Lesson 2: A Woman Needing TruthRelated Media
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6)
Pray: Lord Jesus, please teach me through this lesson.
A Little Bit of History
In Jesus’ time, the two main geographical areas of the country of Israel were Galilee to the north and Judea to the south. Jerusalem, the capital city of Israel, was located in the south. Nazareth, Cana, Capernaum and other cities where Jesus spent most of His time were located in Galilee. Between those two areas was the territory called Samaria, home of the Samaritans.
The Samaritans were considered to be half-breeds, the product of mixed marriages between Jews and the foreign people imported by Assyria (a country that spanned modern-day Syria and northern Iraq) when it conquered the northern Kingdom in 722 BC. The Samaritans had a polluted worship of God, insisting God should be worshiped on their Mount Gerizim. The Samaritan Bible contained only the books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy) so they knew very little of God apart from that.
The Jews hated the Samaritans. Just being near them would make a Jew feel dirty. Though going through Samaria was the shortest route from Judea to Galilee, the Jews normally crossed the Jordan River to travel on the east side in order to avoid Samaria, especially since the Samaritans were generally hostile to traveling Jews.
Jesus, however, was not the typical Jew. Nothing could make him unclean. He travels through Samaria, and there He meets and talks with a Samaritan woman. Let’s call her ‘Samantha.’
1. Read John 2:25. What does Jesus know?
2. Read John 4:4-15. What did Jesus do when He got to Sychar (verses 5-6)?
Jesus was fully God and fully man. As a man, He experienced thirst, weariness, pain, and hunger. The “sixth hour” was noon according to Roman time.
3. How did Jesus begin a relationship with ‘Samantha’ (verse 7)?
4. ‘Samantha’ recognized Jesus as a Jew so she questioned His even talking to her. What gift did Jesus offer her in verse 10?
5. What additional explanation about “living water” does Jesus give to her in verses 13-14?
6. How did ‘Samantha’ respond (verse 15)?
7. Read John 7:37-39. When Jesus told her about “living water” (John 4:14), what was He offering to her?
Normally, a Jewish man would not speak publicly to women. But, Jesus did not hesitate to start the conversation. Drawing water was a daily chore for women. ‘Samantha’ thought Jesus was offering a way to meet that need to get water without her having to work for it.
To the people of Jesus’ day, “living water” referred to flowing water from a stream or spring rather than the still water found in a well or cistern. Such “living water” was highly valued. “Living water” in the Bible also referred to spiritual life. Jesus was offering to satisfy a deeper need than just physical thirst—the need for spiritual life.
8. Read John 4:16-26.
- In verses 16-18, what does Jesus know about her that shows you He is also God? (See John 2:25.)
- This time, what need do you think He was addressing in ‘Samantha’s’ life?
- How does ‘Samantha’ change the subject in verses 19-20?
Jesus gets to meddling in her personal life, pointing out an area of need she can’t meet on her own—to have real love, a moral life, and fulfilling relationships. In a few words, Jesus revealed her sin and her need for salvation. It’s as though He was asking, “How’s that working for you?”
9. What truth does Jesus say about worship in the following verses?
- Verse 21—
- Verse 22—
- Verse 23—
- Verse 24—
‘Samantha’ diverts the conversation away from her personal life to a controversial issue about where to worship God. Jesus responds by giving her truth (twice He mentions “truth”)—true worship is not dependent on a place but on “spirit and truth.”
The term “spirit” probably refers to the Holy Spirit of God who dwells inside all Christians and guides every believer to do what pleases God. True worship of God will be directed by the presence of the Holy Spirit and be rooted in the truth (meaning all of God’s written revelation, not just the books of Moses).
Notice that ‘Samantha’ refers to “our fathers” (verse 20) referring to traditions she knew. Jesus introduces God as “the Father,” indicating someone with whom she can have a loving relationship. This is more truth to satisfy her spiritual thirst.
10. Once again, Samantha changes the subject. What does she declare (verse 25)?
11. What truth does Jesus give to her about Himself (verse 26)?
The title “Christ” is from the Greek word christos, a translation of the Hebrew term “Messiah” meaning “anointed one.” The Old Testament prophets promised that the Messiah, as the anointed one of God, would come and do many wonderful things for God’s people, including restoring God’s Kingdom on earth. Christians are followers of Jesus, who is the Christ. ‘Samantha’ knew a little truth—a Messiah is coming. Jesus gave her more truth—He is that promised Messiah.
12. Read John 4:27-30.
- How did ‘Samantha’ respond to Jesus and His conversation with her (verses 28-29)?
- What did she leave behind (verse 28)?
- How did the townspeople respond to Samantha’s news (verse 30)?
13. Read John 4:39-42.
- How did the townspeople respond to what they heard (verses 39-40)?
- How long did Jesus stay to teach the Samaritans truth?
- What were the results (verse 41-42)?
‘Samantha’s’ words to her neighbors raised curiosity among them as Jesus had done with her. They came to see for themselves, and many believed in Him because of her story. They offered hospitality, urging Him to stay and continue teaching them truth that they then believed. In the last lesson, you read this:
“When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So, He began teaching them many things.” (Mark 6:34)
That is what Jesus is doing here—teaching truth to men and women who had been deprived of it before this.
14. Read John 6:40. What is the Father’s will?
15. Read John 14:6. What does Jesus declare about Himself?
We can confidently say this: Jesus is the way to know God as the Father because Jesus shows us the truth about God in His life, and He gives His life to anyone who believes in Him. What about you today? Do you believe that Jesus is the way to know God as your Father?
Satisfied by His Love
‘Samantha’ grew up knowing only half-truths. And, because she was deficient in truth, she could not have a proper relationship with the true God. Her need for spiritual life remained unsatisfied, then Jesus entered her life. Jesus is the Son of God who came to live as a man on this earth and to give eternal life to anyone who would believe in Him.
