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

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water [where Jesus was resting by Jacob's well], and Jesus said to her, "Please give me a drink." He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, "You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?"

— John 4:7-9 NLT

Key Thought

Asking for a drink doesn't seem like a big deal. In this case, however, it is a huge deal! Jesus was a Jew. Generally Jews considered Samaritans unworthy and unclean cousins and felt that even simple interactions with a Samaritan would defile them. Jesus was a rabbi, a male teacher of Israel. A "real" rabbi didn't talk publicly with any women in Jesus' day. But this woman was seeking. [1] This woman was thirsty for living water. This woman needed Jesus. This woman was alone and had a bad reputation, [2] but Jesus let nothing stand in his way of reaching her. Jesus is always a barrier breaker. Are we?
[1] John 4:19-20, 25.
[2] The woman was living with a man who wasn't her husband (John 4:17) and may have come to the well at noon to avoid others who normally came early in the day because the group of women who came in the morning didn't want her accompanying them.

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 his name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ephesians 2:11-18
  • Galatians 3:26-29
  • Matthew 28:18-20


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Illustration of John 4:7-9 NLT — "Please give me a drink."   ——   "You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.