Bible Lesson for Kids: Jesus and the Womand at the Well from John 4:5-42

What do we need to live? The answers might seem fairly simple, but what does it mean to be spiritually alive? For children, it can be challenging to understand some of the metaphors Jesus used in His earthly ministry, and what they have to do with our lives. This lesson discusses the story of the woman Jesus met at the well, and how He promised living water that would bring eternal life. We have access to that living water, too, and it is just as essential for our souls as food and water are to our physical bodies!

Never Thirst Again!   Sunday School Lesson on Jesus and the Woman at the Well (John 4)

Jesus gives us what we need. He provides for us in ways that we might not even fully understand. Sometimes it can be difficult for children (or adults) to understand metaphors, and it might be tricky to imagine how Jesus is our “food” or “water.” Sure, we need physical nourishment to sustain us. But even more importantly, we need our souls to be fed, and that only comes through Christ. His blood has given us salvation and allows us to have all we need. Snacks might still leave us hungry for more, but Jesus satisfies what we truly need. 

Scripture Passage: John 4:5-42

Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade

Materials Needed: Construction paper; paper plates; magazines; glue; markers or crayons; tape; scissors; decorative supplies; cups; string; ; Bibles.

Don’t miss all our Bible teaching ideas on the Woman at the Well: Craft activities, Children’s Sermon, Bible Teaching Ideas, complete Sunday School lesson, and more children’s ministry ideas.

Lesson Opening: This passage focuses on how Jesus satisfies our soul needs, just like food and water provide what our bodies need. Water, thirst, hunger, and spiritual care are themes in this lesson. Open with some activities to spark thought and introduce themes. Some possible ideas include:

  • Draw from the well relay: split the group into two lines for a relay race. Have students take turns running across the room with a cup and dipping the cup into a large pitcher or bucket of water, carefully coming back to empty the cups in another container. The first group to reach a marked fill line wins. This is especially fun to play outside on a warm day!
  • Water taste test: provide samples of various brands or types of bottled water (flavored would be easier for this, but for extra challenge, use plain flavorless water). See if students can identify which waters go with which brands, based on taste alone.
  • Beverage grab: rather than a taste test, try a “feel test”! Place containers of different types of drinks in a bucket, and have students attempt to identify what drinks they are, solely by feeling them.
  • How thirsty are you? Provide students with thirst-inducing foods, such as salty crackers or spicy treats. See how long it takes them to feel extra thirsty, and test which types of drinks quench thirst the best (water, Gatorade, etc.).
  • Put the verse together: have parts of a Bible verse from the passage written on various slips of paper, and tuck the papers into cups, hidden around the classroom. Have students hunt for the cups, and then put the phrases together to identify the verse. To make it a competitive game, split into two teams, and race to see which identifies the verse first.

Explain to students that today’s lesson is about a special kind of water, that will make us never thirsty again! Jesus is our food and water, in a sense, and we will learn how He helps us to grow strong in our faith and love for Him.

Childrnen’s Bible Lesson: John 4:5-42

This passage is a bit longer, and can be approached in a variety of ways. For younger students, you may wish to paraphrase things or find a story book version. You could also assign parts and have children act it out, to an extent. Older participants may be able to take turns reading verses, and pause to clarify parts of the passage and identify what is going on.

So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) -John 4:5-8

The story opens with Jesus returning from a journey. Explain that He was passing through Samaria, and that the people of Samaria were generally not very well regarded by the Jewish people. They did not get along well. Jesus was tired and thirsty from His travels, and stopped to ask a woman for a drink. Point out that it was odd for Jesus to be talking to a woman (in those days, women were not seen as equal to men), and even stranger to be associating with a Samaritan.  

Ask: Can you think of someone you normally avoid talking to? Who would you be surprised to hear from?  

The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.” -John 4:9-15

Ask: What is something that you think very few people know about you?
Are there parts of this conversation that surprise you or confuse you? If so, you’re not alone! The woman was also slightly confused.

The woman was surprised by the request Jesus made, as she knew that He was a Jew and had different beliefs than she did. It must have also been surprising and perplexing that He told her of water that would make her never thirsty again. What kind of “magical” water would make someone never have to be thirsty? She wanted that water, but Jesus wanted to give her more than just liquid refreshment.

Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” -John 4:16-25

Jesus revealed to this woman who He was, and what He meant by having such special “water.” He told her about her life (which included details she might not have been too proud of). He also mentioned how worship would soon be not just in a single place, but based on a person. When the woman mentioned that she was waiting for the Messiah, Jesus told her that He was the one she’d been longing for!  

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him. -John 4:27-30

Ask: Have you ever gotten news that was so amazing you had to share it with someone? Who would you tell first if you got great news?

The woman did not doubt or hesitate to believe what Jesus told her. She was so excited that she left her water jug and ran into town to tell everyone she knew that she had encountered the Messiah.
Meanwhile, the disciples had come back from grocery shopping, and were a little surprised to see Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman. However, they didn’t say anything. Instead, they tried to get Him to eat something. In response, Jesus gave them some confusing words, too.

 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” -John 4:31-38

The disciples didn’t understand what Jesus said, because they were trying to take what he said literally. They couldn’t figure out where He might have gotten food since he’d been sitting by the well the whole time. But Jesus told them He was speaking of a different kind of food. Elsewhere in the Gospel of John, Jesus tells His disciples that He is the “bread of life.” He means that He is even more important than earthly food, when it comes to spiritual matters. We eat and drink, and get hungry and thirsty again. But when we know that Jesus gave His body and blood for us, we recognize that they satisfy a deeper need.

Ask: How can we get to know Jesus better? How do we get “soul nourishment?”

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” -John 4:39-42

Ask: Who can you tell about Jesus? How can you share His love with others?    

This woman had one meeting with Jesus, and knew that He was something special, someone she had to tell others about. She realized that He could give her what she truly needed. Food and water are important to us for sustaining daily life, but deep inside, we need Jesus, too, and so does everyone! He loves each and every one of us and wants us to know Him. We should be so excited about what He does in our lives that we are eager to share that good news with others, and to be thankful for Him!

Close with prayer, thanking God for the living water of Jesus.  

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