The Salvation of the Samaritan Woman

Bible Book: John  4 : 25-29
Subject: Salvation; The Samaritan Woman; Redemption; Testimony; Witness

John 4:25-29

One thing that invariably stands out when reading about Christ’s personal dealings with people is His magnificent wisdom. Jesus knew just how to approach every person. He always knew how to get to the heart of the problem in a person’s heart. The Apostle John alludes to this idea when he says, “…he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (John 2: 24b-25).

The account found in John chapter four is a perfect example of Christ’s knowledge of human nature. But that’s not the only thing in view here. We also see Christ’s wisdom and love in dealing with human nature. In spite of all the Savior knew about those He dealt with, He loved them just the  same. Very few of us can lay claims to that kind of love and compassion.

The kind of love that Jesus had for people was such that only God could possess. In stark contrast to the surface and selfish love so prevalent in our world today, Jesus shows a non-condemning attitude toward this Samaritan woman. This was in spite of the fact that Jesus was fully aware of her lifestyle.

But Jesus’ acceptance and lack of condemnation toward this woman actually kept the lines of communication open between them. Jews and Samaritans were historic enemies. Had Christ’s approach been one of judgment and condemnation, this woman would likely have never been saved.

Let’s listen and learn as Jesus communicates with this Samaritan sinner.

Theme - The wisdom and love of Jesus is seen in:

I. The Coming of the Woman

A. Notice The Circumstances.

Jesus had left Judea to avoid trouble with the Pharisees. John 4:1-3, “When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) 3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.”

Jesus had an appointment along His path. John 4:4-6, “And he must needs go through Samaria. 5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.”

Jesus’ side-trip into Sychar was no accident. It was an appointment. We would do well to remember that, in one sense, there are no accidents in the life of the child of God.

Rowland V. Bingham, founder of the Sudan Interior Mission, was once seriously injured in an automobile accident. He was rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

The following day, when he regained consciousness, he asked the nurse what he was doing there. “Don’t try to talk now, just rest,” she replied. “You have been in an accident.”

“Accident? Accident!” exclaimed Dr. Bingham. “There are no accidents in the life of a Christian. This is just an incident in God’s perfect leading.”1

Even the so-called accidents of our lives, while sometimes the result of human stupidity, are often divine appointments from God, which He uses to teach us needed spiritual truths.

Response to an insurance company:

I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block #3 of the accident form, I put “trying to do the job alone” as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new six- story building. When I completed my work, I found that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over.

Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the 6th floor.

Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of brick. You will note in block #11 of the accident report that I weight 135 pounds. But to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind, and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull, and broken collarbone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were 2 knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind, and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of my pain.

At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel then weighed approximately 50 pounds. I  refer you again to my weight in block #11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs, and lower body area. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

I am sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks, in pain…unable to stand…and watching the empty barrel six stories above me…I again lost my presence of mind and let go of the rope. The empty barrel weighed more than the rope, so it came back down on me, and broke both my legs. I hope I have furnished the information you have required.2

B. Notice The Conversation.

The woman was amazed. John 4:7-9, “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”

The amazement of this woman stemmed from two factors. Tremendous hatred existed between the Jews and Samaritans. The Jews viewed Samaritans as nothing more than dogs. Normally, a devout Jew would take the eastern route around the land of Samaria. The prejudices of the day prohibited conversation between men and women in public. Rabbis or men of high degree especially frowned upon this. Isn’t it wonderful to know that Jesus loves the social outcast, as well as the socially acceptable? Jesus’ ministry was concerned with basically one group of people—the lost. Jesus Himself put it like this: “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19: 10).

Jesus makes an assertion. John 4: 10 “Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he   would have given thee living water.”

In essence Jesus said, “Dear lady, if you had known who I am, you’d really be amazed that I had asked anything of you.” Oh folks, listen! Not only did the Son of God humble Himself to talk to a mere human being, but He talked to one considered to be the lowest of the low to a Jew.

Jesus was also saying, “If you had known the gift that God wants to give you, you’d have been the petitioner rather than Me.”

This woman is amused. John 4:11-12, “The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle.”

The Samaritan woman wanted to know where Jesus acquired this living water He was telling her about. The fact was she was looking at the Living Water, even as she asked the question. Rev.22: 1 says, “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

This lady was very sincere in this question. However, since she was ignorant of Christ’s true identity, she was unaware that Jacob had once clung to the pre-incarnate Christ in helplessness and  begged His blessing (Gen.32: 24-27). Yes, Jesus was in fact greater than Jacob could have ever hoped to be.

Jesus gives an assurance. Jacob’s well could provide only temporary satisfaction. John 4: 13 “Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:”

The word “drinketh” is in a construction of the Greek that demands continuous action. The idea is, “Everyone who keeps on constantly drinking of this water shall thirst again.”3

Jacob’s well could only meet physical needs, and even then, only on a temporary basis. Jesus’ well would meet ones spiritual needs permanently.

