Introduction: Read the first chapter of the Gospel of John,
and ask yourself “Why did John start out his account of
Jesus this way?” My reaction is that John is concerned
that people do not understand who Jesus is. John
essentially says, “Pay attention and I’ll teach you what
you should know about Jesus.” Then John tells us a number
of stories to teach us about Jesus. Three of John’s first
four stories explaining who Jesus is have something to do
with water. The wedding at Cana story (John 2) converts
water to wine. The Nicodemus interview (John 3) focuses on
water baptism. The Samaritan woman story (John 4) explains
about living water. Let’s dive into our study and learn
more about “the Water of Life!”

  1. Wedding Water

    1. Read John 2:1-5. Have you ever heard a
      conversation between a teen and a parent that
      sounds like this? (It seems that Jesus’ mother is
      not really listening to Him. Jesus says “This is
      not the right time,” and His mother hears “Yes,
      I’ll do it.)

      1. Is this a problem which needed fixing? Our
        lesson series is about health and healing.
        Which would be better to drink, water or
    2. Read John 2:6-10. How much wine did Jesus make?
      (Between 120-180 gallons!)

      1. Since we are on the topic of water, what does
        this teach us about Jesus and water? (Jesus
        has the power to convert water into something
        special. He can make water more than water.)

      2. What does this teach us about Jesus’
        willingness to make water special for us?
        (Jesus is liberal in His gift of converted
        water. He gives us more than we need. He
        gives us better than we need.)

  2. Well Water and Living Water

    1. Read John 4:1-3. Why would the Pharisees keep
      track of how many people were being baptized by
      John versus Jesus’ disciples? (No doubt the
      Pharisees considered these two to be unauthorized
      competition. They were concerned.)

      1. What caused Jesus to go back to Galilee –
        learning that the Pharisees were keeping
        track of Him or learning that He was winning
        in the baptismal contest? (Recall John 2:1-4.
        Jesus was concerned about the timing of His
        ministry. Apparently, He did not want to
        appear to be in a contest with John or to
        focus the attention of the Pharisees on
        Himself so soon in His ministry.)

    2. Read John 4:4-6. The most direct way for Jesus to
      go back to Galilee is to travel through Samaria.
      He has been doing that, it is noon and the
      disciples have gone off to buy food ( John 4:8).
      Jesus is tired. He sits down at a historic well to

      1. What kind of a relationship did the
        Samaritans have with the Jews? (It was pretty
        bad. The Jews thought the Samaritans were
        inferior, and the Samaritans had the kind of
        reaction you would expect.)

    3. Read John 4:7-9. Is this woman being nasty to
      Jesus? Or, is she just needling Him for asking
      for a drink?

      1. Do you think she is refusing to give Jesus a
        drink? Or, is she just reminding Him of the
        problems between the Jews and Samaritans?

    4. Read John 4:10. How would you react to this
      statement if you were a Samaritan? (Talk about a
      superiority complex! He asks you for a drink,
      then announces He is “very important” and already
      has better water than you can give Him.)

    5. Read John 4:11-12. How does this woman react? (She
      challenges Jesus – none of what Jesus says seems
      possible. After all, it was Jesus who first asked
      her for a drink!)

      1. Does Jesus answer her question? Does He say
        He is greater than Jacob?

      2. The prior chapter of John recounts Jesus’
        night meeting with Nicodemus – one of the
        most powerful spiritual and political leaders
        of the Jews. Read John 3:3-5. How would you
        compare the reaction of Nicodemus to the
        reaction of the Samaritan woman? (Jesus has
        both Nicodemus and the woman asking “How can
        you say such a thing? It makes no sense!”)

        1. Why is Jesus talking with Nicodemus
          about water? (He is talking about
          baptism – spiritual cleansing.)

    6. Read John 4:13-14. What kind of water is Jesus
      talking about? Well water? (No. Spiritual water.)

      1. Let’s contemplate this just a minute. Assume
        you lived in that area of the world. What
        would water mean? (In dry, sandy, dusty
        areas, water makes all the difference. My
        brother used to live in Palm Springs,
        California. One city block is green and lush,
        the next block a dry sandbox. Water makes
        all the difference.)

        1. What does Jesus’ water mean for our

        2. Think back to the wedding at Cana. What
          did Jesus’ water mean for their life?
          (It made basic life better. It made life
          enjoyable. It made life richer and

      2. Look again at John 4:14. What happens to us
        when we drink Jesus’ water? (We become
        springs of Jesus’ water “welling up to
        eternal life.”)

        1. Tell me what you think it means to live
          that kind of life? (Full, exciting,
          vibrant life!)

        2. I once read a magazine that attacked
          those Christians who love to celebrate
          their salvation. The magazine suggested
          that Christians should be very sober and
          sad because of their sins? (Our sins
          should sober us, but Jesus has forgiven
          our sins and has given us eternal life.
          A bubbling spring is not a good
          description for a sad and sober

      3. Our lesson series is about health. What
        lesson do we learn about health from Jesus’
        conversation about water? (Jesus gives us a
        life-giving, lush, bubbling life!)

  3. Deep Water
    1. Read John 3:1-5. Why is Jesus’ statement true?
      What is the underlying logic?

    2. Read Romans 6:1-4. What does the water of baptism
      do for us? (This is the logic of baptism: when we
      go under the water (“buried”) we symbolically go
      under the ground and die Jesus’ death for our

      1. How does this symbolism unite the lesson of
        the wedding of Cana and the lesson of the
        Samaritan woman at the well? (Water, in
        Jesus’ hands, can transform the ordinary into
        the extraordinary. Water, in Jesus’ hands
        gives us new, bubbling, vibrant life to share
        with others.)

      2. In the story of Nicodemus and the Samaritan
        woman, what do class, station in life,
        intelligence, gender, spiritual learning,
        money, power and past sins have to do with
        the availability of Jesus’ water? (Not only
        is Jesus’ water available to those in the
        highest and lowest places in life, but the
        need for Jesus’ water is the same for both.)

    3. Read Romans 6:5. What kind of life does Jesus’
      water bring us? (We will be resurrected into
      eternal life!)

    4. Friend, human history is filled with the quest for
      some special drink that will give us life and
      health. We have the secret that humans have long
      sought – the water that give vibrant, bubbling,
      everlasting life! Will you, today, determine to
      follow Jesus’ instruction to Nicodemus and the
      Samaritan woman? Will you (if you have not been)
      be baptized into the death of Jesus, and rise from
      the water into His resurrection? Will you
      determine to drink Jesus’ living water that will
      make you a bubbling, vibrant spring of a Christian
      sharing Jesus’ life-changing water with others?

  4. Next week: The Environment.