Never Thirst Again! Children’s Message on the Woman at the Well (John 4)
Lesson Objective: 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 message 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!
Law/Gospel Theme: 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.
Optional Materials: Various types of food; water; Bible
Bible Passage: John 4:5-42
Children’s Sermon: Jesus and the Woman at the Well
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs.
Greet children, and discuss things we need for life…
Hello, children of God!
What do you need to live? What are some things that you have to have in order to stay alive? (Allow responses). We all need certain things to keep our bodies alive. (Hold up items as described). We need food to keep our bodies going. It’s good to have a variety of foods, of course. Your body can’t be fueled just by candy… What else do we need? Of course, we need water! Did you know that your body is actually made largely of water? We have to have it to keep everything working in our bodies. You couldn’t stay alive very long without water. It’s important to drink a lot of water, not just when you’re thirsty, but all the time.
So food and water keep us physically healthy. But what do you need to stay spiritually healthy? That might sound like a tougher question, and maybe even a confusing one. What does it mean to have spiritual health, and how do we get that way? Jesus talked about this in the Bible, and it often confused people then, too.
For instance, Jesus had an interesting conversation with a Samaritan woman one day, and He described Himself as water. This lady was at a well, and He asked her for a drink of water. He then told her that He had water that would never make her thirsty again! Naturally, she wanted to know more about what kind of water that might be, and Jesus explained that HE was what she truly needed. Drinking water is fine and good, but leads back to thirst again. The water that Jesus has offers eternal life. The woman was shocked and perplexed at first, especially that Jesus would even want to talk to her. But she realized as He spoke that this was the Messiah, the Savior that would give her what she truly needed for life. She was so excited that she ran into town and told everyone she knew about who she had just met, and they believed, too, as a result.
Well, after that conversation, the disciples of Jesus came to Him and tried to give Him some food. But He told them that He had food they didn’t know about. Naturally, that seemed strange, and they wondered if somehow He had mysterious food from somewhere. Jesus told them His food was to do God’s will. Jesus meant that He was what they needed, too. He is our food and water. He is what we need more than anything else. Yes, it’s important to eat and drink, but what will truly satisfy our deeper needs is Jesus. He gave His body and blood for us on the cross. He died in our place and wants us to remember that sacrifice. So how do we maintain that spiritual health? We read God’s word and learn more about Jesus. We worship Him at church. And we can pray, bringing to God our needs, praises, and questions. He always hears us and loves us as His dear children.
Why don’t we say a prayer right now?
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for giving us living water!
You give us eternal life
And we know we can count on you.
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 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.
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 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.”
16 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.”
27 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.
31 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.”
39 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 4:5-42