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.
I. THE ENCOUNTER WITH A SINFUL
WOMAN (VERSES 1-8)
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.
II. THE CONVERSATION WITH A SINFUL
WOMAN (VERSES 9-26)
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
In these verses, Jesus gave this woman
all that she needed to make a decision about
III. THE CONVERSION OF A SINFUL
WOMAN (VERSES 27-30)
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