John 4:1-15 Samaritan Slut

Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John— although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Samaritan Slut

Jesus knew what kind of woman the Samaritan woman was.  She was collecting water in the middle of the day when she wouldn’t be gossiped about by other women.  Most women gathered their water in the morning or evening when the temperature was a bit cooler.  This woman came in the heat of the day.  She was also racially inferior in the eyes of the Jews.  The Samaritans were half-breeds descended from the unfaithful northern kingdom of Israel and guilty of intermarriage with foreigners.  As we read forward we will see that this woman was either cast aside by multiple men or was a flirt who seduced multiple men and none of them satisfied.  Either way, this woman was one of society’s undesirables.  Women started life disadvantaged and this woman had more disadvantages than most.

Jesus, then, has a natural and open conversation with a woman.  We do not discredit his reputation in hindsight, but at the time Jesus was taking a great risk.  What if people started accusing him of being a womanizer?  What kind of holy man sits alone and converses with a racially inferior slut?

Jesus does not condemn people for the life that they have lived and he has cultivated an inner strength that is not going to give in to any sexual temptation here.  In North America I think that fear of reputation and fear of sexual attraction has created an unnatural relationship between men and women.  Where honour and spiritual fortitude should allow men and women to talk freely we quickly separate them lest they spontaneously have sex on the spot.  Of course I am being facetious, but I do think we cultivate a strange relationship in North America by our undue caution.  I also think that we are not Jesus and we should be aware of our own weakness or the wisdom of being alone with a member of the opposite sex.  Also we need to examine whether we do not mix with people of other races because of godly reasons or subtle prejudice.

Jesus reaches out to us in spite of our unworthiness and our difference from him.  He offers us refreshing life.  I want that life.  Maybe we should pass it on to others and include those who are different in gender, race, or cultural background.

Prayer

Jesus, I want the living water that you offer.  I also want to pass it on that I may be a channel for your love and grace.

Questions

  1. Where is Jesus?
  2. Why is this strange?
  3. Why does Jesus reach out to such a woman?
  4. What are we to learn from this passage about God?
  5. What do we learn about people?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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24 Responses to John 4:1-15 Samaritan Slut

  1. Jenna says:

    1. Jesus is at a well outside Sychar, a city in Samaria (an area that Jews didn’t usually go into).
    2. Jews didn’t usually travel through Samaria, to get from Galilee to Jersualem they often crossed the Jordan and traveled on the eastern side of the Jordan.
    3. Jesus has no racial prejudice and wants everyone to come to believe in Him – by speaking to the woman, he shows how he doesn’t affirm the Jewish prejudice and doesn’t just want “good” people in the kingdom of God.
    4. Jesus offers us something that we can’t get on our own: living water. God doesn’t care how “good” we are or what our ancestors have done!
    5. People, because of sin, tend to be judgmental and prejudiced. We want to hide from consequences and things that point out our sin (like how the woman drew water at noon to avoid the other women’s gossip).

  2. Amy McCashen says:

    1. At a Samaritan well.
    2. Samaritans and Jews do not get along.
    3. Jesus did not care that she was a Samaritan. He had. Compassion on her and loved her just the same. He wanted to tell her about the gift of enteral life that was found in Him.
    4. We learned that God does not have raci prejudices and want all to know Him.
    5. We learne that people do have racial prejudices and grudges. People are judgemental.

  3. Nick says:

    Jesus was in Samaria, specifically Sychar at a well that Jacob left for his people. This is strange that He is at this well conversing with this woman because she was a Samaritan and He was a Jew, which Samaritans and Jews in that day did not interact much. It was also strange because of who the woman was and what she was known for. Jesus did not care that she was a Samaritan, and He knew her heart, so He wanted to tell her about the goodness of life that flows within Him and how she could attain it. We learn that God does not carry prejudices based who race and other things. He doesn’t care about who we have been in the past, He still offers us the gift of His son Jesus, and that by coming to Jesus we may have the eternal life that God offers to us. We learn that unlike God, people do carry these prejudices and people are not as forgiving as God and we never will be.

