Church sign: Too many Christians are no longer fishers of men but keepers of the aquarium. (Courtesy of Christian Humour)
Text: John 4:3-30; Galatians 3:28
Prop: A water pot or bucket
Summary: Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus meets us where we are and offers us eternal life.
(Begin by humming or singing “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.”) Have you ever heard the nursery rhyme about Jack and Jill? [Listen to responses.) I could use this bucket to draw water from a well. (Show bucket or water pot.) Today I want to share a story from the Gospel of John about a woman that met Jesus at a well.
Jesus was on his way to the land of Galilee. His disciples were probably a little nervous. Jesus had decided to go directly through the region of Samaria — and the Samaritans did not get along with the Jews (see Samaritan Neighbor). Jesus was tired and thirsty and sat down to rest beside Jacob’s well. He sent his disciples to buy meat in the nearby city of Sychar (pronounced SIGH-car).
About noon a Samaritan woman came by herself to draw some water from the well. Most women went early in the morning or late in the afternoon when it was cooler. They went in groups for safety and to talk with their friends. This woman probably came at noon to avoid them. She had a bad reputation and not many of them would talk to her. Then Jesus surprised her by asking her to give him something to drink.
(Read John 4:9-15.) Jesus has a way of meeting us where we are and offering us what we need. Surely she needed water to live but Jesus offered her a way to live forever! It didn’t matter to Jesus that she was a Samaritan, or that she was a woman, or that she was a sinner. When he looked at her he saw her as a person created in the image of God. Jesus cares about everyone! There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28.
Then Jesus dealt with her sin. Jesus told her things about her personal life that she didn’t think a stranger would know. She was shocked that he knew her so well. She tried to change the subject to a religious argument about where to worship. He let her know that what matters is not about being religious, it is about knowing who he is. Instead of changing the subject he changed her life by what he told her.
(Read John 4:23,24.) Jesus said it didn’t matter where you worship as long as you worship the true God sincerely, in spirit and in truth. Then he came to the point. He told her something he had not told anyone else until then: that he was the Messiah she was expecting. That changed her life completely. Suddenly she realized he was not a psychic in Sychar but the Savior of Samaritans. She was so excited that she left her water pot and went to the city to tell others about meeting Jesus by the well. Many people came to believe on Jesus as their Messiah because she cared about them enough to tell them the good news.
Meanwhile, the disciples came back from the city. As usual they didn’t understand why Jesus was breaking all their traditions. Men did not talk to strange women in public. Jews did not talk to Samaritans. Men only taught men about religion in public. Once again he was turning their way of thinking upside-down. They wondered what he was doing. While they were busy buying lunch, the first woman evangelist was heading to Samaria!
Jesus is waiting by the well of your life too. He is ready to accept you as you are, where you are, for who you are today. We are all sinners. We all need Jesus in our lives. He is ready to offer eternal life to all who will worship him in spirit and in truth.
©2002 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.