06 Jesus’ Encounter with the Woman at the Well


We are going to jump straight into our study today. Let’s go to John 4.

John 4:4-6
4 And he must needs go through Samaria. 5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

  • Jesus is passing through Samaria. And He sits down at a well in a city in Samaria.

How did the Jews view the Samaritans?

  • Matthew 10:5
    These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

    • The Samaritans were considered Gentiles, not a part of God’s people.
  • 2 Kings 17:29
    Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.

    • The Samaritans were idol worshippers but they were actually part of Israel but they had just apostatized.
  • John 8:48
    Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

    • The Jews really despised the Samaritans. When they called you a Samaritan, it was as if you had a devil.
  • Needless to say, the Jews really hated them and didn’t want to have anything to do with them. The only time they spoke with each other was when they had to do business or for trade.
  • Do you remember the parable of the good Samaritan? The Samaritan that helped this Jewish man who had been beaten and stripped naked and left to die by robbers? The Jews couldn’t even bring themselves to say that it was a Samaritan that was good to that man. They just said “He that showed mercy on him,”

Anyways, the town that Jesus came to was called Sychar, a city in Samaria. What happens next?

  • John 4:7-9
    7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
  • A woman of Samaria comes out. Now remember what time is it? The 6th hour of the day is 12pm. It is the hottest time of the day. The usual time to come out was in the morning or evening when it wasn’t so hot.
  • This woman, she is trying to avoid people. Even without reading this woman’s heart, Jesus knows that there is something wrong with this woman – just from the time that she comes out.

By asking for help, for water, Jesus disarms any prejudice.

  • Even though the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans, Jesus is just asking for water. He’s trying to find a way to be able to help this woman and He starts out by asking help from her.
  • And He’s not trying to pretend. He can’t get the water from the well as He doesn’t have anything to use to draw it out and he really is thirsty from all the walking.
  • But now that He’s got her attention, he leads into something else.

John 4:10
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

  • Jesus then jumps into a spiritual application. But the woman doesn’t get it yet.
  • John 4:11-12
    11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 — Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
  • She still thinks Jesus is referring to literal water. But why does she call Jacob their father?
  • Remember, the Samaritans were part of Israel before. But because of their sins, God allowed them to be conquered by idolatrous nations, and they would eventually intermingle with idolators, which would gradually contaminate their own religion until they would worship idols themselves.

John 4:13-15
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

  • Now Jesus really has got her attention. A water available to her that she would never thirst again, meaning, she would never need to come to this well ever again! Remember, she was out here in the middle of the day. She was trying to avoid people. She came on purpose when it would be the time where no one would be coming out to draw water.
  • Now it seemed that this man Jesus was offering her a solution that she has been searching for a long time!

But before Jesus could give her this water, she would have to help her see her real need. Not just something temporal as in drinking water just so that she wouldn’t have to come and draw from the well again. But truly, this living water. The water that He was referring to was obviously Himself.

  • How do we know?
  • Well, when you drink this water it becomes a well in that person that springs into everlasting life. That’s what it said in verse 14
    • In the previous study when we studied about Nicodemus, we looked at the most famous Bible text throughout all scripture and Christendom.
    • John 3:16
      For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
  • If we believe in Jesus Christ, we will have everlasting life! But before this woman was willing to drink of that living water, to really believe in Christ, He would have to help her to see her need to drink.
  • You see, you can lead a camel to the drinking trough, but you can’t force it to drink. So with Christian’s, we can surround them with all the perfect ingredients to grow in Christ, but unless they see that need, they will never drink.
  • Many people go throughout their lives without every realizing how much they need Christ.
    • The rich man surrounded by his riches.
    • The athlete at the peak of his powers.
    • The singer selling millions of albums.
    • The student with photographic memory.
  • When we are self-sufficient and seemingly not in need of any other help, our need for Christ is non-existant. That’s what success does to us.
  • That’s why the Bible says:
    • Matthew 19:23
      Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
  • Only when life knocks you low that our eyes seemed to be more open to see spiritual things. Our ears become more attentive to the voice of the Holy Spirit. And we become more willing.
  • With Nicodemus, he was blind to his own condition. Teacher of the Jews, a ruler, a pharisee. Jesus had to shake him awake. Thus, a startling statement that Christ says to him when he comes to talk to him at night.
  • But with this woman, Christ knows that she is broken and dejected already. But still, He has to help her see that He is the answer to all her problems.

So what does Christ do?

  • John 4:16-18
    16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
  • Jesus now asks her to call her husband. He focuses on the main reason why she is out here in the middle of the day. She quickly replies saying she has none and Christ replies candidly – you have had five and the one you are now with is not even your husband.
  • Jesus lays bare before her her own life – holding up the mirror seeing her life looking right back at her. Was she really this famous? Maybe she was thinking. How does this stranger know the intricate details of my life? She had been trying to hide her life, hide the problem that she was in.
  • So just like Nicodemus, Christ had to get her attention. A straight fact about the hidden secrets of her life. We don’t know what sins Nicodemus was hiding, but we know he could not see the kingdom of heaven in the current state he was in. Nicodemus was so shocked with Jesus’ statement that is prompted from him a ridiculous reply – how can a man be born when he is old? How can he go back into his mother’s womb.
  • However, with the woman of Samaria, it seemed to open her eyes:
    • John 4:19
      The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
    • She could see that someone greater than just a normal human being was standing before her.