  4. Janice Lee says:

    1. Jesus is in Sychar in Samaria.
    2. This is strange because Jews usually go out of their way to avoid Samaria.
    3. Jesus reaches out to the woman because He loves her.
    4. We learn that God is not prejudiced and lovingly shows mercy to us undeserving sinners.
    5. We learn that people need Jesus and need to recognize how much He saved us so that we can in turn, show His love and mercy to other people.

  5. karas says:

    Jesus is at a well in Samaria.
    This is strange because Jews don’t normally go through Samaria.
    Jesus reaches out to the woman because He wants to bring glory to God through her life, and because He loves her.
    We learn from this that God cares more about people and their salvation than about what others might think and social stigmas.
    We learn that people matter to God and that we should not let prejudices dictate our interactions with them. We also learn that people need to recognize their need for God.

  6. Kathleen says:

    1. Jesus is at Jacob’s well in Sychar, Samaria.
    2. Since Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along, Jews normally would not go through Samaria to get to Galilee.
    3. The racial identity of this woman did not bother Jesus. He saw her for who she was: a hurting individual who needed Him. He loved and cared for her.
    4. I like how Jesus didn’t care if other people saw Him. He wasn’t afraid of what others might say. I think we also should not be afraid to get messy when doing ministry. We must be careful to a certain extent, but if all we fear is what someone else might think or say, we should probably take a look at our priorities.
    5. We learn that people have patterns in their lives that might give us a clue on how to relate for them. For example, since the woman game to the well in the middle of the day, we know she is an outcast. Being observant could help us find an in and a way to talk with people.

  7. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    1. Where is Jesus?
    Jesus is at Jacob’s well at Sychar in Samaria.
    2. Why is this strange?
    Most Jews went around Samaria due to their strong hatred for Samaritans.
    3. Why does Jesus reach out to such a woman?
    He reaches out to teach her of the salvation that is offered to even someone like her. The gospel is for everyone.
    4. What are we to learn from this passage about God?
    We learn that God shed his blood for all and eagerly desires for all to participate in it. Race and ethnicity make no difference when it comes to who is able to receive the Gospel. It also teaches us that God is fully able to complete the work of salvation. Even a woman like this one can be totally forgiven of sin.
    5. What do we learn about people?
    We learn that people who have nit been enlightened by the Holy Spirit cannot understand spiritual truths. We also learn that people are entirely wicked and it takes the regeneration of the spirit, the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, to redeem them.

  8. zacbodine says:

    Where is Jesus?
    He is in Sychar a city in Samaria

    Why is this strange?
    He is alone for one thing. The other is Jews didn’t go to that city. Which is interesting because the Samaritans are considered inferior (because of race) and also kind of wrong in their theology (because of where they worship.) So, the fact that Jesus goes out of his way to talk to the Samaritan woman is incredible. He meets this woman right where she is, loving her for who she is, and knowing her without any promise of her changing or even accepting what he has to say. He is smashing prejudices, boundaries, and conceptions about God through this act of reconciling the lost, forgotten, unwanted, and shamed to himself. He looks into her eyes, the eyes of a women who others wish to not see and who men wish to not truly see her but see “of her” so-to-speak.

    Alone Jesus meets her. That to me is one of the most important things. God himself does meets her individually caring for her. He also doesn’t need to have her be used as a testimonial to get bad people into a church building or small group. He looks at her and profoundly by his actions says “It’s just you and me; no need to hide, pretend, or distract. It is just you and me.”

