"Will you give me a drink?" ... (John 4:7-14)

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?" Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:7-14)

Why is Jesus speaking with a Samaritan woman?

Here Jesus was sitting by a well and has asked a woman for a drink from the well. They then had a discussion. The woman is questioning why she, a Samaritan woman, would give a Jewish man water. Jesus responds that if she knew who Jesus was, she would not question this.

It is notable that during those times, Judean men did not speak to Samaritans. Nor did they speak to women unless necessary. So speaking to a Samaritan woman casually was simply unheard of. Especially for a Jewish preacher.

But they didn't realize who Jesus was. He is God's representative. And God cares about everyone. It doesn't matter what body we might be wearing or what status in life we might be temporarily occupying.

Jesus did not care, because he loved her. Just as God loved her. This love supersedes the restrictions of our physical eyes and our physical minds. It is hard for us to even imagine the kind of love that the Supreme Being and His representative have for us.

Such love is unconditional. Regardless of our past. Regardless of whether we have been good or bad. Regardless of the body we wear or the positions we occupy. The Supreme Being and His representative care for each of us.

This love became obvious as the Samaritan woman began to realize that Jesus cared for her despite her past and despite her position in life.

It is no surprise to hear from some Biblical scholars that the woman became one of the first Christian preachers following her encounter with Jesus.

What is 'living water'?

More specifically, what is the “living water” Jesus is referring to? Is it some magical type of water?

No, water is being spoken of figuratively, or symbolically. The water Jesus is speaking of, which would bestow life upon the woman, is the word of God: Jesus’ teachings about who we are (spiritual beings) and what our goal in life should be:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37)
Jesus’ teachings quench the fire of thirst for satisfaction we perpetually seek. We are always seeking fulfillment, and fulfillment is achieved by loving God. Jesus’ teachings will satisfy us, because we are currently seeking happiness where there is none: In self-centered attempts to gain fulfillment from the physical world.

The teachings of Jesus produce the “welling up to eternal life” because they bestow upon us the knowledge of God and our ability to resume our original loving relationship with God.

Is this about being born again?

Being "saved" and being "born again" are not the public pledging of allegiance to Jesus, as many among the organized sectarian institutions would have us believe. Consider this statement by Jesus:
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'" (Matt. 7:21-23)
The operator in this statement is, "only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." This is requisite for being "saved" according to Jesus' teachings.

Being "saved" and "born again" is the resumption of our loving service relationship with the Supreme Being. It is doing God's will instead of our own will. It is the changing of our hearts from being self-centered to being God-centered.

The decision to change can be made immediately. But a change of heart is typically a gradual process that requires work. And service. This is why Jesus said, "...will become in him..."

Our relationship with God is eternal. It is not like the temporary relationships of this world. The bodies of everyone around us - including family members - all die at some point. Those relationships are all thus temporary.

Our relationship with God, however, extends beyond the death of this temporary physical body. It does not stop when the body dies. This is because not only are we eternal. Our relationship with the Supreme Being is also eternal.