A Woman With a Reputation Meets a ‘Tall Drink of Water’

Explanations:   1)  My reference is the Life Application Study Bible, New Living Translation.  2)  I have summarized where possible.  3)  Italicized words are the actual verses, copied from http://www.biblegateway.com  4)  The headings are my own creation.


A Samaritan Woman and the Living Water

1-3:  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.

4-8  On his journey, he passed through Samaria, and arrived at the village of Sychar.  There he stopped for a rest beside a well*, tired from the long walk.  When a Samaritan woman came by to draw water, Jesus asked if she could give him a drink.  The disciples were in the village buying some food, so he was alone.

9 The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans  (See Lesson).  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.”

11-12 The woman asked how and where he would get this living water.  She thought he was acting superior to the one who *provided the well – their ancestor Jacob.  (They were near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.)

 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 The woman asked him to give her the ‘living water’, because she would never be thirsty again and would not need to go to the well.

“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 -28  The disciples returned.  They did not question why he was talking to a woman even though they were shocked to see him doing so.  The woman ran 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.

 Farming 101

 31-32 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus to eat something, but Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”

 34 Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 He compares the telling of his coming to the work of a planter and a harvester:        36b 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!40-42 Upon coming out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village.  He stayed for two days, and many heard his message and believed that he is Savior of the world.

NOTES on :  John 4: 1-42

On the way to work this morning (4/13), I listened to BOT radio, a Christian radio station.  Pastor Adrian Rogers was talking about prejudice. (You can listen at www.lwf.org.)    Although the word ‘prejudice’ is not mentioned in the Bible, there are examples of it, such as the one in John 4:1-42.   These are the insights:

  • The Samaritans were the result of Jews reproducing with foreigners that had been brought into the land by an Assyrian king.  The Jews hated the Samaritans. 
  • Samaria was between Galilee in the north and Judea in the south.  The Jews would detour by many miles and go around it.
  • Imagine the Samaritan woman’s shock when Jesus, a Jew, talked to her, and even suggested that he drink from a cup that she had touched!


  • Women usually drew water in the morning and evening.  This woman was there at noon, probably because of her reputation she wanted to avoid people. 
  • Verses in the Old Testament speak of thirsting after God as one does for water.
  • (4:16-20)  the Samaritans had come up with their own place to worship and had passed the tradition down to their descendants.  Mount Jerizim was not the place commanded by God.  Jesus reminded her of the right place, rather than trying to avoid offending her. 
  • 4:16-20 – The woman was uncomfortable that Jesus knew her private life, and she tried to change the subject.   This is a reminder – as we witness, and someone is uncomfortable at the thought of their own sin – gently guide the conversation back to Christ.
  • 4:39  Despite her/our reputation, the way Jesus changes us encourages interest by others.  Use opportunities.


 After two days in Samaria, Jesus left and went to Cana (where he had turned the water to wine) as he traveled through Galilee. There was a government official (some Bible versions refer to him as a centurion) in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick and on the verge of death.  He came and begged Jesus to come and heal his son.  Jesus asked him why it took miraculous signs and wonders for the guy to believe in him.  The official pleaded for him to come now before his son dies.  Jesus told him to go back and find that his son had lived.   (Format note – I could not get this to unbold).
The man believed him.  On his way home, he met some of his servants who told him the boy was now well. The dad learned the fever disappeared suddenly at the same time that Jesus had told him his son would live.  The whole household were now believers.  This was the second miracle performed by Jesus in Galilee.

LESSON (4:43-54):   We need to believe He can do what we ask when we pray.

>Note to readers:  Please leave comments.  I’d like to know whether the format works for you.  I am somewhat limited.  Normally I would use colors and bordwilers, and things like that.  I don’t have time to learn html language.   Please share the site with others, particularly new Christians or those who otherwise are not familiar enough with the Bible. 

My goal is to put three chapters of a book in the blog each week.  I will alternate with other things, such as the studies we do in our small group,  the weekend message, the thoughts I’ve recorded in my journal, Creation, nature, and fitness and health.  The next post will be something other than a Bible lesson.  Whatever it is, I hope it is beneficial to you!   

Time to go attend to some tasks around the house.   I’m not fond of housework.    John 4 helps me be positive about things like housework and really anything else I might tend to whine about it in my head.  At least I have running water and don’t have to go to a well.   And my husband, sons, parents, sister, and extended family are generally healthy.   Lots to be thankful for!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s