Jesus Encounter: Samaritan Woman (John 4)



Have you ever been wounded? I’m not talking about as a teenager riding your bicycle down a hill at a high rate of speed only to end up with two bloody knees, a skinned elbow and side with rearranged facial features. Nor am I talking about the time when your aunt threw a metal whip cream can at your head making it gush open with blood. No, external wounds can be stitched, medicated, healed and restored. I’m talking about being wounded on the inside; that which comes from a friend’s betrayal by telling lies and intentionally manipulating others to not befriend you. Or that of someone abandoning you leaving hurt and hopeless. These are the wounds that seem to never heal and are frequently reopened for fresh feeling.

Today Jesus encounters one who has been deeply wounded. One with secrets and spiritual baggage. It’s a woman from Samaria, and she feel like no one cares…until she meets Jesus. You see, most people think that Jesus and Christians are only out to judge and condemn. But when we read the gospels we see Jesus proclaiming truth but also dispensing spine-tingling grace; grace that revolutionizes everything in life.

EXAMINE           John 4                    In this chapter we see 4 truths for how Jesus relates to wounded souls.

Jesus departed to Judea to return to Galilee (Cana was there, where he turned water into wine). John says that “Jesus had to pass through Samaria”. Geography dictated that Jesus had to pass through Samaria on this several day journey. But in reading John’s Gospel you get the sense that there is a greater reason for this Encounter.

Jesus initiates communication. (John 4:1-8).

Jesus entered the town and wearied from his journey, went to the well at noonday. A Samaritan woman came to draw water and Jesus asked her for a drink of water. At first glance this seems like nothing but we must realize Jesus crossed multiple bridges in communicating with this woman:

–          Jesus crossed social bridges: Culture frowned upon a man to speak to a woman not wife in public, even more a woman of loose living. (“bleeding Pharisees” Jews would walk with heads down and bump bc of lust).

–          Jesus crossed racial bridges: Jews did not like Samaritans, considering them half-breeds (Jew/Gentile intermarriage). Jews would have no dealings with Samaritans (not eat off same dishes 4:9).

–          Jesus crossed religious bridges: Samaritans mixed Yahweh worship with other pagan gods; disallowed to rebuild temple (Ezra 4:1-4); worshiped at a different temple 4:20-24.

–          Jesus crossed moral bridge: The woman had immoral lifestyle whom no other woman trusted (hence she was alone gathering water). She had 5+ husbands and intimated to Jesus she was available (4:17).

Jesus crosses every bridge to reveal His grace and love.

Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Mark 2:17 “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”


ð      When you are down, look up to Jesus. When everyone else steps out, Jesus steps in.

Jesus invites cravings. (John 4:9-15)

After Jesus initiates communication and asks for a drink the Samaritan woman is surprised. Jesus then uses a physical illustration of water to stir the woman’s spiritual appetite for “living water”. As we’ve seen in the last few messages, John uses the symbolism of water to represent new life and ritual cleansing that only Jesus offers.[1] He points to her immorality of multiple husbands causing the woman to yearn for wholeness and holiness in relationships. This woman satisfied her craving through religion and human relationships yet she remained hungry for more.

ð      Craving/hunger for wholeness and holiness is called worship.

  • What or who do you crave?
  • Modern Generational “worship cravings” similar to Samaritan woman
    • Spiritual Cravings (new age, environment, world peace…)
    • Sexual-Relational Cravings
      • Sex & Silver/Stocks are the gods of this age


We must come to realize as Augustine said, “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.”

Isaiah 55:1-3 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant”


Psalm 16:5, 11 “The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup… in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” 

Psalm 37:4 “delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

1 Corinthians 2:9 “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”


ð      Are your cravings too weak (earthly) or to worship (godly fulfillment)?

Jesus infuses certainty (John 4:16-26).

The Samaritan woman had little stability in her life. She’s had 5 husbands and the man she’s living with now is not her husband. Who is to say whose fault these relationships have been but one thing is certain that she lacks certainty. She not only lacks certainty relationally but also spiritually. Where should she worship? And Jesus tells her that worship is being revealed to her at this very moment. The Father seeks worshipers and she is seeking the Messiah – whom Jesus says, “I am he.” It is a euphoric moment for her.

Many women seek security from their husbands. We also see many women who feel “stuck” and living with men because they provide some sense of security. Yet, Jesus says that certainty and security come when you worship in spirit and truth – passion and purity.

ð      What areas of your life give you doubt? Are there surrounding circumstances needing evaluation and perhaps confession of sin?

  • God will not bless willful sin and disobedience.

  • James 4:4-8 “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, ‘He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us’? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, ‘God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble’. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”


Jesus inspires catalysts (John 4:27-42).

At once, the Samaritan woman is convicted of sin, confesses and is infused with the certainty of the gospel (Jesus’ grace). She leaves in such a hurry that she forgets her water jar and returns to town to tell everyone about Jesus (4:28-29). The townspeople come and believe in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony (4:39). She becomes a catalyst of grace.

ð      Those whom have received the gospel are catalysts of grace.

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

ð      What is your testimony? Write it out. Share with the group on Wednesday.

1 Peter 3:15 “but in your hearts honrt Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”



µ      Amazing Love – grace is available.

µ      Wounded souls can come to the Savior. SPBC is a hospital for sinners and a greenhouse for the saved.

[1] See John 1:31-34, 2:6-7, 3:5, 4:10-15.

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