The Woman at the Well
A story about the woman of Samaria
Text Version | Afrikaans
by Brian Carlisle
“Hey, would you like to go to church with me on Sunday?” Greg enthusiastically called to his friend in the school hallway. “Our Sunday school class is having a contest to see who brings the most visitors this month. I really want to win, and, besides, we have a great church and I know you'll like my teacher!”
“You sure are trying hard to win that contest,” April smiled, as she brushed her beautiful blonde hair behind her shoulders. “But if we don't get to class now, we are both going to be in trouble.”
“Class!” Greg exclaimed. “I forgot all about the time. Let's hurry!” As the two friends hurried into class, April promised to let Greg know the next day if she could come to his church the following Sunday.
As the class began and Miss Kendal, the math teacher, started her lesson, Greg looked around the room to see if he had missed inviting anyone to his church. “Nope, looks like I've invited everyone….”
Greg's thoughts trailed off as the classroom door opened and Rose silently entered the classroom.
“…everyone but Rose.” Greg wrinkled his nose as the thought hit him. When you think of a rose, you think of something soft, beautiful and with a wonder smell. But Rose, the girl, was just the opposite. No one ever talked to Rose. Her hair was always a tangled mess, her face and clothes were always dirty, and she always smelled horrible!
“Yuk!” Greg shook his head. “I'm not inviting Rose to go to Sunday school with me!”
As Greg tried to turn his attention back to his studies, the lesson his Sunday school teacher, Miss Davis, taught just a few days ago began to haunt him. The lesson had been from John 4:4-42. It was the lesson about the woman at Jacob's Well.
“Good morning.” Miss Davis had greeted the class. “I have a very special lesson for you today. I'm going to tell you a story called the Woman at the Well.
“The Bible tells us in John 4:4, that Jesus and his disciples needed to pass through the land of Samaria to reach their next destination. Now Samaria was a place that the Jews didn't like. Normally, the Jewish people would travel far out of their way just to avoid touching their foot on the soil of Samaria. Samaria was unclean — it was dirty!”
Since Miss Davis had captured all the students' attention, she proceeded with the story a little slower. “When Jesus arrived at a place called Jacob's Well, he was tired and needed a rest. The time was the ‘sixth hour’ or around noon, the hottest part of the day. Needing something to eat, Jesus sent his disciples to find some food.
“While his disciples were gone, the Bible says that a woman from Samaria came to the well to get some water. Now before we go any further,” Miss Davis interrupted her story, "let me tell you about this woman.
“All the women of the town always came to the well in the early morning to get their water. The day was cooler and, besides, all the other women were there and they had a good chance to visit and talk to one another. The only women who didn't go in the morning, were the women that were considered sinful or dirty.
“This woman that Jesus met was one of the sinful, dirty women. Because of her sinful life, she wasn't allowed to get water when all the other women came to the well. She had to wait until no one else was around.”
Miss Davis had watched each child nod his head in agreement that this woman was a sinful and dirty woman. Then she began again. “When the woman reached the well, Jesus asked her to give him something to drink. The woman was shocked! She actually asked Jesus why he had even talked to her.
“Now Jesus didn't wrinkle up his nose and call her a dirty sinner. Jesus instead spoke kindly to her in a riddle. He said, ‘Woman, if you knew to whom you were talking, the gift of God, you would ask me to give you to drink and I would have given you Living Water.’
“Of course, this puzzled the woman. Jesus had just asked her to give him a drink, and now he said he could give her water. She arrogantly replied that the well was deep and Jesus had no way of drawing out water to give her. She then stated, ‘Are you greater than Jacob who gave us this well?’
“Jesus looked at her and kindly explained, ‘He who drinks of this well water shall thirst again. But the water that I shall give will cause you to never thirst again. It will be a well of water springing up into everlasting life!’
“At this the woman begged Jesus to give her his water. But Jesus replied that first she should go bring her husband to meet him. Sadly the woman answered that she had no husband. Jesus, knowing all, replied that she had answered him correctly because she had had 5 husbands, and the man she was living with was not her husband.
