The Ministry of Jesus Christ – The Well of Samaria

'Christ and the Samaritan woman at the well', by Angelica Kauffman, 1796; Neue Pinakothek museum, Munich, Germany; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Now when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), he left Judea and departed again to Galilee. He had to pass through Samaria. So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and so Jesus, wearied as he was with his journey, sat down beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. – John 4:1-9 (RSVCE)

Our Lord, traveling from Judaea to Galilee, sits down at mid-day, weary and faint, by the well of Samaria. A woman of Samaria comes to draw water, and is astonished that He, a Jew, should ask for water of a Samaritan.

Behold the Son of God, thirsty and way-worn, resting during the noon-tide heat. He was wearied out with the journey He had undertaken in order to save man from sin and death. No wonder He is weary with seeking for those who, instead of flocking to Him at the sound of His voice, seem to avoid and shrink from Him. Yet He goes on following them so patiently, so gently calling them. How often have I wearied Him by my obstinacy and my neglect of His voice calling me. Quoerens me sedisti lassus. Thou hast, indeed, toiled and labored to bring me to Thee. O, may I listen and obey!

Our Lord begins by asking the woman to do Him a little service. This is often the best possible way of opening up friendly relations with strangers. It creates a kindly feeling on the part of the benefactor, be the benefit ever so small. If there is any one whom I am anxious to gain, I will try and pursue this plan. Men somehow are drawn towards those to whom they are kind.

The woman is astonished at the request. The Jews avoided the Samaritans as being apostates from Judaism, unclean, heretics. But where there is a soul to be saved, Jesus sets all else aside. His charity is an all-enduring charity. He came to save the lost, and in this outcast race He recognized many of His elect. Hence I will shun none, despise none.

MLA Citation

  • Father Richard Frederick Clarke, SJ. “The Well of Samaria”. The Ministry of Jesus Christ: Short Meditations on the Public Life of Our Lord, 1892. CatholicSaints.Info. 16 April 2019. Web. 24 July 2021. <>