Samaritan Woman

Samaritan woman in Sychar

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Samaritan Woman
JOHN 4 BIBLE STUDY

John 4:7-19 Samaritan Woman

JOHN 4:7-9  7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink,” 8 for His disciples had gone away into the town to buy food. 9 Then the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, who am a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.

Does the Samaritan woman refuse Jesus’ request for a drink?
Not necessarily. The woman sounds surprised that a Jew would even ask a drink from a Samaritan.

Why do you think Jesus asked the Samaritan woman for water?
If He really had been after a drink, He would have driven His conversation with the Samaritan woman toward it (see below).

Why did “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (John 4:9)?
The twelve tribes of Jews that settled in Israel eventually split into the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom. After conquering the northern kingdom in 722 BC, Sargon of Assyria exiled its upper class to Assyria and re-populated the northern kingdom with people from other nations that he had conquered, who intermarried with the lower class Jews left behind. Rejected as impure by the Jews in the south, the mixed race northern Jews set up their own temple and called themselves “Samaritans.” (John 4:9)

JOHN 4:10-19  10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is who 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 with and the well is deep. So where do You get that living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and himself drank out of it, as did his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again. 14 But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will forever not thirst. Rather, the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” 15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.” 19 The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.

What is the “living water” (John 4:10) that Jesus is talking about?
John 4:14 says that it is what will lead to “everlasting life,” so Jesus is talking about His salvation.

How would you characterize their conversation up to John 4:15?
Jesus is speaking about the spiritual realm, but the Samaritan woman can’t get past the physical realm.

Why the abrupt change in topic in John 4:16?
The Samaritan woman’s understanding is blocked by a particular sin, so Jesus pinpoints it to take it out of the way.

What was that sin?
Adultery. The Samaritan woman had “had five husbands” (John 4:18), and the one she was now with wasn’t her husband.

Being with a man who isn’t her husband is self-explanatory but what’s wrong with her having had five husbands?
It would be okay if she was a five-time widow but the context and her reaction make this unlikely. Chances are, she had been divorced a number of times and/or been with men who weren’t her husband. ανδρας (andras), the original Greek word translated, “husbands” in this passage, more commonly means “men,” so John 4:18 could very well have read, “for you have had five men, and he whom you now have is not your husband...”

What do you think of the Samaritan woman’s reply in John 4:19? What would an average woman have said at this point?
Instead of lashing out in indignation at a stranger for exposing her intimate sins, she tacitly admits them and humbles herself, and starts to see Jesus in spiritual light: “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” (John 4:19)

When someone alerts you to your sins, do you repent or retaliate?
 

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