Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus in Samaria

John 4:1-30; 39-42

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Heals an Official's Son (John 4:43-54)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9

Opening Prayer

Samaria (1 Kings 11-12)
    What did God do with the nation of Israel after Solomon turned to the gods of his foreign wives?
      1 Kings 11:29-33 = Split it and gave the northern 10 tribes to Jeroboam
    Where did Jeroboam select for the capital of this northern nation of Israel?
      1 Kings 12:25 = Shechem (Later to Tirzah - 1K 14:17)
    Where was Israel's capital for most of the nation's existence?
      1 Kings 16:23-24 = Samaria (Bought & built by Omri)

What Happened to Samaria? (2 Kings 17)
    How faithful to God did this new nation begin?
      1 Kings 12:26-29 = Jeroboam immediately created his own religion
    What eventually happened to the nation of Israel and why? = v6 - Scattered them in Assyria
      2 Kings 17:21-23 = Persisted in the sins of Jeroboam, exiled to Assyria (253 yrs later)
    What happened to the land of Israel, Samaria?
      2 Kings 17:24 = Settled by other peoples who had also been conquered by Assyria

Faith of the Samaritans (2 Kings 17)
    How did this melting pot of people learn about God? = Also intermixed with stragglers
      2 Kings 17:26-28 = A Jewish priest was sent back to teach them to worship God
    Did this group of non-Jews become faithful to God? = Today: Believe what you want
      2 Kings 17:29, 33, 41 = While worshipping God, they also worshipped their gods

Help to Rebuild the Temple (Ezra 4)
    Who wanted to help the Jews rebuild the temple after they returned from Babylonian exile?
      Ezra 4:1-2 = Samaritans: We've sacrificed to God since Assyrians brought us here
    Did the Jews accept this help & why or why not?
      Ezra 4:3 = No, the Samaritans weren't pure Israelites
    How did the Samaritans accept this rejection?
      Ezra 4:4-5, 24 = They frustrated & stopped the reconstruction efforts
    What happened when the Jews listened to Haggai & Zechariah and started building again?
      Ezra 5:3, 5 = Samaritans tried to stop them again & wrote a letter to King Darius
    How did King Darius respond to the Samaritans request to stop the Jews?
      Ezra 6:7-8 = He ordered the Samaritans to stay away and to help financially

Reconstruction of the City Walls (Ezra 4; Nehemiah 4)
    Did the effort to rebuild the city walls meet any opposition? = v21 - Xerxes order to stop work
      Ezra 4:6, 12 = Samaritans wrote a letter to Xerxes and got him to stop the building
      Note: King Xerxes married a Jew (Esther) who saved Jews from annihilation
    Did they meet any opposition the second time around?
      Nehemiah 4:1-3 = The Samaritans ridiculed the Jews & their efforts
    How did the Samaritans respond when the wall reached half its height?
      Nehemiah 4:6-8, 11 = They planned to attack Jerusalem & end the work
    Did this threat stop the efforts?
      Nehemiah 4:16-18 = The Jews kept working but were always ready to defend
    What other opposition did Nehemiah resist?
      Nehemiah 6:1-14 = Tried to harm N out of town, charged treason & tried to discredit

Between the Testaments
    Manasseh, a renegade Jew, married a daughter of the Samaritan Sanballat (Neh 13:28)
      Founded a temple on Mount Gerizim to rival Jerusalem's
    129 BC - John Hyrcanus (Jewish leader) attacked Samaria & destroyed temple on Mount Gerizim
    Ecclesiasticus called the Samaritans "no nation ... the foolish people that dwell in Shechem"
      Rabbis said: He who eats their bread is as he who eats swine's flesh

Those Beloved Samaritans
    How did Ezekiel show the Jews' feelings towards the Samaritans in his condemnation of Judah?
      Ezekiel 16:46-47 = Judah became as evil and even worse than Sodom and Samaria
    What horrible curse name did a group of hating Jews come up with to call Jesus?
      John 8:48 = Accused Him of being a demon-possessed Samaritan

Jesus Travels to Galilee (John 4:1-6)
    What was the normal path Jews took to travel between Judea and Galilee?
      Matthew 16:21a; 19:1 = Around Samaria, east of Jordan - 6 days vs 3 thru Samaria
    What path did Jesus decide to take on His trip to Galilee in today's story?
      John 4:4 = He had to go through Samaria so that His disciples would see this story
    What had Jesus been doing in Judea?
      John 3:22-23 = Preaching and baptizing
    Why did Jesus decide to leave Judea at this time?
      John 4:1-3 = The Pharisees would try to say Jesus & John were competing
    What did John the Baptist think about Jesus' disciple baptizing more than him?
      John 3:26-30 = He must become greater; I must become less
    Where does this story take place? = Around noon (6th hour) - Jewish day is 6 am to 6 pm
      John 4:5-6 = At Jacob's well near Sychar in Samaria (still there today), next to Mt. Gerizim
      Genesis 33:18-19 = Jacob bought the land
      Genesis 48:22 = Jacob gave the land to Joseph & his descendants before he died
      Joshua 24:32 = Joseph's bones were carried out of Egypt in Exodus & buried there

