Week 2: The Woman at the Well
John 4:1-30; 39-42
Open a Bible to John 4:1–30; 39–42, which is the story of Jesus and the woman at the well. Read the story yourself before presenting it to your family, making note of the following things about the woman and the interaction between her and Jesus. Focus on how Jesus approached the woman and how your family can apply Jesus’ method of evangelism to people in your sphere of influence.
Samaria was a place most Jews avoided because the Samaritans, also Jews, were considered impure because they had intermarried with foreigners and created a mixed race, betraying their people and nation. They also did not worship in Jerusalem but at Mount Gerizim. Jesus, with His disciples, went there anyway (v. 4).
The woman was at the well at noon, which could mean she was trying to avoid an encounter with other women in her city because of her bad reputation of having had five husbands and being with a man who was not her husband. Most women drew water twice daily, in the morning and evening. She was not only an outcast of the Jews but also of her fellow Samaritans. Jesus engaged in conversation with her anyway (vv. 6–9).
Jesus spoke to the woman about living water, a spiritual term she did not understand because she thought in earthly terms (vv. 10–15). In the Bible, God is identified as Living Water (Jeremiah 17:13). In saying this, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, but the woman still didn’t get it.
Jesus made the conversation personal by telling the woman about her past and present marital situations, not to condemn her, but to help her believe that He was the Messiah they were expecting. Jesus told her plainly that He was the Messiah (vv. 16–26).
The woman went back to the town and told everyone to come and see the man who claimed to be the Messiah (vv. 28–30). Jesus stayed with them for two days, and they believed His words and recognized Him as the Savior of the world (vv. 39–32).
Gather the family, and get rid of any distractions, such as television and electronic devices. Review the concept of Who’s Your One, and remind family members who their one is. According to the ages of your children, either read John 4:1–30; 39–42 from the Bible, or tell the story.
QUESTIONS & ACTIONS:
1. As a family, discuss any spiritual differences between you and your one. What common ground do you have? How can you connect on this common ground without compromising truth?
2. The Jews typically avoided Samaritans and even Samaria like a plague. Is there a stigma attached in you having a relationship with someone like your one? Discuss ways in which you can form a close relationship with your one despite the stigma, if one exists.
3. Jesus typically spoke in terms regarding the spiritual realm, but most people think in the earthly realm. Remember that your one likely thinks this way. Use simple language when explaining the gospel to him or her. Use the 3 Circles method as a guide. Talk about this method of sharing as a family.
4. Jesus knew the Samaritan woman and all that she had done, but He did not speak words of condemnation to her. He led her to reach her own conclusions about who He was and her need for Him. Talk about ways you can connect with your one through his or her personal life without being a busybody or making the person feel condemned. Make the conversation about him or her, not you. Listen, and really hear. Your one needs to feel comfortable speaking openly to you.
5. Talk about ways you can help your one with any problems about which he or she has spoken to you. Remember to lift the person up in prayer, and tell him or her you have done so.
Pray for your family and your commitment to this task. Then pray for your one(s) using the prayer on day eight of the prayer guide. Pray also for whatever the Lord lays on your heart about the persons for whom you are praying. Continue to pray every day, using the prayer guide and the bookmark, for seven days, until you come together again as a family for the devotion for week three. Give opportunities for family members to share their experiences they have had with their one(s).