Lesson Plan Chapter 7

Chapter 7
Lesson Plan Enrichment Ideas
Thirsty for More than Water
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman


Have John 4:4-30 read aloud in reader’s theater style (assign the dialog: someone to read the words of Jesus, another to read the Samaritan woman’s lines, and a third to read the narration). This story is dialog-rich, and having parts assigned will bring the story to life for the group.

Things to teach for enrichment

1. Pass out a map of Israel in the first century. There is a good one located at http://www.swartzentrover.com/cotor/bible/Bible/Bible%20Atlas/110.jpg. Note the locations of the provinces. Point out Samaria and how it is sandwiched between Judea and Galilee, where the “pure” Jews mostly lived. Find Sychar, note its location between Mt. Gerazim and Mt. Ebal.

2. The Samaritan woman referred Jesus to Mt. Gerazim, where the place of worship for Samaritans was erected around 400 BC (and destroyed in 128 BC: about 150 years before she met Jesus).

This mountain had quite a history. Read Deuteronomy 27-28:14. God instructed the Israelites to meet on Mt. Gerazim and Mt. Ebal, half the tribes on one mountain, the other half on the other, upon entering the Promised Land. They were to call out blessings from Ebal and curses from Gerazim, reminding each other of God’s commands and statutes.

3. Read the historical account of the interaction between the Samaritans and the Jews who returned from captivity to rebuild the temple: Ezra 4:1-5. Discuss the animosity which existed between the two people groups.

4. Look up the different ways water is pictured as a metaphor for the work of God in Scripture.

Isaiah 44:3

Ezekiel 36:25-27

Jeremiah 2:13

John 3:5, 4:14

5. John placed the conversation with the Samaritan woman right after another conversation, this one between Jesus and a Jewish man. Read John 3:1-21. Have the group compare these conversations, as John most likely intended the reader to do. You might want to record these side-by-side on a visible chart. Here are some suggestions for when the group gets stuck:


Samaritan Woman

  • Learned
  • Powerful
  • Respected in the community
  • Orthodox, highly trained
  • A man
  • Morally correct rule keeper
  • Financially secure
  • Recognized Jesus’ merit as a teacher
  • Sought Jesus out
  • Represented Orthodox Judaism
  • Unschooled
  • Without influence
  • Most likely despised
  • Knew only folk religion
  • A woman
  • A moral outcast
  • Most likely poor
  • Saw Jesus as only a traveler
  • Jesus sought her out
  • A people whole-heartedly despised by Orthodox Judaism

How do these comparisons enrich your understanding of the story?

6. Discuss the different things we sometimes “drink” to quench our thirst, but that in the end won’t satisfy, but only leave us even more thirsty than before. Only the thing the thirst is for will satisfy the need. Read Psalm 42 together.

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