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Actors Narrator, Jesus, Woman, Disciple

Equipment Scripture readings come alive when the text is prepared in script form as in the following example. Many of the narrative sections of both Old and New Testaments may be adapted for group use with excellent results. Assign parts, have a reading, and then discuss the content of this skit, based on John 4.

Action Narrator: Jesus was journeying northward from Judea to Galilee and he had to pass through Samaria on the way. It was located near the village of Sychar on the piece of property that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Tired from the long walk in the hot sun, Jesus sat down beside a well while his disciples went into the village to buy food. A Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water.
Jesus: Would you give me a drink of water?
Woman: You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan—how can you ask me for a drink?
Narrator: The Jews usually would not even speak to Samaritans, much less drink from the same cup.
Jesus: If you only knew what a wonderful gift God could give you and who I am, you would ask me for some living water.
Woman: But you don’t even have a bucket and this is a deep well. Where would you get living water? Besides, you surely are not greater than our ancestor Jacob. How can you offer better water than this, which he and his family and his cattle drank?
Jesus: Everyone who drinks the water from this well will become thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. For my gift will become a spring within him which will provide him with living water and give him eternal life.
Woman: Please, Sir, give me some of that water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again and won’t have to make this long trip out here to draw water.
Jesus: Go, get your husband, and then come back here.
Woman: But, I’m not married.
Jesus: You are telling the truth when you say you are not married. You have been married to five men, and the man you are living with now is not really your husband.
Woman: You must be a prophet, Sir! But, if I may ask a question, why do you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship. We Samaritans, meanwhile, claim it is where our ancestors worshiped here at Mount Gerizim.
Jesus: Believe me, ma’am, the time is coming when we will no longer be concerned about the place to worship the Father! For it’s not where we worship that’s important, but how we worship. Worship must be spiritual and real, for God is Spirit and we must have his Spirit’s help to worship as we should. The Father wants this kind of worship. But you Samaritans know so little about him, worshiping with your eyes shut, so to speak. We Jews know all about him, for salvation comes to mankind through the Jewish race.
Woman: Well, at least I know that the Messiah will come—you know, the one they call Christ—and when he does, he will make everything plain to us.
Jesus: I am the Messiah!

Narrator: Then the woman left her water pot beside the well, went back to the village, and excitedly told everyone about Jesus. Soon the people came streaming from the village to see him. In the meantime, the disciples had returned to Jesus. They had seen him talking to the Samaritan woman and were astonished, but they did not ask Jesus why, nor what he had said to the woman. Instead they urged Jesus to eat.

Disciple: Teacher, eat some of the food we bought.
Jesus: No. I have some food you don’t know about.
Disciple: (to other disciples) Did someone else bring him food?
Jesus: My nourishment comes from doing the will of God who sent me and from finishing his work. Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends, four months from now? Open your eyes and look around you! Fields of human souls are ripening all around us, and they are ready for harvesting. The reaper of the harvest is being paid now and he gathers the crops for eternal life; the planter and the reaper will be glad together, for in this harvest the old saying comes true: “One man plants and another reaps.” I have sent you to harvest a crop in a field where you did not labor; others labored there and you profit from their work.

Narrator: Many of the Samaritans in that town believed in Jesus because the woman had told them of his ability to know all things. So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them and Jesus stayed there two days. Many more believed because of Jesus’ own words, and the villagers told the woman: “We believe now, not because of what you said, but because we have heard him with our own ears, and we know that he is the Savior of the world.”

1. Discuss the woman’s growing conception of who Jesus was. Who do you think Jesus was?
2. Compare and contrast Jesus’ attitude, the disciples’ attitude, and the typical Jewish attitude toward this woman of another race.
3. What is the living water of which Jesus spoke?
4. What did Jesus teach the woman about worship?
5. Discuss the nature of the harvest Jesus spoke about.
6. If you took the teachings of this passage seriously, what specific differences could there be in your life tomorrow?

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