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John 4 Scripture Study: The Thirst Quencher

The scripture in this lesson is better known as the story of the woman at the well. It is a great lesson that Christians of any age can learn from. She acted as an example that we should all follow by going forward and spreading news of the great things that she had witnessed. Additionally, she brought others to Jesus to experience his omniscient, loving touch. The great commission had not yet been given (Mark 16), but she presents to us an example of fulfilling that command.

Thirst (John 4:7-15)

Let's first look at a little history about the Jews, Samaritans, and the racial wall dividing these two. Yes, racism and bigotry existed in biblical times. The Samaritans were viewed as "half-breeds" by the Jews. Early in the history of Samaria they had people from many pagan nations living in the area. The victorious king of Assyria moved those people in along with a Jewish priest to teach them how to worship the God they viewed as "the god of the land." The remaining Jews intermarried with the people of other faiths and also intermingled their religious beliefs (many watered down their beliefs in God). [i]

It is because of this history that you are able to understand the reason behind Jewish dislike of anyone of a Samaritan race. Jesus sets the example for us and shows us that everyone is worthy of the living water that he offers. This history lesson also gives you the significance behind her statement that the Jews "have no dealings with the Samarians." If you read a little beyond these verses (v 34) you will see that Jesus says "my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." This was in response to the disciples asking if someone had brought him food.

The verses between 15 and 23 show that this woman has had five husbands and is currently living with a man who is not her husband. These mistakes that she has made in her life do not affect her ability to receive the living water offered to all who are willing to accept it. Sure, she made mistakes as we all have. Some of us have had many more years to make many more mistakes than others. The best news that you can hear is that none of that matters since Jesus' shed blood on the cross washed away all of that and can make you "whiter than snow."

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