addresses her as “woman” which is the normal term used, but sounds impolite in English. § 4:22 Literally, “what.” * 4:26 “I AM” is used in the Old Testament as a name for God. Jesus is telling her he is the Messiah and also identifying his divinity. 4:35 It was usually four months between sowing and reaping.