The Samaritan Woman Matthew Clifton-Brown
The Samaritan woman’s responses to encountering Jesus show how she changed from a woman who avoided people and tried to cover up her background history, to being a woman who openly declared who she was and what Jesus had said and done for her. We can learn from this about how we respond to Jesus.
Read John 4: 1-42
Matthew was focusing us on the Samaritan woman’s responses to encountering Jesus. In particular how she changed from a woman who avoided people and tried to cover up her background history to a woman who openly declared who she was and what Jesus had said and done for her.
There were 6 progressions in the story that we can identify with.
1. The least likely time to be seen.
She was choosing to collect water in the scorching heat of the day, because she hoped no one else would be there, she knew only too well the jibes she would have received from the other women had she arrived at the cooler times of the day when they went.
Question 1:Talk about times that you too have tried to avoid people, because you were not wanting to encourage mockery or difficult questions. Could be because you had things to hide, were ashamed or just found it hard to deal with the jibes.
2. Personal gain.
When she hears about this living water v 15 that Jesus was offering her, her first response was how much it could help her, avoiding constant trips to the well. When we first engage with God it can often be out of a selfish motive, we aren’t thinking how this good news could help others.
Question 2: What first drew you to God? Was it simply because you wondered if there was some personal gain, that you could benefit from ...be honest?
3. Economical with the Truth.
Not the whole story. Jesus asks her to go and get her husband; she replies that she has no husband v 16. This is true, but a long way short of the long list of men that she has had a relationship with, married or not! It is very revealing of human nature that tries to divulge the minimum amount of information necessary in order to paint a better picture of ourselves.
Question 3: Why do you think we all do this at times? Jesus sees us and knows us transparently, he wants to come into every part of our lives and bring healing and forgiveness. How can we do this better ourselves and help others be more open?
4. Changing the subject.
We see that after she realised Jesus could see who she really was, she launches into an age-old debate about the right place to worship.
Question 4: How often have you ‘moved things on’ to another unrelated topic when you’ve felt that things were getting too personal? It is often what we find when sharing the gospel, people want to discuss all sorts of theological arguments, anything but face the personal questions of receiving Christ into their lives. Talk about some of your experiences in this area.
5. I am He.
Jesus declares openly that he is the messiah. She returns to her village and tells them all to come and see a man who told me everything about myself, asking the question as to whether she has just been speaking to the messiah. She’s moved from hiding away avoiding people in the middle of the day, to openly proclaiming Christ and what he’d done for her. She is no longer ashamed, or concerned what the whole village may think about her!
Question 5: Sharing our personal testimony of what Christ has done in our lives can be the most powerful thing we can share. Do you have a story of when you have done this and how it has affected your listener(s)?
6. We know this man really is the Saviour of the World.
Many come to faith, and declare Jesus as their saviour!
Pray that this would happen for your friends.