The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." "I have no husband," she replied. (John 4:15-16)
Why is she asking Jesus to give her this water?After Jesus discussed 'living water' in a metaphorical sense, the woman now asks Jesus to give her some of that symbolic water. She wasn't asking Jesus for normal water. She had access to water in the well. She didn't need normal water.
In other words, she is asking Jesus for eternal life. This is the symbolism being used in terms of living water. She is asking Jesus to bestow upon her eternal life.
As stated with that symbolism, eternal life means to re-establish our loving relationship with God. This brings us eternal life and this is what Jesus was offering to the woman.
Why does Jesus ask her if she has a husband?Jesus is responding to the Samaritan woman asking Jesus to give her some 'living water.' She responds with:
“I have no husband,” she replied. (John 4:17)This discussion by Jesus has two concurrent purposes. One is to show the woman that Jesus can see into her life and heart. He shows her that he knows that she has had a number of previous husbands, and her current relationship is not her husband.
Jesus is not passing judgment upon the woman, but he does know what is going on in her life. He has that sort of vision, according to the text. He is not only seeing into her heart - he is seeing into her life.
Is Jesus flirting with an unmarried woman?This is a spiritual discussion. Jesus was not flirting with her. As shown with his other discussions, Jesus illustrated with his life that he saw people in the spiritual sense, not as physical bodies.
In other words, Jesus did not see her as a woman, and not as a Samaritan. Jews were not even supposed to associate with Samaritans during those times. So Jesus was ignoring racial and tribal concerns.
But Jesus sees the spirit within the woman's body, rather than the physical body. He sees the spiritual self. We are all spiritual individuals underneath these temporary physical bodies.
This problem of identifying with the body has created all sorts of misunderstandings among the various sectarian institutions. Not only do they misidentify Jesus as his physical body - saying he was a Jew and so on - but they see all his teachings and actions relating to the physical body as the person.
This is grossly incorrect, as we see throughout Jesus' teachings that he knew himself and others as spiritual beings temporarily occupying a gross physical body.
Here are a few statements where Jesus indicated we are not these physical bodies:
"The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matt. 26:41, Mark 14:38)
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul." (Matt. 10:28)
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after your body has been killed, has authority to throw you into hell." (Luke 12:5)
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear." (Luke 12:22)
"Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit." (John 3:6)This last statement by Jesus clearly identifies that we are each spirits - not these physical bodies - as children of God. As such God - who is from the spiritual realm - created His children - each of us - as spiritual beings.
Thus we can know that these gross physical bodies - "flesh" - are our vehicles. They are not us. When they die and decompose, we continue to exist.
Was Jesus his physical body?We also see clear evidence that Jesus was not his physical body:
And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. (Matt. 27:50)
Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? (Mark 2:8)
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:30)The phrase, "gave up" is translated from the Greek word παραδίδωμι (paradidōmi), which means, according to the lexicon, "to commit, to commend" and "to give into the hands (of another)."
In other words, Jesus was giving himself - his spiritual self - to the Supreme Being. He was committing himself to God.
This is what a devoted person does when they love someone. They give themselves to the one they love. This was what Jesus was doing at his time of death and this is what Jesus did throughout his life as he traveled from town to town teaching others about the Supreme Being.
Just see the kind of commitment Jesus had for the Supreme Being as he worked to please his Beloved:
"By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me." (John 5:30)