Unit 21, Session 4: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
At the time Jesus was on earth, Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along. The strife between the two groups stretched back hundreds of years, to the Babylonian exile.
When the Babylonians attacked Judah, they moved a large group of God’s people away from their homes. But some of the people—the poorest, sickest, least able to work—were left behind in the region that became known as Samaria. The exile lasted 70 years. During that time, those left in Samaria began to mingle with their neighbors to the north. They intermarried and practiced foreign customs. While the Samaritans still believed in God, they adapted foreign beliefs as well.
The Jews who returned home from Babylon to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem rejected this new way of life. They were dedicated to obeying and worshiping God, so they didn’t agree with the Samaritans’ practices. The Samaritans opposed the Jews’ efforts to reestablish their nation. In time, the Jews’ hate for the Samaritans grew—so much so that a Jew traveling from Judea to Galilee would take a longer route to travel around Samaria rather than through it.
Jesus broke down barriers when He traveled to Galilee by way of Samaria. Even more surprising, Jesus stopped at a well around noon and asked a Samaritan woman for a drink. Jewish men did not speak to women in public.
But Jesus was kind to her, and He offered her a gift: living water. The woman didn’t understand, but Jesus revealed His knowledge of her past. He even gave her a glimpse of the future. The Samaritan woman expected a Messiah to come and fix everything. Jesus said, “I am He.”
Explain to kids that the living water Jesus offers is the Holy Spirit. (See John 7:37-39.) The Holy Spirit is a gift that He is eager to give us when we ask Him. Those who receive His grace will never be thirsty again.
Jesus offers something better than physical water; He gives us Himself. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to everyone who comes to Him by faith. We can worship Him as Lord and Savior wherever we are.
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
- Why was the Samaritan woman surprised Jesus talked to her?
- Why is the Holy Spirit called “living water”?
- How can we be fi lled with “living water”?
- What happened when the woman told the people in her town about Jesus?
God blesses us in so many ways. It is good to remember the blessings we have from God. The Bible teaches that every good gift is from God. The best gift we could receive is salvation from sin. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to those who believe. When
we have the Holy Spirit living with us, our hearts overflow with joy, and the blessings in our lives can be used to bless other people too.
your friends” or “I like your red hair” for instance.
If weather permits, play with your family in the yard with a sprinkler. Talk to your kids about the way the water fi lls the hose before shooting out of the sprinkler. Ask them to
think of ways to "shoot out" God's love onto others.