John 4:1-30

In John 4, Jesus is presented as the great Soul-Winner. He genuinely cares for the fallen and is willing to reach out to all who crossed His path, whatever the cost. This story is no exception! In these verses, we can watch Jesus doing that which He does best: bringing sinners to salvation.

As we read through these verses, we can learn from the Savior’s example. He longs to use us to reach a lost world. Following His example in reaching the lost is far better than any program or any course we can take. Let’s join Jesus as He meets the woman at the well and demonstrates Himself to be the great Soul-Winner.


A. The Savior (verses 3-6). In these opening verses, Jesus is shown in His compassion and humanity. While Jesus was God, He was still a man, and He was acquainted with the trials and problems of life. He demonstrates that He does indeed care about the lost.

1. He is seen walking. He chose to live like the common man. Jesus knows what we face in life (Heb. 4:15); this is why He has such compassion for the lost.

2. He is seen as willing. Verse 4 declares that Jesus “must . . . go through Samaria.” Most Jews went dozens of miles out of their way to avoid going through the land of the Samaritans; so great was their prejudice and hatred of people who were a mixed race of Jews and Gentiles. Jesus, however, was unaffected by the prejudice of the Jews. There was a woman in Samaria who was going to be called to salvation, and Jesus was determined to see that she had the opportunity to be saved.

There is no person beyond the reach of God’s grace. All are sinners in need of salvation. Jesus loves them all, and we are commanded to love them as well.

3. He is seen as wearied. Again, this demonstrates Jesus’ humanity. As God, Jesus never tired; yet as a man, He was prone to the same physical weaknesses as we are. It is no coincidence that Jesus was wearied. Jesus was here on a mission, and that mission is clearly stated in Luke 19:10: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

4. He is seen waiting. Jesus is seen waiting for this dear woman to come His way. He has a wonderful gift that He wants to give to her. She never imagined meeting a Jewish rabbi at the well. Jesus, however, knew she was coming, and He waited patiently to rescue this one lost sheep.

B. The sinner (verse 7a). The second person in this great play is a woman, a woman who is sinful and in need of salvation. According to verse 6, it is about the sixth hour. According to the Jewish clock, this would have been around 12 noon. The woman probably came to the well at this time, alone, to avoid the insults and attacks of the other women. The reason for her ostracization is evident in verses 16-18. Even her own people hated her.

C. The scene (verses 7b-8). Notice that it is just Jesus and the woman. All the distractions of her life have been removed. None of her five ex-husbands are present. None of the women who so intensely hated her and her lifestyle are to be found here. It is just her and Jesus.


A. They talked of wells (verse 9-12). When Jesus asked her for a drink, He apparently had no means by which to draw water (verse 11). The woman responded with amazement that a Jew would ask for a drink from a woman, much less a Samaritan. Jesus then offers her a drink of “living water.” She confuses the physical with the spiritual. Salvation is not a transaction that can be explained in human terms. It is a spiritual transaction. At this point, she is not ready for salvation. She is a little sarcastic, but Jesus is leading her in the right direction.

B. They talked of water (verses 13-15). Jesus tells her that she can drink from Jacob’s well every day, and she will still get thirsty and have to come back and draw again. Jesus is telling her, “I can give you one drink of living water, and you will be satisfied forever.”

C. They talked of wickedness (verses 16- 19). In an effort to awaken her to her spiritual need, Jesus plainly touches on what must have been the sorest spot in her life. He pointed out her sinfulness! This may seem cruel of the Lord, but nobody will ever come to Jesus for salvation until he or she is first awakened to his or her own personal need.

D. They talked of worship (verses 20-24). Since they are on the topic of religion, the woman proceeds to show Jesus that she is no slacker in that area either. She tries to start an argument about the proper place to worship. Jesus simply ignores her point and tells her that true worship is never found in external rituals and substitutes for God; true worship can only be found in the spiritual worship of the Lord, that is, in worship that comes from His indwelling Spirit.

E. They talked of wisdom (verses 25-26). This lady displays openness to the words of Jesus. She reveals that she is concerned about salvation and about the things of God. Jesus simply reveals Himself as the Messiah she needs.

In these verses, Jesus gave this woman all that she needed to make a decision about her salvation.


A. It was immediate (verse 28a). As soon as Jesus revealed Himself to her, she responded in faith, and her salvation was instantaneous. There was no mourner’s bench, no praying through, no holding on, no 12-step program. She simply trusted, and she was instantly justified.

B. It was incredible (verse 28b). She ran off in her excitement and forgot why she even went to the well. She just left her water pot behind. She forgot the plans and the pull of her old life when she met Jesus. She came to the well for physical water and discovered spiritual water. She met Jesus and was forever changed.

C. It was compelling (verses 28c-29). She ran to the city to tell others about this Man she had met. She felt compelled to tell others about the salvation she had just experienced.

Salvation will give you a message to share and a heart from which to share it. When you meet Jesus, you want to help others find their way out of sin, too.


What was it that took this woman from being a hardened sinner who was dead to spiritual things and be transformed into a powerful witness for the Lord? It can be summed up in one word: Jesus! He makes the difference in any life He touches. I invite you to come to Jesus today.