Daily Devotions


Day 57

A heartfelt request

Text: John 4:1-45


The words of Jesus must have struck a deep chord in the heart of the Samaritan woman. As she listened to the offer of living water, she cried out and said,

“Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst,
nor come here to draw.”
John 4:15

We need not need to doubt that the woman of Samaria spoke from her heart. However, we cannot but note that her request was somewhat tainted by self-seeking concerns. Perhaps, she understood (to some extent) that Jesus was speaking about spiritual waters. However, she added a suggestion of her own. Since Jesus could give her eternal spiritual waters, how about dealing with the problem of having to come to Jacob’s well for her daily water needs! Would Jesus grant that request too?


Jesus understood what the woman of Samaria meant. He saw a sin problem that had to be surfaced and then dealt with. The time had come for Him to bring up the issue of sin in her life.

This deeper problem of sin had to be dealt with, or her understanding of what it means to find salvation would never be fully comprehended.

“Go, call your husband, and come here.”
John 4:16

The woman of Samaria must have been stunned at the words of Jesus. A moment ago, He had been speaking to her about the fountain of water that led to eternal life. The next moment, He asked her to bring her husband!

Caught off guard, she might have wondered how she should reply such a question. She decided that she would be honest with Jesus, and thus she confessed,

“I have no husband.”
John 4:17

Her honesty was appreciated, and Jesus then replied and said,

“You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’
for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have
is not your husband;
in that you have spoken truly.”
John 4:17-18

Jesus knew all about her, more than she would have liked! How could Jesus know so much about her? Just who was this Stranger? How could He see so deeply into people’s lives like that?


The woman of Samaria was astonished. She offered a compliment to Jesus when she said,

“Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.
Our fathers worshipped in this mountain,
And you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place
Where one ought to worship.”
John 4:19-20

She recognized that Jesus must have been a prophet, at least! Who else but a prophet could have perceived and known that she had had five husbands, and that the man she was living with was not her husband!

However, she tried to sidestep the very issue that Jesus wanted to deal with – the matter of sin in her life! Even in modern times, it is not common to go through five marriages (presumably ending in divorces) and then living with a man outside the normal marriage considerations!

As yet, she was not prepared to deal with her sin problem, in this case, her immorality! Thus she threw up a red herring! She would be prepared to deal with the issue of religion and God if Jesus could answer a thorny question that nobody had given a full answer that was satisfactory.

She raised up the question of worship! Where should one worship? The Jews were insistent that there was only one place where true worship could be given, and that was in Jerusalem.

The Samaritans argued as strenuously that one should follow the ancient traditions of the fathers. The place to worship should be in this mountain (a reference to Mt Gerizim, where the Samaritans had erected their own temple).

How would Jesus resolve this controversial issue? Was there an answer? How does one worship God?


Gently, Jesus introduced God in a totally different way! The Samaritans and the Jews had some knowledge of God. But how well did they really know Him? Did they know Him in this new way?

“Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming
when you will neither on this mountain,
nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.”
John 4:21

The long-drawn argument between the Jews and the Samaritans concerning where God should be worshipped was never resolved. Jesus refused to be drawn into this age-old debate. Both theological positions were flawed in the first place. Rather than engage in a debate that would go nowhere, Jesus chose to introduce an entire new line of thought. There would come an hour, a time when the worship of God would not be evaluated and measured with reference to the physical locale! What a revolutionary thought that was!