Day 6 – Up Close and Personal Mini-Study

John 4:15-26

He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

“I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

This time, I’d love for you to read the scriptures and share with me (us) what you see in this passage. Why do you think Jesus asked her to go get her husband? Why do you think she kind of avoids the husband issue and focuses on where she should worship? Or is there something else that catches your attention.

I love how God speaks to all of us differently through the same passage so I really want to hear what you are thinking. Please click on the word “comments” below to share your thoughts. I’ll be back later to share mine.

Good Friday Blessings ~

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Renee, I just love this mini study. Thanks for asking us to share our thoughts.

    Through this passage, the woman’s perception of Christ goes from a stranger, to “a Jew”, then “Sir”, a “prophet” and finally she sees Him as He really is – “Messiah”. Makes me reflect back on my journey, leading me to find Christ as my Savior. Still, in many ways, that journey continues, for the more I know Him, the more I realize there is to know.

    I also find it amazing what Jesus doesn’t say. He mentions her past and present relationships, but doesn’t mention her sin. He doesn’t tell her she must repent and ask for forgiveness. He doesn’t lay down a plan of salvation. He just leads her gently to see herself. No condemnation in Christ.

    Her heart had wandered to other men, but my heart wanders too…to things and thoughts that take me away from the Lord. May my heart be satisfied in Christ alone.

    Thanking God this weekend for the love that cost Him everything, yet came so freely to me.
    Because He lives,
    Joy

  2. This part makes me smile because I recognize it so. Jesus is right there in front of her offering her living water, showing that He KNOWS her intimately, and she retreats into the “safety” of a religious debate!

    If she can just focus on the difference between the religious practices of her Samaritan background and the Jews, maybe she can divert Him from digging up that uncomfortable personal stuff!

    Could He please just hurry up and give her this water so she can go home and quit coming to the well?!

    His response only confuses her further, so she tells Him that she’ll just wait for the Messiah to come and explain everything.

    And then He reveals Himself to her.

    And her life is never the same.

    She, who was so concerned about her physical water and no longer having to come to the well, just leaves her jar in her hurry to go tell her friends.

    (Oops, haven’t gotten to that part yet!!)

    How many times do I want to engage God in a “debate” instead of letting Him get to the heart of my need?

  3. Renee,
    I feel the emptiness in the woman’s confession: “I have no husband.” with these seemingly simple words she opens her heart and reveals all of her past hurts and disappointments. She doesn’t know, at the time, that Jesus knows about it all. Her words must have been heavy on her tongue, and her heart. And when Jesus spoke the truth of her life, how liberated she must have felt!
    We too have that freedom. The knowledge that Jesus knows every detail of our lives; our every thought, our every desire. Yet he loves us.
    Amazing!
    Happy Easter, Friend!

  4. The whole story is about discovery. It is discovering who you are, who Christ is, and who you can be in Christ.

    She still isn’t sure who He is and each step of the conversation is about more discovery.

    The discovery starts with
    – “Jewish man” asking for water
    – that “Jewish man” becomes the “Not afraid of Samaritans Man” that talks about special water
    – that man becomes ” So you think you are Better than my Ancestors Man” who knows all about her past
    – that man becomes “Prophet Man” and says He is the Messiah

    I believe she’s convinced that He is the Messiah by the end of the story.

    All of his comments and questions are met by her own comments and questions as a way to discover who He really is.

    He engage us the same way. Softly, tenderly, breaking down the barriers to our hearts until we can see who He really is.

  5. When the woman had to say, I have no husband, I know all the men she had been with, all the ugliness of her life had to be in her mind. I’m sure she wouldn’t want this man to know her past. The thing is, she didn’t realize at the time that He already knew and that He loved her still.

    This whole series has reminded me of how much Jesus loves me unconditionally because He know my ugly past as well. Jesus went out of His way to come to me just as He did for this woman. When I was deep in the pit of addiction and abuse, He came to me. I thought He wouldn’t want me….not me. I’m a drunk, not me. I’m not worth having Jesus want/love me. Not so. He gently, lovingly lifted me in His arms of grace and mercy and placed me on a solid foundation. My life hasn’t been the same since.

    Thank you, Renee, for blessing me each day with you blogs. I’m new to the blog scene. I just started blogging last week. I want to share my journey and I hope it will help someone. I read your blogs daily. God always speaks to me. Thanks for being obedient.

    Kim

  6. Hi Renee,
    I’m still in the midst of catching up since our trip to Florida. I printed off your mini-study so I can read it at my leisure. I look forward to reading it this weekend.

    What struck me from today’s passage was the phrase, Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” How exciting, scary, and thrilling it must have been when He said those words. The long awaited Messiah had finally come, and He allowed a “lowly” woman know who He really was.

    I’m praying for your open house this weekend and also that you have some special time together as family as you celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.

    Sweet Blessings,
    Jodie
    “Pearls”

  7. Wow! Great comments so far! 🙂

    Again, Renee, I love this study! I know I’ve said it several times, but I truly do mean it!

