What Jesus Did! 'A Barrier Breaker' — John 4:7-9

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Samaritan woman came to that well to get some water. Jesus said to her, "Please give me a drink of water." (This happened while Jesus' followers went to town to buy some food.) The Samaritan woman answered, "I am surprised that you ask me for a drink! You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman!" (Jews are not friends with Samaritans. )
— John 4:7-9
Illustration of John 4:7-9 — "Please give me a drink of water."   ——   "I am surprised that you ask me for a drink! You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman!"

Key Thought

Asking for a drink doesn't seem like a big deal. In this case, however, it is a huge deal! Jesus is a Jew. Jews considered Samaritans unworthy and unclean cousins. Simple fellowship with a Samaritan would defile a righteous Jew. Jesus is a Rabbi, a male teacher of Israel. A "real" Rabbi didn't talk publicly with women in Jesus' day. But this woman was seeking. This woman was alone. This woman was thirsty for living water. This woman needed Jesus. Jesus let nothing stand in his way of reaching her. Jesus is always a barrier breaker. Are we?

Today's Prayer

O Father, give me a heart to treat people as Jesus did. Fill me with your Spirit. Open my heart to your concern. Use me to break through barriers and establish connections so that others can come to know Jesus, find his living water, and share that gift with others. I ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The Pharisees heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more followers than John. (But really Jesus himself did not baptize people. His followers baptized people for him.) Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard about him. So Jesus left Judea and went back to Galilee. On the way to Galilee Jesus had to go through the country of Samaria. In Samaria Jesus came to the town called Sychar. This town is near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there. Jesus was tired from his long trip. So Jesus sat down beside the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to that well to get some water. Jesus said to her, "Please give me a drink of water." (This happened while Jesus' followers went to town to buy some food.) The Samaritan woman answered, "I am surprised that you ask me for a drink! You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman!" (Jews are not friends with Samaritans. ) Jesus answered, "You don't know about the thing God gives. And you don't know who I am that asked you for a drink. If you knew these things, you would have asked me and I would have given you living water." The woman said, "Sir, where will you get that living water? The well is very deep, and you have nothing to get water with. Are you greater than Jacob our father ? Jacob is the one that gave us this well. He drank from it himself. Also, his sons and all his animals drank water from this well." Jesus answered, "Every person that drinks this water will be thirsty again. But the person that drinks the water I give will never be thirsty again. That water I give will become like a spring of water flowing inside that person. That water will bring that person life forever." The woman said to Jesus, "Sir, give me this water. Then I will never be thirsty again. And I will not have to come back here to get more water." Jesus told her, "Go get your husband and come back here." The woman answered, "But I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right to say you have no husband. Reallyyou have had five husbands. But the man you live with now is not your husband. You told me the truth." The woman said, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain. But you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where people must worship." Jesus said, "Believe me, woman! The time is coming when you will not have to be in Jerusalem or on that mountain to worship the Father (God). You Samaritans worship something that you don't understand. We Jews understand what we worship. Salvation comes from the Jews. The time is coming when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. That time is now here. And those are the kind of people the Father wants to be his worshipers. God is spirit. So the people that worship God must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said, "I know that the Messiah is coming." (Messiah is the One called Christ. ) "When the Messiah comes, he will explain everything to us." Then Jesus said, "That person is talking to you now. I am {the Messiah}."

John 4:1-26

Related Scripture Readings

You were born non-Jews. You are the people the Jews call "uncircumcised. " Those Jews who call you "uncircumcised" call themselves "circumcised. " (Their circumcision is only something they themselves do on their bodies.) Remember that in the past you were without Christ. You were not citizens of Israel. And you did not have the agreements with the promise {that God made to his people}. You had no hope, and you did not know God. Yes, at one time you were far away {from God}. But now in Christ Jesus you are brought near to him. You are brought near {to God} through the blood (death) of Christ. Because of Christ we now have peace. Christ made us both (Jews and non-Jews) one people. The Jews and the non-Jews were separated like there was a wall between them. They hated each other. But Christ broke down that wall of hate by {giving} his own body. The Jewish law had many commands and rules. But Christ ended that law. Christ's purpose was to make the two groups of people (Jews and non-Jews) become one new people in him. By doing this Christ would make peace. Through the cross Christ ended the hate between the two groups. And after the two groups became one body, Christ wanted to bring them both back to God. Christ did this with his death on the cross. Christ came and preached peace to you people (non-Jews) who were far away {from God}. And he preached peace to the people (Jews) who were near {to God}. Yes, through Christ we all have the right to come to the Father in one Spirit.

Ephesians 2:11-18

You were all baptized into Christ. So you were all clothed with Christ. This shows that you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Now, in Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek (non-Jew). There is no difference between slaves and free people. There is no difference between male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus. You belong to Christ. So you are Abraham's descendants. You get all of God's blessings because of the promise {that God made to Abraham}.

Galatians 3:26-29

So Jesus came to them and said, "All authority (power) in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach those people to obey everything that I have told you. You can be sure that I will be with you always. I will continue with you until the end of the world."

Matthew 28:18-20


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.