If You Knew the Gift of God

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
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.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
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.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
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.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is 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.”
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 4:4-26)

In one of the more fascinating conversations in Scripture, Jesus clearly declares Himself to be the Messiah to an unnamed Samaritan woman. Jesus had already ignored the existing racial/gender barriers just by speaking with her. Then He piqued her interest by offering her living water. It was another example of Jesus turning the conversation from the horizontal to the vertical . . . from the daily burden of carrying water from a well to experiencing life in the Spirit.
When Jesus reveals to the woman His supernatural knowledge to her failed marriages and current immorality, she does what is so natural to many of us. She tries to turn the dialogue into a theological discussion. Where is the proper place of worship, Samaria or Jerusalem? Gently but firmly, Jesus directs the conversation upward: “Neither,” the Lord responds. Worship is not to be focused upon a place, for worship is a matter of Spirit and truth (v. 24).
This amazing conversation again reveals the vertical heart of Jesus. Rather than getting bogged down in theological controversy, He quickly pointed to the heart of the matter. Worshipping God in Spirit and truth was what really mattered. The Lord is still pointing His people in this vertical direction today. The Father is still seeking those who will worship in Spirit and truth.

Listen: Spend a few quiet moments seeking God. Be attentive to whatever He may speak to your heart.

Reflect: How is the Spirit leading you to respond to what you have heard from God?

Confess and Repent: If there is something the Spirit convicts you of, take time to prayerfully confess it. Resolve to turn from it if it is sin, or step toward whatever He is leading you into that you have either neglected or not seen before.

Ask: Father, I come to You today, worshipping before Your throne. Help me to do it in Spirit and in truth. Thank You for revealing Yourself through Your Word that I might know You and bow before You. Thank You for walking with me through Jesus that I might see You and understand more of who You are. In the midst of the conversations of the day, would You help me not only to continue to worship You, but to point others upward to You as Jesus did with this Samaritan woman?


  • Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” God’s challenge here is to use your body in holy ways in order to please Him. Doing so is to worship Him in spirit and truth. In what way are you neglecting or abusing your body? What will you begin to do today to change that?
  • If Jesus met you at “the well,” would He confront you about the truth of your life? What do you need to allow Jesus to clean or heal in your life so that you may be set free from the burden of sin and/or shame? Take steps to allow Him to enter into these places and give you victory.
  • Who do you know who prefers to talk theology rather than worship in Spirit and in truth? How can your life demonstrate proper worship to this person?

Taken from Vertical with Jesus by David and Kim Butts. © 2022 PrayerShop Publishing.