A Forbidden Encounter (John 4:7-9)
    What happened while Jesus rested by Himself at Jacob's well?
      John 4:7-8 = A Samaritan woman came to get water, Jesus asked for a drink
      Notes: This well was over 1/2 mile from town, People normally used the village well
        Women fetched water in morning & evening, It was noon
        Woman was obviously an outcast trying to avoid contact with others
    Despite Jesus being tired and thirsty, why was it amazing that He had asked for a drink?
      John 4:9 = He was a Jew and she was a Samaritan & a woman
      Notes: It was improper for any man to speak in public with a strange woman
        Rabbis were forbidden to greet any woman in public, even a wife/daughter/sister

Living Water (John 4:10-15)
    How did Jesus answer her question in a way to tell her who He really was?
      John 4:10 = You should instead be asking me for living water
    How did the woman misunderstand Jesus' revelation?
      John 4:11 = How can He give her water without any way of getting it
      Notes: The well is over 100 ft deep fed by water percolated through the ground
        Travelers carried leather bags for drawing well water, disciples had theirs in town
        Living water referred to running water from a stream
    What did the woman think about this stranger knowing where to get water besides the well?
      John 4:12 = Even Jacob couldn't find any other water and had to dig this well
    How did Jesus try to explain that He was talking about a different type of water?
      John 4:13-14 = Whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst but have eternal life
    It is said that mankind needs air, food and water to have life. How does this apply to Jesus?
      John 20:22 = The eternal air is the Holy Spirit that Jesus breathes
      John 6:48 = I am the Bread of Life
      Revelation 21:6 = He gives water from the spring of the Water of Life
      John 1:4-5 = He is the Light of Life
    How did the woman reply mockingly to this ridiculous statement?
      John 4:15 = I'll play along - give me this water so I don't have to come here every day

No Conversion Without Conviction (John 4:16-18)
    How does Jesus begin to show her the need to understand what He is saying?
      John 4:16 = Tells her to get her husband - Could be taken "So I can explain it to him"
    How does this both reveal her need to us and how this stranger might help?
      John 4:17-18 = Jesus tells her seedy details of her life He couldn't know
      Note: Jews allowed women to divorce twice, at most 3 times; 5 times was wicked

Mount Gerizim or Mount Zion (John 4:19-24)
    Realizing now that Jesus had to be from God, how does she respond to His accusations?
      John 4:19-20 = Changes the subject with a tricky technical question
    How does Jesus answer this controversial question and bring her further toward conversion?
      John 4:21-24 (see also Galatians 3:26-29) = There is now a new Israel, temple is spirit

Conversion (John 4:25-30)
    How did the woman show she was beginning to understand what Jesus was saying?
      John 4:25 = She knew the Messiah would come & explain all these difficult questions
      Samaritan bible only had Pentateuch (1st 5 books); knew little of Messiah, expected a teacher
    What final blow did Jesus then throw? = Only time before His trial when He said He was the Messiah
      John 4:26 = He said He was the Messiah
    What forced the woman to stop asking questions?
      John 4:27 = The disciples returned
    How did she react to this strange talk she had just had with Jesus?
      John 4:28-29 = She forgot her water jar and told everyone to come see Jesus

The Result of Traveling Through Samaria (John 4:39-42)
    What did the villagers think of what this outcast woman was saying?
      John 4:30, 39 = They came to see Him themselves and began to believe
    What did the people think after they heard Jesus for themselves?
      John 4:40-41 = Many became believers
    What important lesson was taught by this walk through Samaria early in Jesus' ministry?
      John 4:42 = Jesus was the Messiah, not just for the Jews, but Savior of the world

Spread of the Gospel (Acts 1:8)
    How does this calling Jesus the Savior of the world parallel the growth of the gospel in Acts?
      Acts 1:8 = Witnesses in Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria and to the ends of the earth
      John 2:23; 3:22; 4:4; 4:42 = Jesus in Jerusalem to Judea to Samaria, Savior of world
    How does this parallel our own calling to witness of our faith?
      Matthew 28:19-20 = Make disciples at home, of neighbors, of acquaintances, of world

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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