“What guilt the woman must have felt!” Miss Davis declared. “This is why she was at the well at noon. She was wicked and dirty! Everyone hated her!”
Miss Davis then began to speak softly to her class. "You see, Jesus already knew she was a sinful woman, and she already knew it, too. But Jesus did not come to the world to condemn sinners, but to call them to righteousness.
“After talking further with the woman, Jesus revealed that he was the Messiah, the Savior of the World.” Miss Davis smiled. “The woman instantly ran into the city and began telling everyone about the man at the well who knew all about her and still talked kindly to her. She told them that this was the Christ!
“The Bible says that the whole town came out to meet him and asked him to stay with them in their town. Because of his kindness, Jesus stayed, and by his words and the woman's testimony, the Bible says that many received Jesus as their Savior.”
“What a wonderful story!” Greg had declared to his teacher.
“Just one more thing,” Miss Davis spoke up. “When the disciples came back with the food, to Jesus at the well, they were amazed that he was talking to such a sinful woman, but they knew better than to ask him why. After the woman had left to go into the town, the disciples came closer to Jesus and offered him the meat they had bought.
“To their surprise, Jesus said he wasn't hungry. He felt full because he had done the wonderful will of God. Finally Jesus spoke to his disciples and told them that the time to win souls to the Lord was short and they needed to work hard. Sometimes they would win someone to the Lord and sometimes someone else later would lead them to the Lord, but the goal was to witness to everyone.”
The story Miss Davis had taught the Sunday before, continued to haunt Greg the rest of the morning. At lunchtime that day, Greg picked up his tray of food and headed to the table with his friends. The normally good-tasting food, burned in Greg's stomach. After just three bites, he put his fork down and looked across the lunchroom to where Rose was sitting all alone. Slowly, with a feeling of dread, Greg took his tray and walked to the table at the other end of the lunchroom and sat down across from Rose.
“Rose, would you like to go to church with me this Sunday?”
“Yes. I'd love to,” Rose replied sheepishly.
For the rest of the lunchtime, Greg and Rose sat and talked about Sunday school. That Sunday, Rose went to church for the first time in her life and even prayed for Jesus to come into her soul.
Just a week later, Rose and her family moved away and Greg never saw her again. Whatever happened to Rose, Greg will never know. But one thing Greg does know is that God was pleased that he went and invited the dirty, messy and smelly girl to go to Sunday school with him. And even though other kids in his class teased him for a long time about Rose, Greg was proud that he had followed Jesus' example when he met the Woman at the Well.
1. What was the name of the place that the Jews did not like to go near?
2. Why do you suppose Jesus stopped at the well?
3. Where did Jesus' disciples go?
4. Why did the woman come to the well?
5. What did Jesus ask the woman to do?
6. Where did Jesus send the woman after she begged for His water?
7. How many husbands did she have?
8. What did the woman do when she went back into the city?
9. Can you think of someone you could tell about Jesus?
There are many hurting people who need to know about Jesus.
A VERSE TO LEARN
“For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world, through him, might be saved” (John 3:17).
What kind of things make you dislike others? Maybe it's the way they look or dress, or walk or talk. Maybe it's because they're very poor or very rich. Maybe you don't like the color of their skin, or because they live in another neighborhood, or have a different culture than you. Maybe they appear weak or shy, or are bad at sports? Maybe they're struggling to learn in class and get all the answers wrong? Do you feel you're better than them?
How do you treat people you don't like? How do you think Jesus would treat them? Do you think Jesus loves them too and would love for them to get to know Him?
[After discussion:] Jesus didn't come just for one group of people. He came for every and He came for you. It doesn't matter how you look, or talk or dress, or how much money you have, or how clever you are. He loves everyone, and He wants you to let all people know how much He loves them, whether you like them or not.
Can you think of ways you can let people know how much Jesus loves them? Let's pray and ask God to give us opportunities to tell others how much Jesus loves them.
Dear God, thank You for your love. Help me tell others
how much You love them. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
CAN YOU FIND THIS STORY IN THE BIBLE?
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Last updated July 19, 2022
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