Episode Description:

Even though it meant breaking numerous rules, Jesus took a ‘shortcut’ to meet with a woman. They engaged in a robust debate, and even though the woman was unnamed, she had a voice, and it was heard. Join us in this latest episode of ‘Hearing God’ as we unpack the story of Jesus interacting with the Samaritan woman at the well and how it can apply to your life. We also unpack words of knowledge.

Episode Notes:

Background to the story:

  • Samaria was a region in Israel. Over the years, foreigners had taken up residence here and intermarried, so there was ‘mixed’ parentage/blood.
  • The Jews thought Samaritans were filthy people and inferior to them. They would never speak to a Samaritan, let alone touch them.
  • Galilee was another region to the north of Samaria. To get from Judah to Galilee, you needed to either go through Samaria or go an incredibly long way around it. The Jews would choose to travel the long way so they could avoid any contact with Samaritans.
  • Jesus stopped at Sychar at Jacob’s well. (Genesis 33:19) – thought to be Shechem.
  • Samaritans worshipped on nearby Mount Gerizim, whereas the Jews worshipped at the Temple in Jerusalem. There was a longstanding rivalry about the true place of worship.
  • The Bible passage is in John 4:1-42.
  • Jesus stops at the well. The disciples decide to go to get lunch. A woman comes along. Jesus had a lengthy conversation with her. The disciples return. The woman flees to town and tells everyone. The townspeople all come out to meet Jesus and hear him. Jesus and the disciples then stay in the town two days, and many believe.

First Principle: There are no shortcuts with Jesus.

  • Jesus wasn’t one for taking shortcuts in life, so I’m sure He had a purpose in cutting through Samaria – reaching this woman and her community.
  • Jesus waits for this woman at the 6th hour – midday. Not the time when you would go out to the desert in the blazing sun to draw water.
  • The timing tells us about the woman – shunned by others.
  • It was culturally taboo for Jesus to talk to a woman at midday with no one else around.
  • Spiritual taboo for Jews and Samaritans to interact.
  • Engaged in a robust debate. Even though this woman is unnamed, she had a voice, and it was heard. Jesus hears us. It is the longest recorded conversation Jesus had with a person that was recorded in the Bible.
  • This woman heard, saw, felt, and touched Jesus.

Second Principle: Jesus is deeply interested in every person. There’s no shame with Jesus.

  • Jesus doesn’t condemn. No judgement.
  • This woman had had five husbands – may not have been promiscuous or had a ‘tarnished’ reputation.
  • Perhaps she married at 13, then widowed. Levitical law – husband’s brothers/relatives marry her.
  • Man currently with not husband – she may have been a concubine or 2nd
  • The woman was curious. Jeremiah 33:3 – “Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Third Principle: Encountering Jesus, hearing Jesus, changes us.

  • She became an evangelist. After chatting with Jesus and hearing his heart for her, she left her water jar (like Simon Peter and his brother Andrew left fishing nets in Matt 4:18-20 and Mark 1:16-18) to follow Jesus. She embraced her calling. The first evangelist. The disciples were told to evangelise in Matt 28:19. This woman did it on her own initiative.
  • She raced back to town, told everyone, and then they came out to meet Jesus. She must have had some sway in the community because the people trusted her and allowed Jesus to stay for two days.
  • Verse 39 – many believed because of the woman’s testimony.
  • Photini was her name. Recorded on Ancient manuscripts. She ended up in Emperor Nero’s court and brought Nero’s daughter Domnina and her Domnina’s servants to Christ.
  • Photini was thrown in prison along with her sisters and sons. Tortured and skun alive. Martyred for her faith.
  • This interaction is a great example of how to share your faith. Start with mutual/casual conversation, then go deeper.
  • Many believed because of the word of knowledge. (This is a fact that you don’t know normally, but it is revealed to you supernaturally.)


  1. There are no shortcuts with Jesus.
  2. Jesus is deeply interested in every person. There’s no shame with Jesus.
  3. Encountering Jesus, hearing Jesus, changes us.

Prophetic activation:

Turn your heart and thoughts to Father God and ask Him –

  • “God, is there a shortcut I’ve tried to take in my life? What is it, and what would You like me to do about it?”
  • “Where in my relationship with You, God do You desire me to go deeper?”

Time Stamps:

[0:40] – Gary & Jane share briefly how they have heard God this week.

[5:19] – Background to the story of the Woman at the well.

[8:31] – First Principle: There are no shortcuts with Jesus.

[13:00] – Second Principle: There is no shame with Jesus.

[19:02] – Third Principle: Encountering Jesus, hearing Jesus, changes us.

[22:51] – Recap the principles.

[23:22] – Prophetic activation.

[24:30] – Gary & Jane both share a prophetic word for a listener.

[25:54] – Gary prays for you.

Resources / Links Mentioned:

Bible Verses Mentioned:

  • John 4:1-42
  • Genesis 33:19
  • Jeremiah 33:3
  • Matthew 4:18-20
  • Mark 1:16-18
  • Matthew 28:19

Connect with Gary & Jane:

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