"How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (v9). Jesus shocked the woman at the well because he spoke directly to her, ignoring the barriers of gender and culture (Samaritans and Jews despised one another). Then he shocked her by declaring that he was offering “living water” greater than Jacob’s well, greater than either the Temple or the holy places of Samaria. What Jesus offered – eternal life – was greater than everything humans fought over.
“Those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (v24). Places and rituals don’t make us holy; our fellowship with God depends on being united with Jesus, allowing His “living water” to flow in us (v14).