Did you grow up knowing only half-truths about God? Or maybe you were taught that Jesus was just a good man, nothing more. A Samaritan woman (John 4:5-42) grew up knowing only half-truths. That’s how her whole culture lived. And because she was deficient in truth, she could not have a proper relationship with the true God. Her need for spiritual life remained unsatisfied until Jesus entered her life. He satisfied her need for truth and love by giving her Himself. In a few brief moments, she was taught truth that changed her life forever. In this post, we will look at how Jesus satisfies your heart with truth. The Samaritan woman is our New Testament example. This is post #2 in our New Testament Women series.
The Samaritans knew only half-truths.
The Samaritans were a product of mixed marriages between Jews and the foreign people imported by Assyria (a country that spanned modern-day Syria and northern Iraq) when it conquered the northern Kingdom in 722 BC. See this in our study of 1 and 2 Chronicles. Their mixed culture led to a polluted worship of God, also. Their tradition insisted that God should be worshiped on their Mount Gerizim rather than in Jerusalem. The Samaritan Bible contained only the books of Moses (Genesis through Deuteronomy) so they knew very little of God apart from that.
One day, Jesus traveled through Samaria. There, at a well where He rested, Jesus met and talked with a Samaritan woman. As a product of her culture, she grew up knowing only half-truths about God. We don’t know her name. But I call her ‘Samantha’ to make her seem more like a real flesh and blood person, not just words on a page. One day, I’ll meet her in heaven and find out her real name. So when you read ‘Samantha’ in this post, I am talking about the Samaritan woman of John 4.
Because ‘Samantha’ was deficient in truth, she could not have a proper relationship with the true God. Her need for spiritual life remained unsatisfied. Then Jesus entered her life and offered her eternal life.
Jesus began to teach her truth.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:10, 13-14)
To the people of Jesus’ day, “living water” referred to flowing water from a stream or spring rather than the still water found in a well or cistern. Such “living water” was highly valued. “Living water” in the Bible also referred to spiritual life. Jesus was offering to satisfy a deeper need than just physical thirst—the need for spiritual life, which is given by the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39).
Jesus started probing into her personal life, pointing out an area of need she couldn’t meet on her own.
He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” (John 4:16-18)
In a few words, Jesus revealed her sin and her need for salvation. It’s as though He was asking, “How’s that working for you?” ‘Samantha’ diverts the conversation away from her personal life to a controversial issue about where to worship God—on Mt Gerazim or in Jerusalem.
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:21-24)
Jesus responds by giving her truth (twice He mentions “truth”)—true worship is not dependent on a place but on “spirit and truth.” True worship of God will be directed by the presence of the Holy Spirit and be rooted in the truth (meaning all of God’s written revelation, not just the books of Moses). And then He reveals the ultimate truth to her:
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” (John 4:25-26)
The title “Christ” is from the Greek word christos, a translationof the Hebrew term “Messiah” meaning “anointed one.” The Old Testament prophets promised that the Messiah, as the anointed one of God, would come and do many wonderful things for God’s people, including restoring God’s Kingdom on earth. Christians are followers of Jesus, who is the Christ. ‘Samantha’ knew a little truth—a Messiah is coming. Jesus gave her more truth—He is that promised Messiah.
Jesus satisfied her need for truth and love by giving her Himself. In a few brief moments, ‘Samantha’ was taught truth that changed her life forever. A satisfied heart can stand firmly on the truth that brings real life, real love and fulfilling relationships.
Jesus wants us to know the truth.
On the night before His trial and crucifixion, Jesus told His disciples that He was going to His Father’s house to prepare a place for them. He said they could follow because they knew the way to get there. But one of His disciples wasn’t so sure about that. Thomas asked Jesus, “How can we know the way?” Jesus answered with a strong declaration of truth to them and to every one of us who are like ‘Samantha’ and need to know it:
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
Based upon what we know about Jesus, we can confidently say this: Jesus is the way to know God as Father because Jesus shows us the truth about God in His life, and Jesus gives His life to anyone who believes in Him.
Let’s look at each one of those words—WAY, TRUTH, and LIFE.
Jesus is the WAY. He is the way to know God as the Father.
