Bible Truths - Jesus and the Samaritan Woman

The following is a listing of Bible Truths for John 4:4-42, the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.

  1. Jesus gives an eternal life with God.  John 4:14.
  2. Jesus ministered to outcasts of Jewish society, which indicates that (a) all people are important to God and (b) Jesus wants us to show love to everyone, including our enemies.  John 4:7-9
  3. Jesus is the Messiah.  John 4:25-26.
  4. True worshipers worship God in spirit and truth.  John 4:23.
  5. Telling about Jesus leads others to believe in Jesus.  John 4:39.

The following Background Information is helpful in understanding the story.

Jew - A descendant of Israel's southern kingdom of Judah who lives by the laws of the covenant made by God with the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai.
Samaritan - A resident of Samaria very much disliked by the Jews.
Relations between Jews and Samaritans - As can be seen in John 4:9, Jews and Samaritans were not the best of friends during New Testament times.  Both claimed to be true descendants of the nation of Israel.  Samaritans descended from the northern kingdom of Israel while the Jews descended from the southern kingdom of Judah.  The Jews believed Jerusalem was the only true place of worship while the Samaritans located the true place of worship at Mt. Gerizim.  In 128 BC, the Jews destroyed the Samaritan temple at Mt. Gerizim.  While the actual reasons for the hatred between the two groups is not known, it is known that the Jews believed the Samaritans were not pure from a religious viewpoint.
Messiah - Messiah comes from a Hebrew word which means "anointed."  The Greek word for Messiah is "Christos," which is translated "Christ" in English.  The importance of the term comes from the custom of anointing with oil a person assuming an important office such as king or priest.  For example, God told Samuel to anoint Saul king over Israel (1 Sam. 9:16-17).  During New Testament times, the Jews were hoping that God would anoint a descendent of David as king of Israel for the purpose of restoring Israel's righteousness and freeing Israel from foreign domination.  This divinely appointed king would be the Messiah.  Thus, Jesus did not fit the Jewish expectation of a Messiah.
For more information, see the Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, edited by Joel B. Green and Scot McKnight.

The following activities can be used to teach the Bible Truths.

Bible Story Activities.
Rank the success of six adults to learn that the value of a person should be based on an eternal life with God and not material assets.
Divide the children into groups and ask them to complete the ranking.
Write their rankings on the board.
Then explain that the success of an adult should only be based on whether they have accepted Jesus as savior.
Assets or income should not be considered.
Bill, Bob, and Susie get an equal success ranking because they have all accepted Jesus as savior. 
Mary, Betty, and Larry get an equal ranking at the bottom of the success ladder because they have not accepted Jesus as savior.
Point out that even though Betty believes in God, she is still not a success because she has not accepted Jesus as savior.

Games.

Play Heir to a Christian Fortune.  Suggestions for phrases to use include.
Eternal life.
Samaritan.
Messiah.
Jew - lived by the laws of the covenant made by God with the nation of Israel at Mt. Sinai.
Samaritan - A resident of Samaria very much disliked by the Jews.
Brain Teasers.
Divide the class into groups and solve a Brain Teaser.
Coded Message - Jesus gives an eternal life with God.
Coded Message - A Jew lives by the laws of the covenant made by God with the nation of Israel at Mount Sinai.

Life in Biblical Times.
Use a wall map to find the places Jesus visited.
 

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