However, trying to avoid digging deeper into her private life, she tries to change the topic.

  • John 4:20
    Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
  • She turns the topic to worship. This mountain is the mountain where the Samaritans had set up their rival temple. It was the worship of the Samaritans vs the worship of the Jews.
  • But Christ is ready. It was for this moment that He was preparing for throughout his earlier life. To know how to turn the conversation back and to win the soul to eternal life.
  • John 4:21-24
    21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
  • What is the essence of Christ’s reply? First He shows that the Jews had the right understanding of worship. We know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. Not that they would be saved because they were a Jew. But that the Messiah would come through the Jewish nation.
  • However, even though He is a Jew, Christ states that ultimately true worship is not tied to a place, or even a race. Just like Nicodemus when Christ stated: you must be born again, He now says to this woman that true worship is not by seeking a holy mountain or a sacred temple. Religion is not to be confined to external forms and ceremonies.
  • Just as Nicodemus has to be born of water and the Spirit, the woman of Samaria had to understand that true worship was in Spirit and in truth.
  • Not simply just truth. But the working of the Holy Spirit on the heart, transforming the character, bringing the life into harmony with the life of Christ.
  • The man she was now with was not her husband. Gently Jesus was showing her a better life. He was helping her to see the living water whilst showing her that He didn’t accept what she was doing and had to change and He was the One that could help her change! But that power would only come from true worship. The Spirit and the truth.

If we want to have a different life, we need to experience true worship as well.

  • We must be born of the Spirit. We looked at that in the last study. But having a theory of the truth is not enough. That’s just a form of religion but denying the power thereof.
  • To be convicted of sin is not enough either. To just be convicted that you are wrong is to remain in a condemnatory state. You now know you are wrong, the truth has laid it bare. But you need the Holy Spirit to help you to align your life with Christ’s life. That is TRUE worship. Spirit and truth!
  • And allowing the Holy Spirit to work in your life is as simple as getting on your knees right now where you are, closing your eyes, and asking God for the Holy Spirit to help you to be born again. But you have to see your NEED!
  • I’m afraid many just don’t think they are wrong. Some are just plain fighting against the 10 commandments. The Sabbath. Taking God’s name in vain! Dishonoring parents. Others don’t think it is wrong to be in an unequally yoked relationship. Still others struggle with dress standards. And still more, struggling with the diet.
  • Do you see your need? Or have you come to the point where you feel hopeless and want to silence conviction by just telling yourself that it’s OK and that the truth that you have been shown is wrong, and that it’s actually OK to still do what you’re doing. Or maybe you’ve just branded the messenger as a heretic, bearing a false message. Have you tested all the texts of scripture to make sure it is truth and not man’s traditions? Maybe you’re sitting there today and saying to yourself, this study, what does it have to do with the Sabbath of the diet or the 10 commandments?
  • But I’m asking you this today, is it truth? Not – is it comfortable, or does it align with your philosophy? I’m not even asking if you are ready. Only God knows that. And He can help you to be ready now!
  • Is it truth? If it is, then let’s worship in Spirit and in truth! Truth as our foundation, and the Spirit to give us power from above.

Let’s finish off this conversation that Christ is having with the woman of Samaria.

  • John 4:25-26
    25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
  • She’s looking for the Messiah. And Christ immediately reveals Himself to her.

John 4:28-29
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

  • The woman reacts in an instance. She’s willing to accept the Messiah. She’s ready to change. And off she goes, leaving her waterpot behind, leaving her shame behind. She tells the whole town about Christ! About the Messiah! She is ready! And just a few moments before that, she wasn’t.
  • Let’s make sure that we don’t put it down to emotions when someone changes radically for Christ. It is the Spirit of God that has been preparing her for this moment and I’m sure that the Holy Spirit is working in someone’s heart even today, prompting you, wooing to make a decided change. It’s not emotions. It’s God! It’s the working of the Spirit on the heart.

John 4:39-42
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

  • Many more would believe. Not because of the woman’s word, but because they heard Him themselves.
  • Unlike Nicodemus, this woman was willing to respond straight away. Not because she was rash, but that the Holy Spirit has been preparing her heart and helped her to be ready for this moment.

Friends, have you had this encounter with Jesus? Are you willing to follow Him and the truth? He is the living Word. And He has promised that He will give you His Spirit to help you to obey.

Acts 5:32
And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

You don’t have to wait and see. 2021 is here! Time to take a more bold stand for Jesus and for the truth. What are you waiting for? Jesus is waiting for you to respond today. I’m sure there are many here that have heard enough truth already! It’s not that you’re misinformed. You’ve maybe even heard this story many times. But have you responded? Have you accepted what you heard, believed and asked the Holy Spirit to help you change? To align yourself with the truth?

Christ is ready. Now He’s waiting for you to respond today. He wants you to worship in truth and also in the Spirit today. He will give His Spirit to give you power to obey today, to work that change in your life. It’s not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.

We need a soft heart to respond to that today. May God grant you that heart of flesh. May He take away that stony heart out of our hearts today and give us a soft and willing heart to respond. God bless you all!

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