20 March 2014

Bible Study: A Samaritan Woman (John 4:1-42)


Getting started

      Where is the place that you would least want to go for a vacation? Why?

Exploring God’s word

1    Once again, appoint members of the group to read the passage as a dialog. Locate Judea, Galilee, Samaria and Sychar on a map. Because of the hostility between Jews and Samaritans, it was customary to take a detour around Samaria when traveling between Judea and Galilee. Why do you think Jesus “had” to go through Samaria (verse 4)? What evidence of Jesus’ humanness does John give us in verse 6?

2    Why is the Samaritan woman surprised by Jesus’ request? How does Jesus reply to her? How does the woman understand his words about “living water”? Even after Jesus clarifies what he is talking about in verses 13 and 14, what continues to be her frame of reference?

3    What new dynamic does Jesus introduce into the conversation in verse 16? Why do you think he chose to do this? How does the woman seek to redirect the conversation in verse 19? How does Jesus respond to her objection? What claim does Jesus make for himself in verse 26?

4    Looking at verse 27, what lay behind the disciples’ surprise? Why do you suppose they didn’t express this to Jesus? Why didn’t Jesus bother to eat the food the disciples had bought? What was it that sustained him?

5    How did the woman react to her conversation with Jesus? How did the people in the village respond to her testimony? What made her witness so effective? In the end, what was it that brought the villagers to faith?

For further thought and action

How can we use the “accidental” encounters that God places in our life to share the living water?

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