Speaker: Rev. Dr. Marnie Crumpler
Date: March 19, 2017
Text: Red Letter Jesus: I Am He
John 4:7-30, 39-42
1. The Pharisees believed that Jesus had baptized more disciples than John the Baptist. How does Jesus respond? What does this suggest about the Kingdom of God and unhealthy competition?
2. John records that Jesus did not baptize any disciples. Why might that be? Does reading 1 Corinthians 3:4-6 help you answer this?
3. What do you know about the relationship between Jews and Samaritans in biblical times? Note that verse 9b can also be translated, "Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans." What's the significance of Jesus sharing a cup with this woman?
4. In verse 10 Jesus refers to "the gift of God." In the context of this conversation, what might this "gift of God" be referring to?
5. The woman perceives that Jesus is special: "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet" (v. 19). Is her statement correct?
6. Notice that Jesus unconditionally accepts the woman and yet Jesus also affirms that true worship requires worship in "spirit and truth" (v. 24)-authentic worship that is based in truth-and that "salvation is from the Jews" (v.22). What's significant Jesus approach to the woman? What two things does he manage to achieve?
7. How does Jesus respond to the woman's statement about his identity: "I know that the Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes he will tell us all things" (v. 25)? If you have access to a concordance or a bible dictionary, try to find where else Jesus refers to himself as the Messiah in such ambiguous terms. Why might he have saved this uniquely direct revelation for this woman?
8. Clearly the Samaritans and the Jews hated one another and their hatred was based in theological differences as well as other factors, yet Jesus reached out to this woman. Who is someone who you dislike? What could you do to reach out to him or her?
9. Consider verse 27. What attitude do the disciples display toward this woman?
10. According to verses 39-42 what is the result of Jesus' tenderness toward this woman?
Thank you that Jesus models for us your desire to unite all people in the truth of your gospel. Help me to welcome all people and to point them to the forgiveness found in Christ alone and to the transformation possible in Jesus' power. Amen.