"What is this 'living water' you speak of?"
The Samaritan woman at the well is one of the most theologically discussed characters in the new testament. Unfortunately, we tend to add to her story.
What do we really know? She has been married five times and is now living in sin. Sounds pretty trashy so far. We assume that she was divorced 5 times, but in that world she could have easily been widowed 5 times, possibly to a bunch of brothers. Either way- she was not in a good financial spot.
Because of the financial strains, she would come get water whenever she was not working, that may have been why she was filling up during noon. We have always figured it was because she was an outcast. We just do not know.
We do know that she was very well taught in religious matters. She knew religious laws and what the Jews considered sacred. She also was not afraid to test Jesus. Here is the big difference between this woman and Nicodemus, (from the proceeding story.) When Jesus answers her, she believes. Not only does she believe, she realizes he is the messiah.
What does she do then? She runs and tells her friends. She becomes an evangelical missionary. Even though Jesus' own disciples are confused, the woman's witness caused many of her people to come to Jesus.
What does this have to do with God's Own Image? Are we a man, well schooled and educated. Someone who is respected and a leader? Or, are we an unnamed woman, of lowly financial position, from a despised and depressed people. The answer may be scandalous.