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Fourth Thursday


John 4:5-42

Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now. 

Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.

Today we are reading a story you may well know. It’s the story of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. I want you to put aside what you know of this story and listen with fresh ears. Listen for what new revelation the Holy Spirit may want to show you today. If you are able, close your eyes and imagine the story playing out as a movie in your mind. What do you see or notice? Write down phrases or words that stick out to you and reflect on them later.

This is the first time Jesus reveals himself to be the Son of God. And He chose his first revelation to be to a Samaritan woman. In her own right as a lowly Samaritan woman, a Jewish man would have never approached her in public as Jesus does. On top of that her history makes her an outcast even to her own people. She travels to a well at the height of the day when the sun is at it’s hottest so she wouldn’t have to be seen by anyone. And then Jesus comes along.

This is a story of Jesus revealing his heart the for the outcast, those on the margins, and how he will give Living Water to all those who ask. Regardless of their place in society or if others would deem them deserving.

Let’s read this powerful story together.

John 4:5-42
He had to go through Samaria, 5 and he came to a town in Samaria named Sychar. It was near the place which Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired from the journey, sat down there by the well. It was about midday.

7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus spoke to her.
‘Give me a drink,’ he said. 8 (The disciples had gone off into the town to buy food.)

9 ‘What!’ said the Samaritan woman. ‘You, a Jew, asking for a drink from me, a woman, and a Samaritan at that?’ (Jews, you see, don’t have any dealings with Samaritans.)

10 ‘If only you’d known God’s gift,’ replied Jesus, ‘and who it is that’s saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you’d have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’

11 ‘But sir,’ replied the woman, ‘you haven’t got a bucket! And the well’s deep! So how were you thinking of getting living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, with his sons and his animals?’

13 ‘Everyone who drinks this water’, Jesus replied, ‘will get thirsty again. 14 But anyone who drinks the water I’ll give them won’t ever be thirsty again. No: the water I’ll give them will become a spring of water welling up to the life of God’s new age.’

15 ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘give me this water! Then I won’t be thirsty any more, and I won’t have to come here to draw from the well.’

16 ‘Well then,’ said Jesus to the woman, ‘go and call your husband and come here.’

17 ‘I haven’t got a husband,’ replied the woman.

‘You’re telling me you haven’t got a husband!’ replied Jesus. 18 ‘The fact is, you’ve had five husbands, and the one you’ve got now isn’t your husband. You were speaking the truth!’

19 ‘Well, sir,’ replied the woman, ‘I can see you’re a prophet . . . 20 Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain. And you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.’

21 ‘Believe me, woman,’ replied Jesus, ‘the time is coming when you won’t worship the father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You worship what you don’t know. We worship what we do know; salvation, you see, is indeed from the Jews. 23 But the time is coming – indeed, it’s here already! – when true worshippers will worship the father in spirit and in truth. Yes; that’s the kind of worshippers the father is looking for. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.’

25 ‘I know that Messiah is coming,’ said the woman, ‘the one they call “the anointed”. When he comes, he’ll tell us everything.’

26 ‘I’m the one – the one speaking to you right now,’ said Jesus.

27 Just then Jesus’ disciples came up. They were astonished that he was talking with a woman; but nobody said ‘What did you want?’ or ‘Why were you talking with her?’ 28 So the woman left her water-jar, went into the town and spoke to the people.

29 ‘Come on!’ she said. ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! You don’t think he can be the Messiah, do you?’

30 So they left the town and were coming out to him.

31 Meanwhile the disciples were nagging him.
‘Come on, rabbi!’ they were saying. ‘You must have something to eat!’

32 ‘I’ve got food to eat that you know nothing about,’ he said.

33 ‘Nobody’s brought him anything to eat, have they?’ said the disciples to one another.

34 ‘My food’, replied Jesus, ‘is to do the will of the one who sent me, and to finish his work! 35 Don’t you have a saying, “Another four months, then comes harvest”? Well, let me tell you, raise your eyes and see! The fields are white! It’s harvest time already! 36 The reaper earns his pay, and gathers crops for the life of God’s coming age, so that sower and reaper can celebrate together. 37 This is where that saying comes true, “One sows, another reaps”. 38 I sent you to reap what you didn’t work for. Others did the hard work, and you’ve come into the results.’

39 Several Samaritans from that town believed in Jesus because of what the woman said in evidence about him, ‘He told me everything I did.’ 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them. And he stayed there two days.

41 Many more believed because of what he said.

42 ‘We believe, too,’ they said to the woman, ‘but it’s no longer because of what you told us. We’ve heard him ourselves! We know that he really is the one! He’s the saviour of the world!’

Enduring Presence, goal and guide, you go before and await our coming. Only our thirst compels us beyond complaint to conversation, beyond rejection to relationship. Pour your love into our hearts, that, refreshed and renewed, we may invite others to the living water given to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


  1. What is something new that was revealed reading this story again?
  2. In a practice of scripture meditation, write down 50 questions about this passage. Challenge yourself and see what kinds of questions come up, keep reading until you have all 50.