The Samaritan Woman

Study Guide

Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman is a beautiful picture of how he engages us in our brokenness. Although his exposure of her shame is painful, he leads her in love towards faith and healing. As a result, her story compels many in her community to follow Christ.
  1. We can’t experience true faith and healing without our sin being exposed. Have you experienced a time when God brought your shame and failures to the surface? How did that exposure affect you? What role did it play in shaping your faith?

  2. What comes to mind when you think about what Christianity looks like in your life? Does it primarily involve a list of rituals: attending church, serving, reading the Bible, etc.? If so, what does that reveal about your relationship with God?

  3. When the Holy Spirit prompts us to move, it’s important for us to respond even when we don’t know where it is going. Has God been prompting you to move in any areas of your life recently? How should you respond?

Key Points
  • The woman’s need for water is real, but it is not her greatest need. We also can become obsessed with legitimate needs that are not our greatest need.

  • Jesus exposes her shame, which is painful. But we can only find genuine faith and healing when our sins are exposed.

  • In his love, Jesus forces her to a moment of judgment in order to give her an opportunity to go in a new direction. Likewise, if we are willing, Jesus will bear our shame.

  • It’s easy for us to think of Christianity as a series of rituals, but it is above all a relationship with Jesus. The substance of our faith is that Jesus died for us and put us in right relationship with God.

  • When the woman shares her story, many are compelled to hear more. We also should respond to God’s prompting, even when we don’t know where the journey will take us.

Other Scripture References

Scripture: John 4:1-42