Stellar Keller on The Woman at The Well!
Jesus gives us “living water,” a spring welling up.
That doesn’t mean we don’t have sorrow, for we do — but underneath is an inextinguishable joy springing up, even in the midst of sorrow.
1. How has Jesus been the Living Water to you this week?
2. What stands out to you from the above and why?
Monday: The Text
3. Read John 4:4-28
- This is a familiar text, but the Spirit makes it ever new. Did anything, in particular, stand out to you in this reading? If so what — and why?
- Jews avoided Samaria, but Jesus did not. What does this tell you about Him?
- For what reasons was the woman surprised that Jesus is talking to her?
- How can you see His motive in interacting with her in verse 10?
- What does she think he means, and how is this similar to Nicodemus’s reaction to his statement that you must be “born again?”
- What does He tell her about the water He is talking about in verses 13-14? Meditate on this and explain how you have experienced this “living water” in your Christian life. What insight do Tolkien’s words add to this? (See above)
- Some might think Jesus’ response to her asking for this water is a non-sequitur, but Keller says it is not. Can you see why not?
- In verses 19-26, what amazing things does Christ reveal to her?
- What genuine evidence of faith do you see in her in verses 27-28?
Tuesday: The Chosen
I have liked much of what The Chosen has done, though there have been episodes that I thought were far-fetched. But I have become cautious with my criticism for I am seeing people awakened from their slumber and who are seeing Jesus in a new and relevant way and I don’t want to smother that spark. When I spoke recently at a large funeral for a believer, I shared the gospel with many whom I suspected do not yet have a relationship with Jesus. Several came up to me and asked afterward if I had seen “The Chosen.” I realized it had awakened them and now they were hearing something similar from me. It does seem God is using it mightily. Having said that, any time we watch a biblical movie or read a biblical historical novel, we must be discerning, for they have added to what is written in Scripture. But because The Chosen is so very popular, I think it would be helpful to spend today discussing it, for our response may help or hurt others.
4. How do you feel about The Chosen? Have you known any individuals who have been impacted by it for good? Have you known any who have been hurt by it? Explain either.
5. What does John tell us in the very last verse of his gospel?
6. Watch the above portrayal of The Woman at the Well. What stood out to you that was added? Do you think that was probable or far-fetched?
7. How do you think the Lord would have you speak to others about this series if you feel led to speak at all?
Wednesday: The Free Gift of God
Listen to about the first 9 minutes of Keller’s message until he moves into “greatness.”
8. Keller summarizes this section like this “Jesus testifies to her, she testifies to her neighbors, and they to the world.” In your own life, how have you seen the rippling effects of evangelism for good?
9. How did Keller say most New Yorkers view evangelism? Why? What does he intend to show them?
10. How, according to Keller, what did people of that time think was necessary to receive the blessing of God? Why would this woman not meet those requirements?
11. In some ways, today, people still think salvation is a wage you earn instead of a gift you receive. Keller often speaks of needing to diffuse the idea that you are talking about morality when you speak to a secular person about Christianity. Have you experienced this? What might you say to diffuse this error?
12. Why do you need humility to receive the gospel?
13. Keller spoke about the difference between religious proselytizing and “good newsing.” What did he mean?
14. What else stood out to you from this section and why?
Thursday: Greatness & Process
Continue listening up to about minute 25 when he says “in the end He gets to Himself.”
15. How does Keller explain why Jesus asks the woman to go get her husband? What is He trying to show her?
16. How have you and do you try to quench your God-thirst with other things? What is the result?
17. What point was he making by quoting Albert Camus?
18. How is this Living Water greater than anything under the sun? Share what it means to you.
19. When someone says, “I’m glad this works for you,” what is he failing to understand? What illustration did he give?
20. Keller says the approach with the “insider” (Nicodemus) and the “outsider” (the Samaritan woman) couldn’t have been more different. How did Jesus approach them differently? What might we learn from this evangelistically?
21. What else stands out to you from this section and why?
Listen to the end.
22. Keller says, “In the end, Jesus always gets to Himself.” How do you see Him doing that with the woman at the well?
I always remember the illustration Keller gave about going on a date with Jesus. After you have talked about yourself for a bit, Jesus would say, “Enough about you, we need to talk about Me.” So true. I realize as a speaker I have failed if they do not know who Jesus claimed to be and what He offers them. This is what our goal must be with those God puts in our path.
23. Keller says we must be courageously transparent about what Jesus means to us. How have you done this recently?
24. He also says we must always bring it back, not to experience but to Jesus. What does he mean?
25. Every other religion says to look to the rules — what does Jesus say?
26. In the close of this sermon, how does Keller bring it back to Jesus?
27. What else stood out to you from this section and why?
28. What is your take-a-way and why?