John 4:1-26

Jesus talks to a woman from Samaria

1 The Pharisees heard the news that many people were joining Jesus' group of disciples. They heard that Jesus was baptizing more disciples than John was baptizing. 2 But really Jesus himself did not baptize anyone. It was only Jesus' disciples who baptized people. 3 Jesus discovered what the Pharisees were thinking, so he left Judea. He returned to Galilee. 4 On his way, he had to go through Samaria.

5 He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar. It was near to the piece of land that Jacob had given to his son, Joseph, many years earlier. 6-8 Jacob's well was there. Jesus was tired after his journey and he sat down by the well. It was about midday. His disciples had gone to buy food in the town. A woman from Samaria came to the well to get some water. Jesus said to her, ‘Please give a drink to me.’ 9 The woman from Samaria said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a woman from Samaria. Why would you ask me to give you a drink?’ (The Jews usually do not talk to people who come from Samaria.)

4:9Samaria was the part of Israel between Judah (in the south) and Galilee (in the north). The people in Samaria did worship the Lord God of Israel. But they worshipped him in a different way from how Israel's people worshipped him. They believed only some of the Old Testament and they refused to worship at Jerusalem. As a result of these differences, Israel's people were not friendly to the people from Samaria.

10 Jesus answered the woman, ‘You do not know what God could give to you. I asked you to give a drink to me. But you do not know who I am. If you did know, you would have asked me to give a drink to you. Then I would have given to you water that gives life.’ 11 The woman said, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where can you get this water that gives life? 12 Jacob, our ancestor, gave this well to us. He, his sons and his sheep, goats and cows all drank its water. Are you saying that you are greater than Jacob?’ 13 Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks water from this well will get thirsty again. 14 But I can give people a different kind of water. Everyone who drinks that kind of water will never get thirsty again. The water that I give them will become like a well inside them. That well will continue to give fresh water that will give him life for ever with God.’ 15 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give this water to me. Then I will never get thirsty again. And I will not have to continue to come here so that I can get water.’

16 Jesus said to her, ‘Go and fetch your husband. Then return here.’ 17 The woman replied, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say, “I have no husband.” 18 It is true that you have had five husbands. And now you live with a man who is not your husband. What you have said is completely true.’ 19 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshipped God on this mountain. But you Jews say that Jerusalem is the right place to worship.’

4:20‘This mountain’ means a mountain in Samaria called Gerizim. That was where the people from Samaria worshipped God.

21 Jesus said to her, ‘Believe me, woman. Soon you will not worship the Father either on this mountain or at Jerusalem. 22 You people from Samaria do not know the one that you worship. But we Jews do know him, because God's salvation comes from among the Jewish people. 23 But people will soon have a new way to worship the Father. Yes, that time has already come. Those people who really want to worship the Father will worship him in their spirits, in a true way. The Father looks for people who will worship him like that. 24 God is spirit. People who worship him must worship from their spirits in a true way.’

25 The woman said to Jesus, ‘I know that the Messiah will come. He is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ 26 Jesus said to her, ‘I, who am speaking to you, am he.’