Woman at the well (John 4) | Story

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Today’s hero is The woman at the well because she shows us the gift of Living Water

Essential Teachers notes:
This story of the Samaritan woman at the well, shadowed by Mount Gerizim is a must cover story in any exploration of Johns Gospel. There are so many things in this story that could be the focus of your teaching, and the bible story itself is really quite accessible. I’ve tried to draw out three key elements: the woman at the well and her short falling’s, the eagerness of the crowd to find the messiah, and the symbolism Jesus uses to show that everyone is welcome in his kingdom.

Main Passage : John 4


She came running into town from Jacobs well, but she didn’t have a water jar with her. She was so excited, yelling for everyone to come, to gather and see. People stopped what they were doing to look and she grabbed their hands, pulling them along with her, building a crowd.

“You must come, quickly before he leaves! Come, meet the man who knew me. The man with living water, hurry come.”

One of the men from the market stopped her, put his big hands on her shoulders and setting his face into a deep scowl, halted the crowd momentarily, “what happened?” he demanded in a booming voice

“I met a man,”she started “a man at Jacobs well, a Jew, he wanted a drink”

The crowd murmured in laughter, a Jew take a drink from a Samaritan, never! Especially not a Samaritan who was so bad she had to go to the well on her own in the middle of the day. But she didn’t stop her story

“I know, I know, I even tried telling him, but he said to me ‘if you knew who was asking you’d ask for a drink of living water!’ ”
“He had no rope no pail, and I’d never heard of Living water, but then perhaps it was a Jewish thing” many heads nodded at that, but she carried on the words getting faster.

“he told me the water from the well would make me thirsty again but those with living water would never be thirsty again. I wanted some of that water, and he said he would give it to me, but first I had to bring my husband!

This time the crowd responded with a gasp of surprise. They knew why this woman went to the well alone at midday and not with the other women in the cool of the morning, they knew the 5 failed marriages, they knew that of all the people to meet a prophet this was the worst. Whispers grew so the woman needed to shout, again and again until they heard her.

“but he knew, he already knew” her voice strained “he knew everything about me” she shouted “then he told me that one day we will all worship, not on the mountain like Samaritans or in Jerusalem like the Jews but in Spirit and Truth.”

“The Messiah” people whispered,” the Christ?” said others, the woman paused as the man from the market asked, “could it be?”

“That’s what I thought” she said, pausing to look into the face that had long lost it’s scowl “and so I asked him” and he said
‘I, the one speaking to you—I am he.’ Come meet him.”

With the final word the streets seemed to move, the town emptied as they ran to find this man at the well.

The disciples had arrived back to find Jesus still sitting on the well talking with a woman, none of them dared ask why. When she got up she left her water jar behind. She wasn’t gone for long, soon a crowd of Samaritans was hurrying towards them.

The disciples were confused, they were Jews, why were they talking to Samaritans? Jesus was very confusing. Everything he said seems to have many meanings. Now he was talking about harvest, about how one man sows and another collects, could they not see the fields were ready for harvest? Slowly the disciples started to understand: this village was the ripe field, the people the wheat.

Jesus and his disciples stayed in the town for 2 days and many people believed.

Today’s hero is The woman at the well because she shows us the gift of Living Water



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