Kids Talk About God
Chapter 16 cover: The Woman at the Well

The Woman at the Well

John 4:1-14

Jesus Talks to a Woman in Samaria

Jesus learned that the Pharisees32 had heard the report that he was making and baptizing33 more followers than John. (But really, Jesus himself did not baptize anyone; his followers baptized people for him.) So he left Judea and went back to Galilee. On the way to Galilee he had to go through the country of Samaria.

In Samaria Jesus came to the town called Sychar, which is near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus was tired from his long trip, so he sat down beside the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan34 woman came to the well to get some water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” This happened while his followers were in town buying some food.

The woman answered, “I am surprised that you ask me for a drink! You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman!” (Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans.35)

10 Jesus answered, “You don’t know what God can give you. And you don’t know who I am, the one who asked you for a drink. If you knew, you would have asked me, and I would have given you living water.”

11 The woman said, “Sir, where will you get that living water? The well is very deep, and you have nothing to get water with. 12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob36? He is the one who gave us this well. He drank from it himself, and his sons and all his animals drank from it too.”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But anyone who drinks the water I give will never be thirsty again. The water I give people will be like a spring flowing inside them. It will bring them eternal life.”

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32 Pharisee A person who belonged to a Jewish religious group that claimed to follow carefully all Jewish laws and customs.
33 baptize To perform the act of baptism. See “baptism.”
34 Samaritans During New Testament times, the people who lived in Samaria, the region north of Judea. They were part Jewish and followed the Law of Moses, but the Jews of Judea did not accept them as pure descendants of Israel.
354:9 Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans Or “Jews don’t use things that Samaritans have used.”
36 Jacob Or “Israel,” ancestor of the people of Israel (also called Israelites and, later, Jews). See Gen. 32:24-28 for the story of how Jacob was given the name Israel. He was the father of twelve sons from whom the twelve tribes of Israel descended, and the name Jacob continued to be used for the nation or people of Israel.
What can we learn from Jesus offering living water to a woman?

“We should get living water because it is good, and it is God.” Chandler, 8

“We can’t live without water, and we can’t live eternally without Jesus Christ.” Annika, 11

“Even though the woman was a Samaritan (remember Jews and Samaritans never mixed), Jesus said that if she had asked, he would have given her the Holy Spirit. We can also learn that if we delight ourselves in God and his ways, we shall never be discontent or ‘thirsty.’ Jesus will give us everything we need physically, spiritually and mentally.” Elizabeth, 12

“We learn about Jesus’ kindness. In those days, men did not talk to women like they meant anything. She was a Samaritan, and the Jews did not talk to Samaritans.” Jesse, 11

Jesus sat down by the well because he was weary or tired. God never gets tired, but as a man, Jesus got tired, became thirsty and felt pain. Jesus is fully God and fully man. There is no one else like him. Jesus knows how we struggle with the limitations of being flesh and blood. When we pray to him as our great high priest, we know that he knows our troubles and challenges.

Every culture has prejudice. In the Jewish culture of Jesus’ time, Jews didn’t like Samaritans. When Jesus talked with a Samaritan woman, he overcame the prejudice of Jewish culture. Later in his ministry, Jesus told the parable of the “Good Samaritan” (Luke 10:25-37). The idea that a Samaritan could do something good challenged the prejudice of Jewish thinking.

In our pride, we like to think that we’re better than some people. If we humble ourselves before God, we will begin to see people as beloved of God. Christ died not only for our sins, but for the sins of all people. This means that every person is valuable to God. No matter how different people are from us, we should respect them.

Showing respect doesn’t mean we approve of sinful things people do. Jesus knew that the Samaritan woman had been married five times and that she was living with a man who was not her husband. Jesus mentioned her sin, but he didn’t preach a sermon on it. He didn’t try to get her to stop sinning.

Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water, which is eternal life. He told her that he is the Messiah, which is the Hebrew name for “Christ.” Jesus is God’s anointed one (Messiah or Christ), whom the Hebrew prophets predicted would die on the cross for our sins: “We had all wandered away like sheep. We had gone our own way. And yet the Lord put all our guilt on him” (Isaiah 53:6).

We can learn a lot about how to talk with people about the Lord by studying how Jesus talked with the Samaritan woman. Jesus began the conversation. He spoke first. He didn’t wait for the woman to start talking. You may feel uncomfortable about starting a conversation with someone you don’t know, but if you wait for people to talk with you, you may be waiting a long time. If you don’t talk with them first, they may not talk with you at all.

Jesus knew about the woman’s sins, but he didn’t begin by mentioning them. He started by asking her for a drink of water. Jesus asked her for a favor. Also, Jesus knew the woman was interested in water because she was coming to get some water. He began the conversation on the subject of her interest. This is very smart.

Jesus was creative. He didn’t use the same salvation presentation for everyone. Compare the way he spoke to Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) with the way he spoke to the Samaritan woman. They are different. There are many ways to speak about Christ. If you ask God for wisdom on how to talk with your friends about Christ, you might be surprised at the different ways God shows you.

Jesus compared the temporary with the eternal. Can you imagine taking a drink of water and never getting thirsty again? He told the woman that she would get thirsty again after she drank water from the well. But if she drank living water, she would never thirst again. Jesus is like water that will always satisfy us. Because Jesus is the source of all life, only he can satisfy our desire for a full life. If we try to fill up our lives with other things besides Jesus, we will feel empty inside. Our souls will be thirsty.

Think about this: God wants to satisfy the inner desires of your soul by pouring his life into you.

Memorize this truth: “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But anyone who drinks the water I give will never be thirsty again. The water I give people will be like a spring flowing inside them. It will bring them eternal life” (John 4:13-14).

Ask this question: Have you ever started a conversation with someone to tell them that Jesus wants to give them eternal life as a free gift?

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Chapter 16 Bible coloring page: The Woman at the Well