John Chapter 4 -The Woman at the Well
Last week Tim compared the story of Nicodemus and the woman at the well. His teaching session can be seen on the side bar to the left of this document. You can also see herr the powerpoint file I used with this presentation on John chapter 4
He looked at Jesus’ conversations with Nicodemus. Today, we are looking at the story of the woman at the well.
John 4: 1-42
As we begin the story the first thing we notice is that
“Jesus had to go through Samaria”.
In worldly terms this is not correct. He could have gone round Samaria as did most Jews.
Most Jews would have crossed the Jordan to avoid going through Samaria, but not Jesus. He had a Divine appointment. He had to go though Samaria, because it was part of God’s plan of salvation for the Samaritan village.
Jesus had an appointment to keep. He was following Father’s instructions.
God gives us divine appointments. We need to be listening so that we can go when called.
Ask Him to give you those divine appointments.
The Jews hated the Samaritans. There was history between them, but Jesus was prepared to cross the divide. The woman said,
"You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) v 9
He was prepared to break down the barriers. The history of hostility between Jew and Samaritan went back a long way. Does some of our history of hostility go back a long way? Are we prepared to cross the divide to put things right and move on? Psalm 133 talks about dwelling in unity. We have had teaching on this recently. When we dwell in unity there the Lord commands His blessing.
The woman came to draw water when others would not be there. Why?
Was she an outcast?
She came at the 6th hour, not the 9th hour as most people would do. Was it because she was ashamed or treated badly by others?
We all know what gossip can do.
It must have been a shock for her to be asked for a drink by a man, especially as the man was a Jew.
What are our lives like? Would we need to avoid others like she did?
Look at verse 15 When Jesus talked about living water, she was quick to say,
"Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
She misunderstood what Jesus was talking about when He talked about living water. Nicodemus misunderstood what Jesus was talking about when He talked about being born again.
It would keep her from having to face up to the situation – an avoidance tactic.
If there are things you are trying to avoid, then Jesus wants a divine appointment with you.
Jesus got to the root of her problem
“Go call your husband and come back.” V 16
She replied honestly when challenged
See her reply, "I have no husband," v 17
Jesus said to her, "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." V 18
She changed the subject
O dear, this man knew all about her. He must be a prophet.
Let’s change the subject, so she started talking about where they should worship instead. Jesus then went on to talk about true worship.
Jesus gets to the root of our problems. He sees through the cover ups and challenges us at the heart.
When the disciples came back the woman left.
She went away and called others to meet Jesus
Here is another difference between her and Nicodemus. She went and told – he kept quiet till much later.
“Come; see a man who told me everything I ever did.” V 29
This woman had met with Jesus and there was a transformation. No longer did she avoid people. She had a testimony.
The result was that many of the people of that town believed in Him because of her testimony.
The power of testimony is strong. We have been encouraged to share our testimonies. Don’t make it long winded or people will get bored. Make it clear and precise. You couldn’t have been more precise than this woman.
When we meet with Jesus we have an opportunity to share with others and bring them to Him
The Samaritans came to Jesus to find out for themselves.
Jesus looked up and saw them coming and talked to His disciples about harvest.
I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. V 35
In some versions it says white to harvest.
Jesus had looked up and seen the people coming. They would have been dressed in white. This was the harvest He was talking about. What is our harvest?
They came and believed for themselves
The Samaritans came to see Jesus because of what they had heard. As they spent time with Him they found their own faith. They believed because of their time with Him. Their faith was deepened.
She told them and they came.
They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Saviour of the world." V42
Notice the hospitality here. They invited Him to stay with them. Are we ready to invite Jesus to spend time with us?
When you introduce someone to Jesus, they come, but it is the being with Him that they believe.
As we spend time with Him we learn more and our faith is deepened. We need to spend that time with Him though; otherwise we will not get to know Him better.