  9. Sara Cavitt says:

    1) Jesus was traveling through Samaria, and He stopped to rest and talk to a woman at Jacob’s well.
    2) This was strange because Jesus was a Jew and the woman was a Samaritan. The Samaritans were inferior to the Jews, and she was a social outcast because of her promiscuous lifestyle. People did not talk or associate with her, because they looked down on her.
    3) Jesus did not look down on the woman, like everyone else did, because He is full of compassion and love. It didn’t matter that she was a Samaritan or a “slut.” He loved her despite the sin in her life.
    4) God does not look down on anyone! He reaches out to the lonely and to the outcasts. The living water is offered to all who will accept!
    5) All people are lost without Christ. I am no better than this Samaritan woman, but I am so thankful that Christ has saved me! Instead of looking down on others who are different than me or live different than me, I hope to show the love of Christ to all and offer the living water that has been given to me.

  10. Mary says:

    1. Jesus is in a town in Samaria called Sychar and sits down at Jacob’s well
    2. It is strange because Jews do not associate with Samaritans, but Jesus does, and also Jews typically avoid Samaria. It also appears from the response of his disciples who were surprised to see him taking with a woman that there may have been something socially unacceptable about conversing in public with people of the opposite sex (vs.27).
    3. Jesus talks to her because he wants to offer her the free gift of salvation.
    4. God gives us “living water”, the spiritual refreshment that we need. We also learn that God does not see people by the same standard that we see them, and he loves them all regardless of their race.
    5. We are all fallen and in need of Jesus equally, and race and/or other barriers should not prevent us from loving others and sharing with them the gospel.

  11. What are we to learn from this passage about God?
    What strikes me is that Jesus was “tired” from His journey (heat, physical exertion, thirst, etc). In the midst of His physical exhaustion, He takes the opportunity to insightfully reach out to this woman. All I want to do when I am stressed and tired is crawl back to my room and be in relaxing stillness for a bit. While reading this passage I am reminded that I am expected to represent Him even in the moments when I do not have an evangelistic vibe. Look up and look around you. Anywhere, there might be a Samaritan women for us to speak Life into.

  12. Belle says:

    Where is Jesus? He is at Sychar, in Samaria at a well.
    Why is this strange? Because Jews usually do not associate with Samaritans.
    Why does Jesus reach out to such a woman? To tell her of the Living Water, which is salvation. Despite her race and what she has done, God was still calling out to her. I love the people that He brings to Himself. Just a thought, but, I wonder what her name was.
    What are we to learn from this passage about God? How He sees past our sins, and sees us for who we really are, sheep without a Shepard. And also the transcending aspect of the God we serve. He is not limited to race or borders.
    What do we learn about people? That we are sinful and are in desperate need of a Savior.

    -Holly Geneva

  13. Beth Coale says:

    1. He is going through Samaria, sitting at a well while the disciples are getting food
    2. It’s not, Jews would normally go in a big circle around Sameria, but that’s strange
    3. because that’s who He came for, it’s the sick who need a doctor
    4. He is all about redeeming people
    5. That they tend to want to discuss matters of religion (like where to worship) and put on masks

  14. Rachel says:

    Jesus is at Jacob’s well in Sychar in Samaria when he meets a woman drawing water. She, a Samaritan, and he,Jewish man, were not culturally permitted to converse, however Jesus shatters cultural boundaries to reach out to this woman. He offers her living water leading to Eternal Life. This passage shows me that God does not bow to cultural expectations or norms. He is willing to do whatever it takes to call the lost to himself. Although he knows her past and her sinful lifestyle, he respects her and treats her with gentle kindness. This passage teaches me that there are people who long for living water, even though they might not know it.

  15. J_Alban says:

    1. Jesus is in the middle of the town by the well.
    2. Jews and Samaritans DO NOT talk, let alone of the opposite sex
    3. Jesus breaks norms and statuses set by culture
    4.With prayer and discernment, Christians are to break the status quo and reach the lowly
    5. They need the comfort of Jesus! We as Christians have that comfort!

  16. Ashley says:

    1. Jesus is at a well in Samaria.
    2. This is strange because Samaria was despised by the Jews.
    3. Jesus reaches out to such a woman just as he reaches out to all of us here who are sinful and rejected. He loves her and has compassion over her.
    4. We are to learn that Jesus rose above social expectations and did not worry too much about his reputation. Instead, he sensed a need and fulfilled the need, loving the Samaritan woman.
    5. We learn from this passage that people are quick to judge and look down upon those who are different and less desirable for whatever reason.

