Today’s Scripture Focus: John 4:5-42
People need water to survive. Humans can go up to three weeks without food, but can only survive three days without water. Our bodies are 72% water. Amazingly, water covers 72% of our planet’s surface area as well. In spite of the abundance of water and its importance to us, nearly a million people a year die due to lack of water, and up to 9 million die each year due to water related diseases or disasters. Throughout history, civilization has been dependent upon reliable sources of clean water. In the Bible, one of the first things people did upon entering new territory was to dig a well. Our scripture today centers upon one such ancient well.
Jesus and the disciples were traveling back to their home territory in Galilee, and the quickest way was through Samaria. While passing through the village of Sychar during the hottest part of the day, Jesus sat to rest on the capstone of Jacob’s well. We don’t know why this well was given this name. We do know that Jacob, one of the fathers of Israel, met and kissed his wife Rachel for the first time at a well. While Jesus was resting, a woman approached the well to draw water. This was highly unusual, for women always traveled in groups to the well, and always in the morning or evening.
That is only one of the shocking aspects of this encounter. Jesus actually speaks to this woman. It was forbidden for men to speak to women in public—even their own wives. Secondly, Jesus asks the woman for water. Jews and Samaritans were not allowed to drink from the same utensils, as each considered the other “unclean”. Thirdly, Jesus speaks to the truth of the woman’s situation. She is likely either the town prostitute or a mistress. She is allowed to conduct her business as a necessary evil, but is ostracized by the other women. Finally, Jesus speaks truth TO the woman. He reveals Himself as I AM—a name used for God.
It appears that Jesus doesn’t get His drink of water. Leaving her water jar behind, the woman rushes to the village and tells all the men, probably including her “husbands”, that someone remarkable is among them. The town mistress has become the first woman preacher in scripture! Living wate had sprung up in the woman, and she had experienced a taste of eternal life. The thing about living water is it cannot be contained—it must overflow. In this case, it flowed over the whole village. Jesus still knows the reality of your situation today, and gives you the same offer He gave the Samaritan woman.
- Go around the table and share prayer requests. Have someone lead in prayer.
- Let everyone who would like to share anything exciting from their week.
- Ask these three questions. Let as many answer each one as they would like.
Compare John 3 and 4. Jesus clearly told the Samarian woman that He was the Messiah, but did not tell Nicodemus back in Jerusalem. Why do you think this is?
When is the last time you experienced God’s living water in your heart? When did you last feel God’s presence in a fresh way?
What can you do this week to share “living water” with others? Who can you run and tell?