The Gospel of John 4:1-42

I’m finally going to try and write about Jesus and the woman from Samaria. This is one of my favorite passages. It teaches us so much about compassion, overcoming prejudices, witnessing, and who Jesus is. John 4 starts off telling us that Jesus is heading to Galilee and rather than taking the eastern route that was common of Jews Jesus took the western route through Samaria. John 4:4 says He had to go through Samaria. Meeting and talking to this woman was part of God’s plan to spread the message of His salvation.

At about noon Jesus stops at Jacob’s well and rest while his disciples head into town to buy food. This is when the women we know as the Samaritan woman comes to the well. This is an odd time since women normally went to the well early in the day (Exodus 1:15-18) or late in the evening (Genesis 24:11). This suggest that this woman did not want to be seen by the other women, probably because of her known promiscuity (John 4:18).

As she is getting her water Jesus does an amazing thing and asks her for a drink. This is amazing first because the Jews and Samaritans are enemies. The Samaritans were mixed blood descendents of the Jews after the defeat of the northern Kingdom of Israel. They had caused problems for the Jews when they tried to rebuild the walls after the return from exile. Rabbinic law actually said that drinking after aSamaritan women would make a Jew ceremonially unclean. So Jesus is stepping across race, culture and religious lines.

Her response was amazement and Jesus answered back that “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.” [1]She responds asking how when he doesn’t any way to get water pointing out that the well is to deep for running water (this is what she would have understood living water to mean, Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit and she is not understanding that.) and basically questioning who He thinks He is since he couldn’t be greater than Jacob.

Jesus explains to the woman that the living water he offers leads to eternal water and that a person will never thirst again after it. The woman desires the water and Jesus tells her to bring her husband back.

The woman says she has no husband. Jesus then shows her who He is with the statement, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”  Jesus is just showing her that He knows who she is that He looked pass all of this, when He spoke to her. Feeling convicted of her sin she turns it to a theological discussion.

It’s amazing how we will try to cover up our sin by our religious knowledge. Jesus tells her that that will not work God knows when we our worshipping to be religious and when we are worshipping in Spirit and truth. Jesus then tells the woman that He is the messiah.

The woman’s response to meeting Jesus is what ours should be. She goes out and tells everyone she can about Jesus. This leads to many Samaritans believing and being saved.

This section shows us how to be compassionate as I’ve stated in another post on this section. It teaches that race and culture lines do not matter. It shows us that our response should be to go and share the gospel.


The Holy Bible : New International Version, electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), Jn 4:10.

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