Samaritan Woman

Jesus meets a Samaritan woman

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Samaritan Woman
JOHN 4 COMMENTARY

John 4:7-19 Samaritan Woman

John 4:20-22 Place of Worship
John 4:23-24 Worship in Spirit and Truth
John 4:25-26 Messiah
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 of water?
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 the conversation toward it (see below).

Why did “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (John 4:9)?
See Samaria and 2 Kings 17.

JOHN 4:10-15  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.”

What “living water” (John 4:10) is Jesus talking about?
John 4:14 says it will lead to “everlasting life,” so Jesus is talking about His salvation (see Rivers of Living Water).

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.

JOHN 4:16-19  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.

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. She 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 most women have said in reply?
Instead of lashing out in indignation at a stranger for exposing her intimate sins, the Samaritan woan 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 about your sins, do you repent or retaliate?
 

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