Jesus deals brilliantly with the Samaritan woman. He absorbs her initial hostility, refuses to be deflected by her denial of the reality of her personal situation, and avoids being diverted into a religious debate. Gently he probes and slowly he leads her deeper until she is really thinking for herself. All the time he is sensing her thirst for the living water, that here is a soul who is ‘ripe’ for harvest. Yet he is never heavyhanded or overbearing in his approach. Finally, he helps her to that place where she can make her own confession: ‘I know that Messiah is coming,’ she says (v. 25). Then he leaves her with the great decision she has to make about his identity: ‘I who speak to you am he’ (v.26). Now she must choose what to do next.

Tony Horsfall, Working from a place of rest, p. 107

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