  17. tim pruiett says:

    Where is Jesus? in Samaria sychar
    Why is this strange? jews hated samaraitans and would avoid going through there if they could
    Why does Jesus reach out to such a woman? He loved her and knew she needed Him
    What are we to learn from this passage about God? God loves all people and reaches out to the undesirables of society for He wants all to be saved.

  18. Dylan says:

    Jesus is at Jacob’s well in Sychar, a town in Samaria. The interaction is unusual because Samaritans and Jews would not typically associate with one in other. The situation is especially bizarre because Jesus is talking with a promiscuous Samaritan woman. He always seems to go over and beyond our expectations. I suppose Jesus reaches out to this woman because he came to save the lost, not the pride driven individuals who thought they had it all together.
    From this passage I am currently getting that God desires a relationship with every kind of person, regardless of their ethnic, cultural, or social background. All people fit the human condition that Jesus described and therefore need him. This observation seems very basic, but I think there is an idea in America today that somehow Christianity is a western, white religion, when in fact most Christians now are non-western and non-white. Christians know the good news is for everyone but I think this piece of information can be useful when sharing the gospel.

  19. Lacy says:

    1. Jesus is in Sychar, in Samaria.
    2. Jews went out of their way to avoid Samarians, even sometimes to the point of traveling around Samaria altogether.
    3. Jesus reaches out to this woman because he is aware of her need for salvation.
    4. God in Christ is willing to defy social norms and rules in order to reach people with God’s love, even at the risk of his own reputation.
    5. Crossing social boundaries out of love is a really good way to get people’s attention.

  20. nataliaria says:

    Jesus is at a well in Samaria. This is odd for several reasons; 1) Jews did not relate well to Samaritans, and tended to avoid interacting with them. 2) Jesus is interacting with a woman whose conversation might not have been solicited by many men of Jesus’ background. Additionally, I always thought it was interesting that Jesus is alone in this passage- not because of anything pertaining to His interactions with a woman, but simply because I find it odd that all of His disciples apparently abandoned Him in this moment.

    Initially, it would appear that Jesus reaches out to the Samaritan woman because He wants a drink, but I believe that He uses His human need as a doorway to talking with her about her own need for eternal life and the most meaningful relationship that could exist: one with her Savior.

    This passage reveals God’s nature as transcendent above any distinction that man might try to impose upon our relationships; God sees all man as of equal standing, but that does not invalidate the differences that make each person and people group unique before Him. Regardless of race, social standing, socioeconomic level, or what the word on the street is about a given person, each soul on this earth is lost with the living water of salvation.

  21. Dominic Shortridge says:

    1. Jesus is in Sychar, at the well of Jacob
    2. Jesus is in a region in which Jews do not normally travel.
    3. He reaches out to her because she is an outcast, a social reject, and she is racially discriminated against not only by the Jewish people, but also her own people.
    4. God shows no partiality towards those whom we tend to marginalize.
    5. People are hateful, selfish, prideful, and in the case of the woman, they are broken.

  22. Bethany says:

    1. He is in Sychar which is in Samaria.
    2. Jews and Samaritans do not get along and avoid each other.
    3. Jesus loves every individual
    4. This passage shows how God loves everyone so we are to love everyone equally.
    5. We learn that Jesus died on the cross for all people and that we are called to share his unprejudiced love.

  23. Rebekah Thompson (Bekah) says:

    1) He is in Samaria at Jacobs well
    2) Because Jews did not associate themselves with Samaritans especially a woman
    3) Because Jesus does not care about breaking social boundaries he cares about the sole of every individual
    4) No matter what excuse I may have about not going and talking to someone about Christ…I need to go do what I was called to do
    5) That you never know where people might be at in their life and may be desperately searching for Jesus Christ.

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