John 4:1-30 - The Samaritan Woman
Since Jesus was becoming well known, the Jewish leaders were jealous. Jesus knew this so He left Judea for Galilee. The most direct route was through Samaria. Most Jews didn’t go this way because Jews and Samaritans were enemies. Since this was a must shorter route and that’s the way they went. Jacob’s well was there and when Jesus became tired, He sat down by a well while the disciples went into town to buy food. (John 4:1-6)
The Jews and the Samaritans shared the same ancestors, but had a long history of hate dating back to 2 Kings 17:25-34. The King of Assyria brought pagan people to Samaria where the Jews had lived before they were taken captive. Many Jews had remained there and married these Samaritans who worshipped false gods. When the captive Jews were freed, they returned. They didn’t want to share in rebuilding the temple with the Samaritans, because of the Samaritan’s worship practices. They rejected most of the Old Testament. They worship not only God, but pagan gods. So hatred developed.
John said Jesus “had to go through Samaria.” Jesus didn’t share this hatred for Samaritans. He knew they needed to know how to be saved, too. Jesus loves and cares for all people no matter who they are or what they’ve done. He meets each of us exactly where we are. Jesus went out of His way to seek this Samaritan woman.
Jesus was human and was tired and needed a drink so He sat down by the well to rest. This shows us Jesus’ humanity. He gets hungry, thirsty, sleepy and tired. In John 19:28 He said He was thirsty and Matt. 8:24 tells us He was asleep. He is 100% God and 100% human.
A Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water. “Jesus said to her, Will you give me a drink?” – John 4:7. The woman said He was a Jew and asked why He asked her for a drink. He 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.” – John 4:10. She told Him He had nothing to draw the water with and the well was deep. Where could He get this living water? (John 4:7-12)
The well was the place where women gathered to talk as they drew the needed water, but women probably didn’t want to socialize with this woman because they had no respect for her. She had been married many times and was living with a man. Jesus talked to her which was unusual, because Jews didn’t talk to Samaritans and they didn’t talk to strange women in public. Jesus and the woman had something each of them needed. His body needed water to stay alive and she needed the Holy Spirit to stay alive.
“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” – John 4:13-14. Jesus explained the difference between physical water and this living water He was offering. Our bodies get thirsty, but physical water is only temporary. The water Jesus offers gives permanent satisfaction. It’s a gift from God. It is the free salvation available to all who believe. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Rom. 6:23. It’s tied to the identity of Jesus. It’s available to all who ask. Jesus gives it gladly. With physical water, you become thirsty again. This living water is permanent satisfaction. It’s God’s Holy Spirit.
People today thirst for things that don’t satisfy. They thirst for power, success, money, popularity, and material things. What do you thirst for in your life?
She asked Jesus, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” – John 4:15. Jesus told her to call her husband and come back. She told Him she had no husband. Jesus told her she was right and that she had had 5 husbands and the man she lives with was not her husband. (John 4:15-18)
The woman didn’t want to have to come and draw water every day. She wanted life to be easier. Jesus doesn’t offer us an easy life. He offers us a changed heart and helps us overcome our difficulties. Being a Christian is not easy.
She then thought He was a prophet since He knew her past. Then she changed the subject and talked about the correct place to worship God. Jesus told her it didn’t matter where you worship, but that it was the attitude that mattered. She said she knew the Messiah is coming. Jesus said, “I who speak to you am he.” (John 4:19-26).
Have you ever ask God for this living water?
Jesus knew the woman was sinful and confused. She didn’t understand, but had the desire to know the truth. The only religion she knew was a mixture of Judaism and paganism.
“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” – John 4:24.
What does worshipping in spirit and in truth really mean?
I think to worship in spirit means that we must be born-again or born of God. Then we have His Holy Spirit in us. True worship flows from the heart and is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. We must have the right and joyous attitude and engage the whole heart in worship.
To worship in truth means to submit to the truths of the Bible. The Samaritan woman worshiped God according to her traditions, which was false worship. You need to actually know God and what His truths are. You can have knowledge of the truth, but if you don’t know Him you can’t truly worship Him. Therefore, worshipping in spirit and in truth go together.
God doesn't want us to worship on the outside for others to see. God knows our minds and hearts. He knows if we are worshipping Him in the right way. Some worship God for selfish reasons wanting Him to do something for them. Some worship because they think it’s their duty. Some are present during a worship service, but are not worshipping. They could be daydreaming or even sleeping during the message or during prayer. Some look at church as a social place. Our worship should be offered to please God. He wants us to worship Him because of who He is.
How do you worship?
What is your attitude when worshipping?
Do you worship with a sincere heart?
The disciples returned and were amazed to see Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman. They did not question him. She left her water jar and returned to her village. There she witnessed to the people. Her heart was filled with joy and her guilt was taken away so she had to tell others her story. “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” – John 4:29. Then people went to the well to see for themselves. (John 4:27-30)
Who do you need to tell about Jesus?
We all have a thirst that can’t be satisfied with anything other than Jesus Christ. Our greatest need is to know Him. He comes to us as He did the Samaritan woman. We are sinful and dissatisfied, but Jesus offers forgiveness and living water which is eternal life.
Next week we will study the rest of John 4. Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site. Hope to see you here next time.
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