Scripture must first be understood in the context of the times in which it occurred.
In the story of the woman at the well (as told in John 4), we need to know that Jews did not travel through Samaria in those days because they scorned Samaritans as idolatrous half-breeds. Women usually came to the well in groups and not alone. They also generally went for water in the cool of the morning, as the lifting of five-gallon jugs was strenuous and the mid-day heat oppressive. Jewish men did not customarily speak to women, certainly not Samaritan women. Finally, the Hebrew day began at 6:00 a.m.
Keeping these facts in mind, let’s take a fresh look at the woman at the well. As you read, use a separate piece of note paper to record your answers to the following.
□ Read John 4:1-10. What time does Jesus arrive at the well and the Samaritan woman comes to draw water?
Who initiates the conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well? What does that tell you about Jesus? About the woman?
What is the woman’s response to Jesus’ request for a drink?What does this tell you about the woman?
What does Jesus mean by the response He gives the woman’s question as to how He can ask her for a drink?
□ Read John 4:7-24. What appeal does Jesus make in each of the references listed below? In response to each of His appeals, what attempt does she make to deflect the discussion? [The first appeal and deflection is given to help you get started.]
vv.7-9 Jesus appealed to her kindness; the woman responded defensiely.
vv.10-12 Jesus appealed to her ___________; and the woman responded __________________.
vv.13-15 Jesus appealed to her ___________; and the woman responded __________________.
Now continue in like manner with the following:
□ Re-read John 14:1-26. Does the woman appear to understand what Jesus is saying to her? At what point does she finally understand?
□ Re-read John 4:21-24. Give your understanding of what Jesus is saying in this passage. In your opinion, which is Jesus is calling the most important: the place where you worship; or the way in which you worship Him?
What do you think is the main teaching(s) in the story of the woman at the well?
How would you rate your own worship of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit?