The story of Jesus encountering the Samaritan Woman at the well has been told, and told and retold. It sometimes takes some creativity to get a congregation to wake up and pay attention to the same, old story. One of the pastors at my church did something fun a couple of years ago. We were doing a series called, “Encounter Jesus”. Just watch the intro — you can watch the rest of it later…
Discrimination in the 1st Century
Before we dive into this story, you need to understand the differences between the Samaritans and the Jews. The Samaritans were a mixed culture. They were Jews who intermarried with the native Canaanites (Gentiles) — something that God, through Moses, told them NOT to do. Thus, they hated each other. To top it off, Jesus was known as a rabbi — a teacher. A Jewish rabbi would never talk to a woman alone, let alone a Samaritan. That was just not proper.
They also disagreed where one should worship God. Besides that, a Jew was never supposed to use the same cup or dish as a Samaritan. Gee, it sounds like prejudice, racism and discrimination. There’s nothing new under the sun.
When traveling from Jerusalem to Galilee, you either passed through Samaria, or walked all the way around the area. Yes, the Jews would go out of their way to avoid encounters with Samaritans. This time, Jesus specifically went through Samaria. He had a mission there. Pay close attention to this story.
Let’s dig in…
Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). 3 So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
4 He had to go through Samaria on the way. 5 Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. 7 Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” 8 He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.
9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
10 Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
11 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? 12 And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”
13 Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. 14 But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
15 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah!”
27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. 36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! 37 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”
Many Samaritans Believe
39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Jesus Heals an Official’s Son
43 At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee. 44 He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown. 45 Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there.
46 As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.
48 Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?”
49 The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.”
50 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.
51 While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well. 52 He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” 53 Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus. 54 This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.John 4 NLT
What would it take for you to believe that salvation is only Through Jesus Christ? Do you need to see a miracle? Or is the Word of God sufficient?
How do you worship God? Is it just on Sundays following some man-made ritual? You can worship God at anytime of day because as Jesus said, “God is Spirit!” You worship Him when you sing a hymn or Christian song. When you pray. When you read His Word. When you study His Word in a small group — even online!
Are You Hungry for Some Spiritual Nourishment?
If you’re looking for spiritual nourishment in the world, you’re not going to find it. You can search high and low, in secular music, movies, celebrities, TV shows, climbing mountains, chanting mantras, holding crystals or rosaries. However, true Spiritual nourishment and fulfillment only comes THROUGH JESUS.
Here’s another quote from Levi Lusko in that Bible study in the free YouVersion Bible app…
Tragically, even among Christians, many are bored by the Bible and spend little time feeding their souls. How can you know if you are spiritually malnourished? Do you squirm through a 30-minute Bible study but then easily sit through 1.5 hours in a movie theatre without batting an eye? Can you text friends without even realizing how much time passes but barely make it through 15 minutes of devotions? This appetite can only grow through being fed. Fill up your spiritual stomach with Scripture. Devour the Bible as though it were a Big Mac—or a Caesar salad, whatever works for you. Take in worship music like chocolate. Treat your prayer life like a coffee addiction. To be full of God, you must cultivate a hunger for the Word of God.Levi Lusko
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!
The Story of Jesus
I’m loving the site FreeBibleImages! They have nice pictures of all the Bible stories! The picture above is from Good News Productions Int., which happens to be one of the missions that I support, who are working to spread the Gospel all over the world! (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”Matthew 24:14 NLT