Jesus Satisfies

“Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up?”

Investigative Bible Discussions by Mark Ashton


  • Who are the people in our society who have the greatest prejudice against them?
  • Think of the type of person that is the most outcast in our society – then put yourself in Jesus’ shoes as he deals with the woman in this passage.
  • Read John 4:1-30

Discussion Questions

  • Samaritans were hated by the Jews because long before in thier history, some Jews intermarried with Gentiles (non-Jews). This group of half-Jews became known as Samaritans. They wanted full rights to the temple and claimed the same God, but the ‘pure-bred’ Jews despised them. Besides these racial prejudices, what prejudices did Jesus have to overcome in order to help this woman?
  • Women were regarded in low esteem in that part of the world when Jesus lived and it was not appropriate for to talk to women in public. Because she came to the well around noon (the sixth hour) which is the hottest time of the day when nobody else would come. Certainly she was an outcast, and probably a prostitute (since she had 5+ husbands).
  • What was Jesus’ physical condition? v. 6-8
  • What would motivate a tired, thirsty Jew to spend such careful time conversing with an adulterous outcast female Samaritan?
  • Jesus’ habit of reaching out in love and truth was not determined by his condition or by the external characteristics of another. He was looking out for her best interests.
  • What reason did Jesus have for beginning as he did?
  • Jesus sets up the theme for conversation by identifying with her needs.
  • Note the woman’s initial reaction (v.9) Why does it change by verse 11? Why does she get curious?
  • Compare and contrast the type of water that the woman is thinking of (v11, 15) and the type of water that Jesus is talking about (v13-14). Obviously the woman is talking about physical water. The ‘Living Water’ that Jesus refers to would be most commonly understood as a spring of running water that never ran dry and always satisfied. Jesus always satisfies our deepest longings – including the longing for a relationship with God.
  • How is Jesus’ statement in v.16 a turning point in the conversation? What further information does this lead to?
  • Blaise Pascal, a French philosopher and mathematitian, once said that we all have a God-shaped vacuum in our hearts that can only be filled by God. People try to fill this vacuum with all kinds of things, but they always end up just as dissatisfied. What does this woman try to fill it with?
  • What are some of the felt needs and dissatisfactions that people experience today?
  • What are some ways that people try to fill the emptiness in their lives?
  • How can Jesus’ “Living Water” satisfy some (or all) of these needs? There are many ways that Jesus fills our emptiness. Because we were created for a relationship with God, we will never be satisfied until we have one through Jesus. The unconditional, tender love of Jesus helps with our need for a steady relationship. Jesus satisfies our need for truth because he himself is the truth, and he makes sense of the world and our place in it, and therefore he satisfies our longing for truth. Jesus is someone who is always dependable ,always sure, and always there.
  • How does Jesus turn the woman’s diversion in v. 19 to his ultimate aim in the conversation? The important thing is not whether someone worships ‘here’ or ‘there’, but that people worship“in spirit and truth.”
  • Why does Jesus reveal himself here? He knows that the woman is interested and will take what he says to heart.
  • What are the final things that show that the woman is convinced that Jesus is telling the truth?
  • What would Jesus say to you if he walked up and saw you today?