John 4

The Woman at the Well

 1-3 Jesus realized that the Pharisees were keeping count of the baptisms that he and John performed (although his disciples, not Jesus, did the actual baptizing). They had posted the score that Jesus was ahead, turning him and John into rivals in the eyes of the people. So Jesus left the Judean countryside and went back to Galilee. 4-6To get there, he had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon.

 7-8A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)

 9The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)

 10Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”

 11-12The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”

 13-14Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”

Jesus, I know You are talking about spiritual things here.  I thirst for true life.  I try to quench my thirst with water from this world (the well) and I am never satisfied.  If I turn to You, and drink Your water, everything changes.  Your word is the water.  I have experience it.  For some reason I don’t live minute by minute in the new life You have given me, but it is there.  I need this gushing fountain of endless life.  I know, I have it, I just ignore it too much.  Lord, help me to live the gushing fountain life.    

 15The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!”

 16He said, “Go call your husband and then come back.”

 17-18“I have no husband,” she said.

   “That’s nicely put: ‘I have no husband.’ You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough.”

Jesus, You engaged this women while she lived in sin.  You didn’t make her change first.  You loved her while she had faults.  Please Lord, never let me forget that You love me even though I sin.  And Lord, help me to truly love others, while they are sinners, like me.    

 19-20“Oh, so you’re a prophet! Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?”

 21-23“Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

 23-24“It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

Father, does my life worship you?  I know I love You, though not nearly enough.  I know my spirit longs to be with Your Holy Spirit.  But I see my life and I am not talking about You with everyone around me.  I’m not a 100% Christian.  Day in and day out, do I make You smile?  Are You given glory by my life, or shame?  Please Father, help me live a life that brings You great glory.  Please, do not let me shame You.  Amen.    

 25The woman said, “I don’t know about that. I do know that the Messiah is coming. When he arrives, we’ll get the whole story.”

 26“I am he,” said Jesus. “You don’t have to wait any longer or look any further.”

Jesus, You are everything!  There is no need to look further or wait longer.  You are the answer to all our problems and all our needs.  I still look and wonder, but I know, You are it!  Why do I ever depend on myself or my ideas or my ways?  Help me rest my racing mind in You.    

 27Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.

 28-30The woman took the hint and left. In her confusion she left her water pot. Back in the village she told the people, “Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?” And they went out to see for themselves.

Jesus, this woman met You, and got so excited she not only told her friends, she told people who didn’t like her!  If she was going to the well during the heat of the day, she was trying to avoid people.  She was probably not popular with the villages because of her lifestyle.  But she met You and all that didn’t matter.  Lord, restore that excitement to me.  Please Lord, help me to be on fire for You again.  Help me to tell everyone I know, friend and foe, about You, all the time.    

It’s Harvest Time

 31In the meantime, the disciples pressed him, “Rabbi, eat. Aren’t you going to eat?” 32He told them, “I have food to eat you know nothing about.”

 33The disciples were puzzled. “Who could have brought him food?”

 34-35Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started.

Jesus, how do I become such a good servant that doing Your will is more important than food?  I’m so far from that now.  I think about so much “stuff” that is definitely not part of Your work.  Perhaps even most of what I do in a day has nothing to do with You.  I sure can’t pass up a meal!  I’m discouraged Lord.  I don’t think I’ll ever change.  Help.    

As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!

 36-38“The Harvester isn’t waiting. He’s taking his pay, gathering in this grain that’s ripe for eternal life. Now the Sower is arm in arm with the Harvester, triumphant. That’s the truth of the saying, ‘This one sows, that one harvests.’ I sent you to harvest a field you never worked. Without lifting a finger, you have walked in on a field worked long and hard by others.”

Father, am I sowing, or reaping, or just failing?  My family needs You so much.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  My wife and children are heart-broke and sad.  I don’t share You with them as I should, but when I do they tell me to stop preaching.  I’m not worthy to share You with anyone.  But then, who is worthy? 

But I must thank You for some changes.  There are people in my family who are committed to You.  It is wonderful.  Keep them close Lord.  Satan is attacking and will keep attacking.  Protect us all and bring in a good harvest from those around me.  Use me if it is Your will.    

 39-42Many of the Samaritans from that village committed themselves to him because of the woman’s witness: “He knew all about the things I did. He knows me inside and out!” They asked him to stay on, so Jesus stayed two days. A lot more people entrusted their lives to him when they heard what he had to say. They said to the woman, “We’re no longer taking this on your say-so. We’ve heard it for ourselves and know it for sure. He’s the Savior of the world!”

Jesus, give me and my family the faith we need to know for sure You are our savior.  It is one thing to hear from another, like the people in the village did a first.  It is entirely different to encounter You personally and believe because of that.  Help us all to encounter You personally and believe in You based on that.    

 43-45After the two days he left for Galilee. Now, Jesus knew well from experience that a prophet is not respected in the place where he grew up. So when he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, but only because they were impressed with what he had done in Jerusalem during the Passover Feast, not that they really had a clue about who he was or what he was up to.

Jesus, Your own friends and family rejected You and were the farthest from understanding You.  Remind me of this often.  I know when You bless me in business, the people closest to me are often the first to be jealous.  I’m sure they will be the first to put me down if I tell them about my spiritual life. 

And yet You went to them.  You could have just never went back to them.  Help me Lord to share with my family, to take the risk.    

 46-48Now he was back in Cana of Galilee, the place where he made the water into wine. Meanwhile in Capernaum, there was a certain official from the king’s court whose son was sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and asked that he come down and heal his son, who was on the brink of death. Jesus put him off: “Unless you people are dazzled by a miracle, you refuse to believe.”

 49But the court official wouldn’t be put off. “Come down! It’s life or death for my son.”

 50-51Jesus simply replied, “Go home. Your son lives.”

   The man believed the bare word Jesus spoke and headed home. On his way back, his servants intercepted him and announced, “Your son lives!”

 52-53He asked them what time he began to get better. They said, “The fever broke yesterday afternoon at one o’clock.” The father knew that that was the very moment Jesus had said, “Your son lives.”

 53-54That clinched it. Not only he but his entire household believed. This was now the second sign Jesus gave after having come from Judea into Galilee.

Jesus, this man believed Your word, and not only was his son’s life saved, but his entire family received Your new life.  Your Word is so powerful.  Your Word knows no limits of time or space or anything.  Your Word is life itself.  Please Jesus, speak Your Word in my life to change me and speak it in the hearts of my family.  Gives us all Your new, true, life that comes from Your holy Word.  Open our hearts to love your Word and to allow it to truly change us all.