The process of winning the Samaritan woman merits the careful study of all those who wish to win others to the Lord. There were four main steps in this process:
(1) Jesus awoke in her the desire for something better (John 4: 7–15).
(2) Jesus awoke in her the conviction of her personal need to the Savior (vs. 16–20).
(3) Jesus invited her to make a decision to acknowledge Him as the Messiah (vs. 21–26).
(4) Jesus helped her to take an action suitable to her decision (vs. 28–30, 39–42).
Jesus gained the woman’s attention with the request, “Give me to drink.” To that she responded, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (vs. 9).
After He got her full attention, Jesus provoked her interest by the offer of living water: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (v. 10).
So, she responded with a question, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” (v. 11,12)
From attention and interest, Jesus guided her to want the living water: “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (v. 14). So, she earnestly replied with the petition, “Sir, give me this water” (v. 15).
Then, Jesus changed the conversation. His goal in vs. 16–20 was to stir in her a conviction of her need for this water (v. 7). He directed the focus on the secrets of her life. She was not yet ready to obtain the “living water.” For the old life of sin must stop before the new life of righteousness can start; the two cannot be together (James 3:11, 12).
Jesus revealed to her the secrets of her life, giving evidence to His divinity (John 1:48). And she saw that she was a sinful woman, in need of the “living water” that stood in the presence of the Messiah that the Scriptures spoke of (vs. 26).
In Christ’s dialogue with the women, she experienced desire, conviction, and decision (v. 7). And, the next sound step was action. So, she went to tell others of her amazing story. And this action proved her sincerity in accepting the Lord (Romans 10:9).
In His service,
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