Countless people of our day are trying to find satisfaction from the wells of the world, only to discover they are still unfulfilled. As a matter of fact, the wells of the world aren’t wells at all—only cesspools. The cesspools of illicit sex, drugs and drink, power, popularity, and possessions will never satisfy  the longing in ones heart that only faith in Christ can fill.

Jesus’ well would provide timeless satisfaction. John 4: 14 “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

The word translated “drinketh” in this verse carries the idea of, “takes a drink of.”4 In other words, the action need not be repeated. One drink from the Well of Eternal Life, found only in Christ, results in complete and eternal satisfaction.

Jacob had given this woman a well that would help sustain a brief earthly life. Jesus wanted to give her the waters of eternal life.

The indwelling Holy Spirit sustains that eternal life of every believer.

John 7:37b-39 “…If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39a (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive…”

II. The Confusion of the Woman

Some folks are really confused these days about spiritual things. They’re a lot like this unfortunate fellow.

Harry Truman enjoyed telling about the man who was hit on the head at work. The blow was so severe he was knocked unconscious for an extended period of time. His family, convinced he was dead, called the funeral home and asked the local undertaker to pick him up at the hospital, which he did.

Early the following morning this dear man suddenly awoke and sat straight up in the casket. Confused, he blinked several times and looked around, trying to put the whole thing together. He thought, “If I’m alive, what in the world am I doing in this soft, satin-filled box? And if I’m dead, why do I have to go to the bathroom?”5

A. This Woman was Confused on the Subject of Water.

John 4:15-18, “The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 Jesus saith unto her, Go call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.”

This poor Samaritan sinner was still confused as to what Christ was talking about. She was still thinking merely of her physical needs. If this man Jesus could make her life easier, then that was what she wanted. It’s sad to say, but that’s still the way a lot of people think of Jesus - just someone to help them through the difficulties of life.

[2] It’s due to this woman’s misconception that Jesus brings up the subject of her marital life in verses 16-18. The point He was making was that her life didn’t need to be made easier, but her sins needed to be erased.

B. This Woman was Confused on the Subject of Worship.

This Samaritan woman confused worship with a place. John 4:19-20, “The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”

According to the Jewish historian, Josephus, Sanballat built a temple on Mt. Gerizim in the days of Nehemiah. John Hyrcanus destroyed it two hundred years later.

The Savior wanted this woman to understand that worship was about a Person. John 4:21-22, “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.”

Jesus’ statement that the Samaritans did not know what they worshipped, was probably due to the fact that they rejected all of the Old Testament except the Pentateuch, therefore their knowledge of God was limited.

To worship God is to recognize his worth or worthiness; to look God-ward, and to acknowledge in all appropriate ways the value of what we see. The Bible calls this activity “glorifying God” or “giving glory to God,” and views it as the ultimate end, and from one point of view, the whole duty of man (Ps. 29:2; 96:6; 1 Cor. 10:31).

This then is worship in its largest sense: petition as well as praise, preaching as well as prayer, hearing as well as speaking, actions as well as words, obeying as well as offering, loving people as well as loving God. However, the primary acts of worship are those which focus on God directly - and we must not imagine that work for God in the world is a substitute for direct fellowship with him in praise and prayer and devotion.6


The Savior also wanted this woman to understand that her worship was to be personal. John 4:23- 24, “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”

Listen folks. The most important thing in a person’s life is not where to worship, but Whom to worship. Only one who has come to know Christ as personal Savior can give true worship to God.

True biblical worship so satisfies our total personality that we don't have to shop around for man- made substitutes. William Temple made this clear in his masterful definition of worship: “For worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose—and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin.”7

III. The Conversion of the Woman

A. The Woman Is Enlightened.

John 4:25-26, “The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.”

B. The Woman’s Faith Is Expressed.

John 4:28-29, “The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”

Someone once said, “Little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.”8 I believe this woman experienced both. By faith this Samaritan sinner lay hold of the One who was not only able to tell her all things she’d ever done, but was also able to transform her heart.

C. The Woman’s Testimony Was Effective.

John 4:39-42, “And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his own word; 42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

Howard Hendricks has said, “In the midst of a generation screaming for answers, Christians are stuttering.”9 Not this lady. Once she exercised her faith in Christ, as the true Messiah, she didn’t hesitate to tell others about Him. Neither should we.


1 Source Unknown.
2 Taken from
3 Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies, Vol. III, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; Treasures From The Greek New Testament, pg. 29.
4 Ibid, pg. 29.
5 Harry Truman.
6 James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, July 1986, p. 15.

7 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 119.

8 Source unknown.

9 Howard Hendricks.