Bible Study Guides – The Samaritan Woman (I)

May 21, 2017 – May 27, 2017

Key Text

“Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 183–188.


“He who seeks to quench his thirst at the fountains of this world will drink only to thirst again.” The Desire of Ages, 187.



  • On His journey to Galilee, where did Jesus stop with His disciples? John 4:5, 6.

Note: “As Jesus sat by the well side, He was faint from hunger and thirst. The journey since morning had been long, and now the sun of noontide beat upon Him. His thirst was increased by the thought of the cool, refreshing water so near, yet inaccessible to Him; for He had no rope nor water jar, and the well was deep. The lot of humanity was His, and He waited for someone to come to draw.” The Desire of Ages, 183.

  • Who came to the well, and what favor did Jesus ask of her? John 4:7.

Note: “A woman of Samaria approached, and seeming unconscious of His presence, filled her pitcher with water. As she turned to go away, Jesus asked her for a drink. Such a favor no Oriental would withhold. In the East, water was called ‘the gift of God.’ To offer a drink to the thirsty traveler was held to be a duty so sacred that the Arabs of the desert would go out of their way in order to perform it. The hatred between Jews and Samaritans prevented the woman from offering a kindness to Jesus; but the Saviour was seeking to find the key to this heart, and with the tact born of divine love, He asked, not offered, a favor. The offer of a kindness might have been rejected; but trust awakens trust. The King of heaven came to this outcast soul, asking a service at her hands.” The Desire of Ages, 183, 184.



  • How did Jesus call the woman’s attention to the gift of salvation? John 4:10.

  • What was the woman’s reaction to Christ’s offer? John 4:11, 12.

Note: “The woman had not comprehended the words of Christ, but she felt their solemn import. Her light, bantering manner began to change. Supposing that Jesus spoke of the well before them, she said, ‘Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast Thou that living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself?’ (John 4:11, 12). She saw before her only a thirsty traveler, wayworn and dusty. In her mind she compared Him with the honored patriarch Jacob. She cherished the feeling, which is so natural, that no other well could be equal to that provided by the fathers. She was looking backward to the fathers, forward to the Messiah’s coming, while the Hope of the fathers, the Messiah Himself, was beside her, and she knew Him not. How many thirsting souls are today close by the living fountain, yet looking far away for the wellsprings of life! ‘Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:) or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) … The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: … if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved’ (Romans 10:6–9).” The Desire of Ages, 184.

“Christ’s gracious presence in His word is ever speaking to the soul, representing Him as the well of living water to refresh the thirsting soul. It is our privilege to have a living, abiding Saviour. He is the source of spiritual power implanted within us, and His influence will flow forth in words and actions, refreshing all within the sphere of our influence, begetting in them desires and aspirations for strength and purity, for holiness and peace, and for that joy which brings no sorrow with it. This is the result of an indwelling Saviour.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 390.

“How much interest Christ manifested in this one woman! How earnest and eloquent were His words! They stirred the heart of the listener.” Gospel Workers, 195.



  • With what words did Jesus establish the difference between one kind of water and another? John 4:13, 14.

Note: “Jesus did not immediately answer the question in regard to Himself, but with solemn earnestness He said, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 4:13, 14).

“He who seeks to quench his thirst at the fountains of this world will drink only to thirst again. Everywhere men are unsatisfied. They long for something to supply the need of the soul. Only One can meet that want. The need of the world, ‘The Desire of all nations’ (Haggai 2:7), is Christ. The divine grace which He alone can impart, is as living water, purifying, refreshing, and invigorating the soul.” The Desire of Ages, 187.

  • How did the Samaritan woman show that she did not understand Christ’s words? John 4:15.

Note: “Jesus did not convey the idea that merely one draft of the water of life would suffice the receiver. He who tastes of the love of Christ will continually long for more; but he seeks for nothing else. The riches, honors, and pleasures of the world do not attract him. The constant cry of his heart is, More of Thee. And He who reveals to the soul its necessity is waiting to satisfy its hunger and thirst. Every human resource and dependence will fail. The cisterns will be emptied, the pools become dry; but our Redeemer is an inexhaustible fountain. We may drink, and drink again, and ever find a fresh supply. He in whom Christ dwells has within himself the fountain of blessing—‘a well of water springing up into everlasting life’ (John 4:14). From this source he may draw strength and grace sufficient for all his needs.

“As Jesus spoke of the living water, the woman looked upon Him with wondering attention. He had aroused her interest, and awakened a desire for the gift of which He spoke. She perceived that it was not the water of Jacob’s well to which He referred; for of this she used continually, drinking, and thirsting again. ‘Sir,’ she said, ‘give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw’ (verse 15).” The Desire of Ages, 187.



  • What new subject did Jesus introduce in His conversation with the Samaritan woman? John 4:16.

  • What was her response? John 4:17, first part.

Note: “Jesus now abruptly turned the conversation. Before this soul could receive the gift He longed to bestow, she must be brought to recognize her sin and her Saviour. He ‘saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.’ She answered, ‘I have no husband’ (John 4:16, 17). Thus she hoped to prevent all questioning in that direction.” The Desire of Ages, 187.

  • How did Jesus supplement her answer? John 4:17, last part, 18.

Note: “But the Saviour continued, ‘Thou hast well said, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly’ (John 4:17, 18).” The Desire of Ages, 187.



  • What did the woman realize about Jesus? John 4:19. Was this recognition sufficient?

Note: “The listener trembled. A mysterious hand was turning the pages of her life history, bringing to view that which she had hoped to keep forever hidden. Who was He that could read the secrets of her life? There came to her thoughts of eternity, of the future Judgment, when all that is now hidden shall be revealed. In its light, conscience was awakened.

“She could deny nothing; but she tried to evade all mention of a subject so unwelcome. With deep reverence, she said, ‘Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet’ (John 4:19). Then, hoping to silence conviction, she turned to points of religious controversy. If this was a prophet, surely He could give her instruction concerning these matters that had been so long disputed.” The Desire of Ages, 187, 188.

  • When the woman manifested hope in the coming of the Messiah, what did Jesus say to her? John 4:25, 26.

Note: “The gospel invitation is not to be narrowed down, and presented only to a select few, who, we suppose, will do us honor if they accept it. The message is to be given to all. Wherever hearts are open to receive the truth, Christ is ready to instruct them. He reveals to them the Father, and the worship acceptable to Him who reads the heart. For such He uses no parables. To them, as to the woman at the well, He says, ‘I that speak unto thee am He’ (John 4:26).” The Desire of Ages, 194.



1 Why did Jesus never perform a miracle on His own behalf?

2 What resource did Jesus use to call the attention of the Samaritan woman to the gospel?

3 What did the Master say concerning the water of life?

4 What power did Christ evidence in revealing the secret of life to the Samaritan woman?

Copyright © 2004 Reformation Herald Publishing Association, 5240 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Virginia. Reprinted by permission.