    I think Jesus asked her to get her husband to have her speak the truth. Most people probably tormented her, teased her, shamed her. Jesus simply asked a question to get what was troubling her out in the open. She responded honestly to his question. No one else ever asked her anything, nor offered her anything for that matter. Only accusations and dirty looks were probably ever presented to her. I imagine that she answered Jesus with her head downcast and her eyes looking at the dirt instead of into Jesus’ eyes. I doubt she wanted to be who she was, but she was trapped in the vicious cycle of finding love, acceptance, and joy in a man. She knew about the Messiah, but didn’t know she was speaking to Him. Maybe her spirit knew and that is why she opened up to Him. hmmmm

    Jesus responded to her answer by saying that what she spoke was truth. Then told her more than she thought any stranger should know about her. She softened…acknowledge Him as a prophet, but not elaborating on what He said.

    Yet He did not condemn her. He simply spoke to her spirit and truth; then revealed who He was. How awesome that moment must have been?!?!?! Could you imagine her eyes popping out of her head at this very moment? Her heart skipping a beat at hearing the words “I who speak to you am he.” The exhiliration that must have been coursing through her viens to to know that she was speaking to the MESSIAH!

    Whoo! Gives me chill bumpers!

    Love you girls! Have a Happy Easter!

    Rebecca

  8. Good teaching, girl!
    I love reading everyone’s insights and gaining new nuggets from each!

    He is Risen!!!
    love,
    Micca

  9. True worship…spirit and truth worship. No mountaintop moments required. No pilgrimages to the temple necessary. Simply pure worship within the confines of heart made for worship.

    At home. In the car. In the workplace. In the grocery. At the well. Whatever our path, our hearts follow alongside. True worship…the kind our Father is after…is meant for now and for always.

    How thankful I am that my Father made a visit to the well of my need to teach me his truth.

    A Good Friday indeed. Praise his holy name.

    peace~elaine

  10. Oooh, I am lovin’ your insights. Please keep ’em coming. I would much rather read your thoughts a little longer. I just love what you gals have shared!!!

    We had a Good Friday service tonight and it was amazing to reflect on the stages of Jesus’ journey to the Cross . God showed me tonight that although I am not worthy of what it cost Him – I was worth what it cost. Does that make sense?

    To be worthy – I’d have to do something to deserve it.

    To be worth it – He’d have to do something to prove that worth

    And He did because I’m His child. My worth is proven through what He did, my unworthiness is proven through the fact that I could never do enough. And I am so thankful I don’t have to!!! I’ve never thought of that before.

    Deep thoughts,
    Renee

  11. Here is this woman, who like me, doesn’t want to deal with her past, yet has to everyday… in dealing with the rejection of her own peers. And instead of judgemental glances, Jesus just brings it out in the open. “Go get your husband.” I can imagine the shame washing over her. I have felt it. Seeking what she thought was love, in different mens’ arms. And as soon as she realized that He knew all the details of her life, she ran and hid in technicalities of worship.

    How many times, when God has wanted to be upfront with me about something going on in my life, have I hid in something else, to change the subject, to draw the focus off of me? Haven’t we all?

    Even now, it scares me to know that Jesus can see all the way inside of me, that He knows all about me, and yet still wants to flood those darkest places with His living water. So I run and hide and change the subject.

    As her knowledge and understanding of who Jesus was, deepened, Sam got to the point of not caring anymore what He thought, because He just loved and accepted her, baggage and all. THAT’s what changed her life. THAT’S what caused her to run back to town to tell everyone she met about Him.

    As our knowledge and undersdanding of who Jesus is deepens, our lives are changed as well. Especially once we can know in our heads and fully believe in our hearts that He loves and accepts us no matter what our pasts have been.

    God bless to all of you,
    Heather

  12. Jesus knew her heart. Jesus is leading the conversation and directing her attention to His purpose. He wanted to illustrate to her that He is here and the door is opened for her to come and worship Him where she is.

    She is asked to bring her husband, because she is a woman who draws attention. If she causes one to follow her, others would wonder why they are following her and will want to find out, so they follow the crowd. It is an opportunity to cause a ripple for Christ’s sanctification of man.

    I love how God and Jesus alike, used the most unexpected to make a difference in the lives of man to advance His kingdom. Ain’t it awesome?

  13. I believe he tells her to go get her husband to lead the conversation to revealation at how much he knows about her. When he made it personal, it opened her up to believing he is the Messiah.

  14. Renee,
    Here are some additional thoughts I came up with.

    I think she responds with a typical guilty conscience. She knows that she is living in sin, but she skirts that issue and chooses to ask a question of Jesus instead. Are we any different? When we face an uncomfortable question, isn’t it so much easier to ask a question in return, so the focus is off of ourselves?

    She also looks at ‘religion’ instead of a personal relationship, only because that is all she has ever heard is religion. But Jesus breaks through all the religious thoughts to point to the idea of having a one on one relationship with Him.

    I think He points out the husband issue, because He knows the truth, but yet He still loves and accepts her. Even in her sin, Jesus reached out to her. He offers the same to us. Our sins are no different in Jesus’ eyes. They still separate us from Him.

    Blessings,
    Jodie
    “Pearls”

  15. Anonymous says:

    What I see in this scripture is that so many times we try to hide our shame and hide from our past because we feel what we have done is so bad that we never have an intimate relationship with the Lord. I think Sam was so ashamed of her past that she felt this way and Jesus came to her to offer His living water to her…to let her know she could lay down her
    burden of shame and heartache. That she being of lower class and a
    humiliating past was free to worship the Father in Spirit and in truth because who the Son sets free is free indeed.

    Thanks for letting me share…

    Many Blessings…Joy W

  16. Now I feel stpdiu. That’s cleared it up for me

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