The Samaritan woman we meet today was unusual in two ways. First, she was a disreputable old flirt, and secondly she had an eager openness to the truth.
The Gospel passage emphasizes the woman’s bad reputation in many ways. First, while going out to the well was a social occasion for the women of a village, with the others not associating with her, this woman had to go alone.
Next, all the rules for propriety bound the woman to ignore a conversational opener from this fine stranger, but she went with it, asking him what he had in mind.
After Jesus offered her living water, you might picture her rubbing a hand down her hip, saying “Give me some of that water so I won’t need to drag this old body out here.”
When the young man told her to go get her husband, she was glad to tell him he had a chance with her, since she had no husband.
Then, where John tells us that Jesus revealed that he knew about her five husbands, it is likely Jesus had more to tell her; since the woman later said that Jesus knew everything she had ever done.
Anyway, we see that the woman’s eager body was matched with an even more eager soul. No sooner had Jesus shown himself to know hidden things, than the woman snatched at the opportunity of satisfying her secret longing to see a Savior. When she spoke of it, Jesus said, “I am he, speaking with you.”
The story tells us that God has high regard for sociably unacceptable people, even old flirts.