Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 13: John 4:1-26

John 4:1-6
When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

Background Information
The history of Palestine will help us to understand the world in which Jesus lived. In Old Testament times, the nation of Israel became divided into two separate kingdoms. The northern kingdom came to be called Samaria. Samaria was eventually conquered by Assyria, which relocated many Jews to other parts of its empire and replaced them with foreigners. Jewish priests had been brought in to teach the religion of Israel to the newcomers. The newcomers only partly adopted Biblical religion. The Jewish southern kingdom, Judah, maintained its ethnic identity. In the period between the Old and New Testaments, the Romans had become rulers of the whole region including both Judah and Samaria. Even though both were ruled by Rome, Jews and Samaritans retained their cultural distinctions.

By Jesus’ time, the people of Samaria, or Samaritans, were racially mixed. They worshiped God as the Jews did, but they had changed the religion significantly. The Samaritans were looked down on for their mixed ancestry and their corrupted religion. Full-blooded Jews seem to have recognized them as more Jewish than the Gentiles, but the two groups didn’t get along.

Samaria lay between Jerusalem where the religiously and culturally elite Jews lived and the region of Galilee, which was home to many Jewish common people. It is ironic that the common man seems to have been seen as less Jewish than the resident of Jerusalem, but more Jewish than the Samaritan. As you study the Bible, you will find Jesus reaching out to bridge the gap between Samaritans and Jews.

The Jacob and Joseph in our text were among of the founders of the nation of Israel. You can read about them in the Old Testament book of Genesis in the Old Testament.

1. Who baptized more followers, Jesus or John?
2. a. Did Jesus try to flaunt this superiority? b. Where did he go to avoid the issue?
3. Why did Jesus sit on the well?
4. a. Would you have expected the One Who came from Heaven to get tired? b. What does His weariness tell you about His willingness to become one of us humans?

John 4:7-14
There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Related Scriptures
John 7:37-39
Romans 8:5-15

1. Why was the woman surprised that Jesus would ask her for a drink of water? 
2. What kind of water did Jesus say He could give her?                                                                                                          
3. What would the water Jesus gave become inside a person?                                                                                              
4. What would be the result of having this well?                                                                                                                         
5. Do you think Jesus was speaking of just water or of something spiritual?

John 4:15-26
The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Background Information
The word “Messias” is a form of the word Messiah. Both words mean the same as Christ. The variations in this name represent the different languages used in the Bible and Bible times. The national and religious language of the Jews was Hebrew. It seems that many of Jews came to speak a related language called Aramaic. Greek, the language the New Testament was written in, was an international language. To top it off, English Bibles necessarily Anglicize all three languages, as the average reader isn’t familiar with the Greek and Hebrew alphabets.

Related Scriptures
Genesis 12:1-3 (The Old Testament basis of Jesus’ statement that salvation is of the Jews.)
Deuteronomy 12:1-7 (The basis of Jews worshiping in Jerusalem.)                                                                                                           
1 Kings 11:13 (One instance of God’s testimony that He had chosen Jerusalem.)

1. Was the woman expecting the water Jesus offered to be spiritual or actual physical water?                                            
 2. Which of Jesus’ statements made the woman realize He was a prophet?                                                                       
 3. What was her question about religion?                                                                                                                                 
 4. Did Jesus suggest that place was the most important element of worship?                                                                     
5. How did Jesus say that true worshippers worship God?                                                                                                      
6. Is there any restriction on where we can worship God in spirit?                                                                                          
7. Would hypocritical worship be worship in truth?                                                                                                                     
8. Who does Jesus say that He is in the end of our passage?

Please note: This story is continued in Lesson 14.


This study is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed freely.