‘Samantha’ needed this truth as did every other person Jesus met on earth. Jesus satisfied her need for real life, real love, and fulfilling relationships by giving her Himself. And, He continues to offer that to everyone today.
By knowing the truth about Jesus and experiencing a relationship with Him, you will also be satisfied by His love.
16. Think about your story of knowing Jesus and respond according to your own experience:
- If you have already trusted in Jesus to be your Savior, think back to what life was like before knowing Jesus. What triggered your need for Jesus? What did God use to draw you to Him?
- If you trusted in Jesus as a child and kept faithful to Him through the years, what did God use to keep you drawn to Himself?
- If you have not made the decision to believe that Jesus is who He says He is—God’s Son, you can put your trust in Him today and experience His love for you right away. If you do this, tell someone. If you are still unsure, ask Jesus to reveal Himself through the truth of His Word. Ask someone to meet with you and answer questions you might have.
Jesus Satisfies Your Heart with Truth
On the night before His trial and crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that He was going there to prepare a place for them, and they could follow because they knew the way to get there.
But one of His disciples named Thomas wasn’t so sure about this. So, Thomas asked Jesus, “How can we know the way?” Jesus answered with a strong declaration of truth,
“‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
We can confidently say this: Jesus is the way to know God as Father because He shows us the truth about God in His life, and He gives His life to anyone who believes in Him.
Let’s look at each one of those words—Way, Truth, and Life.
Jesus is the Way.
Jesus says He is the only way for any person to have a relationship with God the Heavenly Father. By simply believing in Him.
Shortly after Jesus’ resurrection and ascension back to Heaven, one of Jesus’ followers named Peter confidently declared to the religious leaders of Jerusalem,
“Salvation is found in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
The first Christians were so convinced of Jesus being the only way to know God and taught this truth everywhere so they were called “followers of the way.” As a “follower of the way,” the apostle Paul traveled extensively preaching that Jesus is the way to know God, the way to receive forgiveness for your sins, and the way to live a life that pleases God. Anyone who asked him, “How can I know God?” Paul would answer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” He’s the way.
Based on this understanding, would you identify yourself as a “follower of the way?”
Other people may try to tell you that there are many ways to get to Heaven, such as just being a good person or doing good works. Or, they might say there are other gods out there besides the God of the Bible.
But, you can tell them only one man died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins: Jesus. Only one man was ever resurrected from the dead with a new body that will never die again: Jesus. Only Jesus was truly God. Anyone who believes in Jesus can now have forgiveness of their sins and a relationship with God.
No other religious leader has ever been resurrected from the dead, and they are all in their graves. Jesus is not in His grave. He was resurrected from the grave, given a new body, and is sitting in Heaven on His kingly throne ready to welcome you and me when we trust in Him.
Jesus is the only way for any person to have a relationship with God. You have to start with that and believe that. Jesus said He is the way. Jesus also said He is the truth.
Jesus is the Truth.
After Jesus told His disciples that He was the way, the truth, and the life, the next thing He said was very important.
“If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him.” (John 14:7)
When Jesus was on earth, He showed everyone the truth about God the Father. Jesus was loving and kind, showing us God is loving and kind. Jesus was always good, showing us that God is always good. Jesus showed us that God answers prayer and that God hates sin. Jesus was the living truth of God.
Jesus declared this to a crowd listening to Him,
“If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)
Knowing the truth will set you free from error, misconceptions, ad bondage to lies that have prevented you from having a satisfying relationship with God in your life.
Jesus was the truth of God back then and is still the truth of God. Truth never changes. Jesus is the truth. Jesus is also the life.
Jesus is the Life.
Anyone who believes in Jesus not only has a relationship with God but also receives eternal life. Eternal life starts the moment you believe in Jesus, can never end, and no one can take it away from you!
That is Jesus’ promise to us when He said,
“I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die….” (John 11:25)
Even though your body dies, your soul lives on in Heaven where you will one day receive a new body just like Jesus’ new body, one that will never die again. That’s eternal life. But, when Jesus said He is the life, He meant even more than that. Paul describes this beautifully in Galatians 2…
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)
As part of God’s family, God’s Spirit comes to live inside you and enables you to live a life that pleases God your Father. He changes the way you think and feel to be more like the way Jesus thought and felt when He was on earth. Jesus is the truth that satisfies.
Our God created us with a spiritual thirst for a relationship with Him. Another human cannot satisfy that thirst. Only God can satisfy the thirsty heart. As the Bible promises,
“for He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Psalm 107:9)
A satisfied heart stands firmly on the truth that brings real life and real love and fulfilling relationships. Let Jesus satisfy your heart with the goodness of His love.
17. Read the following prayer and then express what it means to you to be satisfied by Jesus’ life in you.
How absolutely amazing is your loving plan, oh God, that takes care of my need to know you! Help me to hold onto the truth that Jesus is the only way to have a relationship with God as my Father. Help me to believe that I am truly your child, completely loved and accepted by you the moment I trusted in Jesus. Fill my heart with joy and celebration because Jesus’ life is inside me.
Response in prayer and praise:
Ask Jesus to satisfy your heart through knowing Him. Trust Him to work in your life to bring you healing, hope, and freedom. Thank Him for His grace toward you and His unending love for you.
Discover more about Jesus:
Christianity is Christ so spend a few minutes each day reading the verses and reflecting on Jesus—His life, His relationships, and His teaching. Get to know Him well—this One who loves you dearly.
- Read Luke 5. Reflect on what you read.
- Read Luke 6. Reflect on what you read.
- Read Luke 7. Reflect on what you read.
- Read Luke 8. Reflect on what you read.