Women of the Word | Godly Women, Day 3
The only way to satisfy the thirst of our soul is by receiving Christ, the Living Water.
Verse of the Day
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14 ESV
Can you remember a time when you had a really strange or awkward conversation? What happened?
What makes a conversation good or bad? Who is your favorite person to sit down and talk to? Why?
We all have favorite people to talk with–it could be a spouse, parent, or friend. Conversations go all sorts of directions, but the best conversations often have an intentional goal–a purpose that seeks to help and improve one or both people. Jesus had this type of conversation with a woman in Samaria.
Read John 4:3-6
3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour. John 4:3-6 ESV
Why do you think Jesus went through Samaria?
Several roads led from Judea to Galilee: one near the seacoast; another through the region of Perea; and one through the heart of Samaria.
Even with the strong antipathy between Jews and Samaritans, the Jewish historian Josephus relates that the custom of Judeans at the time of the great festivals was to travel through the country of the Samaritans because it was the shorter route.
Although the verb “he had” may possibly refer to the fact that Jesus wanted to save time and needless steps, because of the gospels emphasis on the Lord's conscientious of fulfilling His Father's plan, the apostle may have been highlighting Divine, spiritual necessity, i.e., Jesus had an appointment with Divine destiny in meeting the Samaritan woman, to whom He would reveal His messiahship.
For Jesus to go through Samaria to meet the woman at the well was necessary to fulfill the need and it was the right thing to do.
What do you know about Samaria?
When the nation of Israel split politically after Solomon's rule, King Omri named the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel Samaria.
The name eventually referred to the entire district and sometimes to the entire northern kingdom, which had been taken captive by Assyria in 722 BC.
While Assyria led most of the population of the 10 northern tribes away into the region which today is northern Iraq, it left a sizable population of Jews in the northern Samaritan region and transported many non-jews into Samaria.
These groups intermingled to form a mixed race through intermarriage.
Eventually tensions developed between the Jews who returned from captivity and the Samaritans.
The Samaritans withdrew from the worship of Yahweh at Jerusalem and established their worship at Mount Gerizimin Samaria.
Samaritans regarded only the Pentateuch (the first 5 books in the old testament) as authoritative. As a result of this history, Jews repudiated Samaritans and considered them heretical, intense ethnic and cultural tensions rage historically between the two groups so that both avoided contact as much as possible.
“wearied as he was from his journey” Since the Word became flesh (John 1:14) He also suffered from physical limitations in His humanity (Phil 2:5-7)
Read Phillipians 2:5-7
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Phil 2:5-7 ESV
Read John 4:7-15
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” John 4:7-15 ESV
Why was the woman coming to the well by herself?
The sixth hour would have been our modern-day noon.
It would have been the heat of the day and most people during that time would have been resting.
Most women would come early in the morning or late in the evening to collect water.
However, Jesus had sent His disciples away (John 4:8), and we see the woman approach the well for water. (Biblestudytools.com)
What was the women's understanding of the “living water”? And why was the woman attracted to the living water?
“Living water” - The Old testament is the background for this term, which has important metaphorical sense.
In Jeremiah 2:13, Yahweh denounced the disobedient Jews for rejecting Him, the "foundation of living waters."
The Old testament prophets look forward to a time when "living waters will flow out of Jerusalem."
The Old testament metaphor spoke of the knowledge of God and his grace, which provides cleansing, spiritual life, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.
John applies these themes to Jesus Christ as the living water, which is symbolic of eternal life mediated by the Holy Spirit from him.
Read John 7:37
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. John 7:37 ESV
Jesus talked about the water and described living water that gave new life, but the Samaritan woman thought he meant running water, like a river or stream.
The woman wanted living water that would never leave her thirsty, because she would not need to go to the well everyday and see the people of her town.
Read Psalm 42:2
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Psalm 42:2 ESV
Read Revelation 22:1
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1 ESV
Jesus used the woman's need for physical water to sustain life in this arid region in order to serve as an object lesson for her need for spiritual transformation.
Read John 4:16-18
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” John 4:16-18 ESV
Jesus engaged the woman with intentional conversation that addressed her deepest needs.
The woman had been married five times and lived with a man that was not her husband.
She was an outcast and perhaps could not go to the well in the morning because she feared having to talk with the other women and hear their snickering.
“Call your husband” - since the woman failed to understand the nature of the living water He offered, Jesus abruptly turned the dialogue to focus sharply on her real spiritual need for conversion in cleansing from sin.
His intimate knowledge of her morality depraved life not only indicated His supernatural ability, but also focused on her spiritual condition.
Read John 4:19-26
19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” John 4:19-26 ESV
Why did the woman first think Jesus was a prophet? Why did she end by asking if Jesus was the Christ? How did her opinion of Jesus change during their conversation?
“you are a prophet” - His knowledge of her life indicated he had supernatural inspiration.
“on this mountain” - Both Jews and Samaritans recognized that God had commanded their forefathers to identify a special place for worshiping Him (Deuteronomy 12:5).
The Jews, recognizing the entire Hebrew Canon, choose Jerusalem (2 Samuel 7:5-13, 2 Chronicles 6:6).
The Samaritans, recognizing only the Pentateuch, noted that the first place Abraham built an altar to God was at Shechem, (Genesis 12:6-7), which was overlooked by Mount Gerizim, where the Israelites had shouted the blessings promised by God before they enter the promised land, (Deuteronomy 11:29-30). As a result, they chose Mount Gerizim for the place of their temple.
“neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem” - There was no reason to debate locations, since both places would be obsolete soon and neither would have any role to play in the lives of those who generally worship God.
Jerusalem would even be destroyed with its temple (A.D. 70)
“you do not know” - The Samaritans did not know God. They did not have the full revelation of Him, and thus could not worship in truth. The Jews did have the full revelation of God in the Old testament, thus they knew the God they worshiped, because salvation's truth came first to them (Luke 19:9), and through them to the world (Romans 3:2, 9:4-5)
“God is Spirit” - This phrase means God is invisible. Man could never comprehend the invisible God unless He revealed Himself, as He did in Scripture and the incarnation.
A person must worship not simply by external conformity to religious rituals and places (outwardly) but inwardly (“in spirit”) with the proper heart attitude.
“Messiah” - The Samaritans also anticipated Messiah’s coming.
“I who speak to you am he“ - The “he” in this translation is not in the original Greek, for Jesus lit. said, “I who speak to you am” The usage of “I am” is similar to (John 8:58). This claim constitutes the main point of the story regarding the Samaritan woman.
How did Jesus intentionally engage the woman who was an outcast? How do you think you would engage someone in a similar situation?
Read John 6:37
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. John 6:37 ESV
Read John 6:58
Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” John 6:58 ESV
How have you grown in your knowledge of Christ recently? What are some ways you have seen Him differently at different moments in your life? Who is someone you could share this with this week?
How can our church be more intentional in the way we reach people who do not typically go to church? Is there a specific need we should pray for?
What are some ways our group can be intentional with each other? What is something our group can do this week to intentionally seek to meet a need in the name of Jesus?