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John 4:1-26

May is Mission Month at NVBC. This is a special bible study for Mission Month, and concludes with a special video sermon from one of the missionaries NVBC supports.

Read John 4:1-15

  • What were the circumstances that led to Jesus being stopped at this well in the middle of the day? [1] Do you think there was a spiritual reason, or was it just circumstantial?

  • What do you know of the cultural barriers which would have made this conversation unusual? (see verse 9) How do you think the woman would have been feeling?

  • Look again at verse 10-14. Look as well at Jeremiah 17:13, Isaiah 44:3 and John 7:37-39. What do you think Jesus meant when he said he has 'living water' for her?

  • What does it mean to you that Jesus offers us 'living water' that will be satisfying and never-ending?

    • What does it look like to experience this?

Read John 4:16-26

  • Here Jesus suddenly seems to change the conversation. Why do you think he wants to discuss her marital status when she's just asked him for the living water he offered her? [2]

  • Next, the woman is the one to suddenly change the conversation. Why do you think she bring up the differences between Jews and Samaritans in this conversation?

  • What is Jesus's answer to her question?

  • What is the role of the Holy Spirit in somebody becoming a follower of Jesus?

  • How does this interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman help us to understand how to share the Gospel with friends or strangers?

  • Does Jesus follow any mission or evangelism strategy you've ever been taught or read about? Or is he doing something a bit different here?

Read John 4:39-42

  • How does the Samaritan woman respond to Jesus?

  • What is her mission/evangelism strategy?

    • How does it differ from Jesus' strategy earlier in the chapter?

    • How does it differ from what you would do (or even what you think she should have done!)?

Watch this short sermon from Muana in Thailand:

  • What were Muana's reflections on John 4:1-26?

  • How did his observations add to your own?

  • Pray for Muana and Villy as they seek to share the Good News about Jesus with their friends and neighbours in Thailand.

  • Pray as well for one another, that we might be able to share who Jesus is with our friends and even with strangers, as we are led and equipped by the Holy Spirit, and as the Spirit works in the hearts of those we seek to invite to 'come and see' Jesus.

[1] There were three routes between Jerusalem and Galilee - one through the Jordan Valley to the east, one along the Mediterranean coast to the west, and the third and most direct route went through Samaria. This was the road Jesus took. Jesus and the disciples would have already covered about 65km by this point, meaning they've been walking for at least a day and half. (see Colin G. Kruse, John's Gospel, Tyndale Commentary Series)

[2] "The woman has had a life composed of one emotional upheaval after another, with enough husbands coming and going to keep all the gossips in the village chattering for weeks. We assume that her various marriages ended in divorce, whether legal or informal, and not with the death of the men in question. We don’t know whether she was equally sinned against as sinning. We don’t know what emotional traumas in her background may have made it harder for her to form lasting emotional bonds, though it seems as though [John 1, p. 45] the traumas she was at least partly responsible for will have made it harder and harder for her each time. But she knew her life was in a mess, and she knew that Jesus knew." - N.T. Wright, John For Everyone


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