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Session 21

The Woman at the Well

Read: John 4:1-30

“Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?’” (John 4:28-29).

For far too long, the woman at the well had been looking for a man who could fulfill the longing in her soul. She had five husbands and was living with boyfriend No. 6. She was the woman people whispered about as she passed down the street. So instead of going to the well with the other women, she drew water at the hottest part of the day when she was sure to be alone.

Then, she meets Jesus. For most of their conversation, the woman is focused on her physical circumstances. When Jesus asks for a drink, she’s shocked that a Jewish man is even speaking to her. When Jesus says His water will never leave her thirsty, she thinks He’s talking about actual water and is willing to do almost anything to stop lugging a heavy water jar to and from the well. But Jesus pushes the conversation forward, wanting her to see that her real needs are spiritual not physical.

Jesus always draws attention to life in the spirit as opposed to life in the flesh. When He asks the woman to get her husband, He is trying to help her recognize that her soul hunger will never be satisfied physically. Jesus exposes our sin, not to shame us with it, but to free us from it.

Just look at the freedom the woman at the well experiences by the end of their conversation. The same woman who let shame and condemnation dictate her schedule drops her water jar and runs toward the town. Imagine her skipping and leaping as she experiences the joy of finally feeling fulfilled. By leaving her water jar at the well, the woman symbolically leaves behind all the ways she’d tried to satisfy her soul before meeting Jesus. She had found living water, and she would not thirst again!

1. The woman’s water jar symbolized all the things that had failed to fulfill her in the past. What is your “water jar,” the thing you look to for satisfaction, value and identity? What would it take for you to believe that Jesus is greater than your water jar?

2. After meeting Jesus, the woman invites the whole town to come meet Jesus. At NewSpring, we believe that, like the woman at the well, found people find people. Who do you need to invite to meet Jesus?

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