Session in a Sentence:
Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water—the Holy Spirit—that would satisfy her forever and produce true worship in her life.
Jesus Teaches About Living Water
Scripture: John 4:1-42
Series: Jesus Among the People (Gospels)
Speaker: Adam Burton
Date: June 4, 2020
In the previous sessions, we’ve looked at Jesus’ power, mission, and character. In this session, we will examine Jesus’ teaching on living water and find that He gives the Living Water, the Holy Spirit, who is fully and eternally satisfying for the believer. He also enables the true worship of God. Jesus is the conduit of our reconciliation with the Father, and within that restored relationship we find the abundant life that overflows for the salvation of others. As we enter into genuine worship, we open the gates for others to see the possibility of full and lasting satisfaction in the well of living water that won’t run dry.
*Devotionals come from The Gospel Project.
Day 1: Read John 4:1-6
Had to are two small words with plenty of power behind them. Jesus “had to” travel through Samaria (v. 4). He was required to. He was obligated to. But why?
Although Jesus was traveling between Judea and Galilee and a straight route between the two would have required Him to pass through Samaria, we know that the Jews of the day would often take a circuitous route in order to bypass traveling through the land inhabited by people they could not stand. It is likely that Jesus had to travel through Samaria because of the woman He would encounter there.
We too have been sent on a similar mission, to reach all people from every tribe and nation with the gospel. Like Jesus, we are to go out of our way—geographically, culturally, and socially—to take the gospel to anyone and everyone God prepares for us to reach.
To whom might God be sending you as His agent to share the gospel? How will you obey Him and go this week?
Day 2: Read John 4:7-14
If you have ever been thirsty—really thirsty to the point of being parched—you understand what it is like to need a drink of water. Imagine you had to walk to a community well, lower a bucket, and hoist that bucket back up. Then you had to fill the pitchers you had brought and haul them back home. The Samaritan woman did not have to imagine this because this was real life for her. Imagine, then, the woman’s surprise and great interest when Jesus told her that He had living water—cool, fresh, clean water—that would leave a person never to thirst again.
Of course, we understand what the woman missed—that Jesus wasn’t talking about water but life in Him. All people are parched spiritually, always struggling to find what satisfies the deepest cravings of their soul. But nothing ever does. Except, that is, for Jesus. He alone is what quenches our spiritual thirst, and He alone is what satisfies it completely for good.
In what ways do you try to satisfy the desires of your soul apart from Jesus at times? Why?
Day 3: Read John 4:15-18
Up to verse 16, Jesus and the Samaritan woman were having a nice conversation about water. But then Jesus threw the woman, and us reading this account, a curveball. When she asked for the water Jesus spoke of, He responded by telling her to get her husband. Where did that come from? It seems to be out of nowhere; their conversation, let alone her preceding request for water, had nothing to do with her husband.
In this we see the heart of Christ for the woman. That might be odd to say considering this statement by Jesus identified a habitual pattern of sin in this woman’s life. But don’t miss the impact it had on the woman. Because of this statement from Jesus, the woman was able to see, at least in part, the omniscience of Christ. She was able to see that He was not just a kind Jewish teacher. Jesus’ knowledge of her sin was precisely what drove her toward what she needed to know—that she was talking with the Messiah (vv. 25-26).
What can you learn about addressing others’ sins from this account?
Day 4: Read John 4:19-24
It has been said that everyone is wired to worship—the issue is that we often worship the wrong things. We see this desire in the woman’s question to Jesus.
The Samaritans worshiped in Samaria rather than traveling to Jerusalem. This was, in part, why the Jews detested the Samaritans and saw them as compromised ethnically and spiritually. But notice that the woman seemed to have a hunger to worship God rightly. This mattered to her so much that she spent what could have been her only question to ask Jesus that day on this topic.
Many of us understand worship better than the Samaritan woman did that day. However, we also often struggle to worship the way Jesus prescribed: in Spirit and truth. While location may not be relevant today, music style, time of day, and many other factors might impact our practice of worship. Our prayer should be that we might push past all of the peripheral items that could impede worship and be the worshipers the Father wants.
What can sometimes hinder your worship of God? What can you do to move past these hindrances and instead worship in Spirit and truth no matter what?
Day 5: Read John 4:25-42
No person is unworthy of His attention, as the parables in Luke 15 teach. And while Jesus would have traveled through Samaria just for the sake of the woman at the well, He did not. This woman was a first domino with others to follow.
After her encounter with Jesus, the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told all the people about Jesus. The people then left the town and went to meet Jesus. The result is that many of the Samaritans believed in Jesus (John 4:39-42).
We see here that our faith is not our own. Even if we are like the Samaritan woman—new in our faith in Jesus—we are called to share what we have experienced with others. It’s never too early to start. It’s never too late to begin.
What can you do to become more comfortable, and perhaps more obedient, to share your faith with others?