After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension back to Heaven, one of His followers named Peter was speaking to the religious leaders of Jerusalem and boldly declared this:
Salvation is found in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)
The first Christians were completely convinced that Jesus was the only way to know God. They taught this truth everywhere. So, people started calling them “followers of the way.” The apostle Paul was called a “follower of the way.” As he traveled all over the Roman Empire, he preached everywhere the same thing: believing in Jesus is the way to know God as your Father, the way to receive forgiveness for your sins, and the way to live a life that pleases God. Anyone who asked him, “How can I know God?” Paul would answer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” He’s the way.
Based on this understanding, would you identify yourself as a “follower of the way?”
Other people may try to tell you that there are many ways to get to Heaven, such as just being a good person or doing good works. Or they might say there are other gods out there besides the God of the Bible. But you can tell them only one man died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins: Jesus.Only one man was ever resurrected from the dead with a new body that will never die again: Jesus. Only Jesus was truly God. Anyone who believes in Jesus can now have an open, close relationship with God.
No other religious leader has ever been resurrected from the dead. They are all in their graves. Jesus is not in His grave.He was resurrected from the grave and given a new body. Over 500 people saw his resurrected body and heard him speak to them. Now, Jesus is sitting in Heaven on His kingly throne ready to welcome you and me when we trust in Him.
Jesus said He is the only way for any person to have a relationship with God. You have to start with that and believe that. Jesus also said He is the truth.
Jesus is the TRUTH. He shows us the truth about God in His life.
After He told His disciples that He was the way, the truth, and the life, the next thing He said was very important.
If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him. (John 14:7)
When Jesus was on earth, He showed everyone the truth about God the Father. Jesus was loving and kind, showing us God is loving and kind. Jesus was always good, showing us that God is always good. Jesus showed us that God answers prayer and that God hates sin. Jesus was the living truth of God.
In John chapter 8, Jesus declared to a crowd these words,
If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. (John 8:31-32)
Knowing the truth will set you free from error, misconceptions, and bondage to lies that have prevented you from having a satisfying relationship with God in your life.
Jesus was the truth of God back then. He’s still the truth of God. Truth never changes.
Jesus is also the LIFE. He gives eternal life to anyone who believes in Him.
Eternal life starts the moment you believe in Jesus. It can never end. That’s why we call it eternal. And no one can take it away from you!
Jesus promised that to a woman named Martha and to every one of us as well in John chapter 11.
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die. (John 11:25)
Even though your body dies, your soul—your inner self—lives on in Heaven where it is clothed with a new body just like Jesus’ new body, one that will never die again. That’s eternal life.
But when Jesus said He is the life, He meant even more than that. Paul describes this beautifully in Galatians, and they are life-changing words:
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
That’s true of you, also. As part of God’s family, God’s Spirit comes to live inside you and enables you to live a life that pleases your Father God. The Spirit changes the way you think and feel to be more like the way Jesus thought and felt when He was on earth.
Our God created us with a spiritual thirst to know Him. Another human cannot satisfy that thirst. Only God can satisfy the thirsty heart. Jesus satisfied the ‘Samantha’s’ heart with truth about God. ‘Samantha’ needed this truth as did every other person Jesus met on earth. Jesus satisfied her need for real life, real love, and fulfilling relationships by giving her Himself. And He continues to offer that to everyone today.
As the Bible promises,
He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
I don’t know where you are in life right now, but Jesus can satisfy your heart with truth about God. A satisfied heart can stand firmly on the truth that brings real life and real love and fulfilling relationships to you.
- Live Out His Love Bible Study on Amazon
- Satisfied by His Love Bible Study on Amazon
- Reboot Renew Rejoice Bible Study of Chronicles on Amazon
- New Testament Women: Trust Jesus to satisfy your heart needs
- Luke 7: Immoral Woman-Jesus satisfies your heart with FORGIVENESS
- John 8: Adulterous Woman-Jesus satisfies your heart with VICTORY
- Mark 5: Desperate Woman-Jesus satisfies your heart with HOPE
- Mark 7, Luke 13.Shunned Women-Jesus satisfies your heart with KINDNESS
- John 11-12: Mary and Martha-Jesus satisfies your heart with LOVE
- Luke 8: Mary Magdalene-Jesus satisfies your heart with FREEDOM
- Luke 1-2: Mary-Jesus satisfies your heart with GRACE
- Acts 9 & 16: Tabitha and Lydia-Jesus satisfies your heart with COMMUNITY
- Acts 18: Priscilla-Jesus satisfies your heart with PURPOSE