This Week's Story

The Samaritan Woman: Most people ignored her. Jesus shared riches with her.

This Week’s Story relives American history and the Bible through brief inspiring stories presented on mp3 audio recordings and text for reading.

I don't understand this man!

“Sheba is losing her looks.”

“Good. She’s been pretty too long. I’ve been hoping that having five husbands and a live-in partner would speed up her wrinkles and sags.”

“Look at her, walking alone in the middle of the day with her water jar.”

“If she’d lived decently, she could get her water in the morning with us.”

“It’s better this way. She can enjoy the heat and being a social outcast.”

The women’s tongues continued and Sheba reached the town well. A man was sitting by it and asked her, “Please give me some water.”

Sheba paused, This man’s a Jew. Why’s he talking to me? He’s breaking the rules of his people. Should I tell him that Jewish men don’t talk to women on the street, and especially not to Samaritan women?

Should I say, “Hey mister, you’re in a Samaritan village. I’m a Samaritan, what your people call a mongrel dog.”

No, I think he knows these things. So what does he want? Maybe I should tell him, “Have you noticed there’s nobody by the well with me? I’m an immoral woman. The townspeople will tell you.”

Sheba’s pause stopped, “Mister, you’re a Jew; I’m a Samaritan. Why are you asking me for a drink?”

He replied, “If you knew who I am and the gift God has for you, you would ask me for living water.”

What do I say now, Sheba wondered. Isn’t it clear that this is Jacob’s well. It has good spring water, but the water is not alive.

“Mister, you don’t have a rope or a bucket and this well is deep. Where are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well?”

The man replied, “When you drink this water, you get thirsty again. When I give you water, you don’t get thirsty again. You will have a spring of water inside of you, which is eternal life.”

Sheba asked, “Give me some of your water. Then I’ll never have to come back here to haul water.”

The man ordered her, “Go; get your husband.”

“But, I don’t have a husband.”

“That’s right; you have had five husbands and the man you’re living with now isn’t your husband.”

“Mister, you must be a prophet. I have a question. Why do you Jews say that Jerusalem is the only place to worship?”

He answered, “The time is coming when it won’t matter where you are when you worship God. The Father is looking for people who will worship Him in spirit and truth. God is a spirit and people who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.”

Sheba swallowed. Whoa, this man and his words are beyond anything I know. She said, “I know that someday our Messiah will come.”

The man spoke, “I am the Messiah!”

Sheba left her water jar and ran back into the village telling everyone who would listen, “Come! There is a man at the well, who knows everything I have done. Could he be the Messiah, the one God’s Word predicted would come?”

People came pouring from their homes to see this man, whom they learned was named Jesus. They begged him to stay at their village. He stayed for two days. Then they said to Sheba, “Now we believe, because we have heard Him ourselves. He is the Savior of the world.”

This is Barbara Steiner with the record of the woman at the well found in John 4 of the Bible. Please check out

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