Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Samaritan Woman at the well - SEAL theme Changes - KS1 & 2

Once Jesus and his disciples were travelling from Jerusalem, in the south of the land where they lived, to Galilee, in the north. But between the two there was another land, called Samaria. The people who lived there – Samaritans – didn’t get on with Jewish people like Jesus and his friends. They didn’t talk to each other at all if they could help it. they didn’t eat together. Sometimes people would walk for miles around the edge of Samaria, rather than have to go into it. But Jesus and his friends just walked right into Samaria.
It was a hot day, and they had come a long way. They were hungry and thirsty and tired. After a while they came to a well, just outside a village, where the village people came to collect water – they didn’t have water from taps like we do. There was no one there now, though, because it was the hottest part of the day. No one wanted to be carrying water in this heat.

The disciples looked at Jesus and they could see he was even more tired than they were. “You wait here,” they said, “and we’ll go and bring some food from the village for you.

So off they went, and left Jesus to rest. Jesus sat on the edge of the well, and looked down into it. He could see the water at the bottom of it, and he really wanted a drink, but he didn’t have a bucket or a jar, and the water was too far down for him to reach. What a shame! He was so thirsty.

But just then he realised that there was someone coming towards the well. It was a woman, on her own, carrying a water jug. Jesus was surprised. Normally all the women came together, early in the morning when it was cool. They liked to go together too – it was a chance to meet and talk as they fetched the water. But this woman was all on her own, trudging along the road. Maybe she had no friends. Maybe the other women didn’t like her for some reason, or were mean to her, so she preferred to come on her own when there was no one around, even if it meant coming out when it was baking hot?

But Jesus was glad to see her. “Hello,” he said, “I’m so glad you’ve come. Could you get me a drink of water from the well, please? I am so thirsty, and I don’t have a bucket.” The woman looked at him in surprise. Jewish people usually didn’t talk to Samaritans if they could help it, and men didn’t usually talk to women unless they were part of the family, but Jesus wanted her help.
She was so surprised that he was talking to her, so surprised that he was asking for her help, so surprised that he was being so friendly that she gave him the water and sat straight down to talk to him. They talked about all sorts of things – their ideas about God and their different customs. Jesus wanted to know what she thought – no one had ever wanted to know what she thought before.
After they had been talking for ages, though, Jesus managed to find out what it was that made her sad, why it was that she was alone at the well in the middle of the day. She’d been married five times, but each time her husband had gone off and left her. Now she lived with someone who wouldn’t marry her. Everyone in her village thought it must be her fault if things didn’t work out for her – there must be something wrong with her. No one wanted to be her friend.
But Jesus did, and she started to realise that it wasn’t her fault that everyone was mean to her after all – there was nothing wrong with her at all.

When Jesus’ disciples came back from the village they were surprised to see Jesus talking to the woman, but they didn’t say anything. She got up and went home, but she felt quite different. She had a friend, someone who had got to know her and like her. Normally she kept herself to herself in the village, but not this day. She rushed from door to door, telling her neighbours about Jesus. “Come and meet him yourself,” she said. “He’s my friend, but he can be your friend too.”

· I wonder what you thought about that story?
· Jesus changed the way that woman thought about herself. She thought she was no good, that no one could like her, but Jesus showed her that there was nothing wrong with her.
· Sometimes we might need to change the way we think about ourselves – might think we are no good at something – or maybe the opposite, that we know it all and don’t need to learn anything new.
· Prayer – that we can learn to see ourselves as we are, not as other people tell us we are.


  1. It seems that you've put a great amount of time into your article and I want a lot more of these on the internet these days. Well, anyways... it certainly was very informative for me.


  2. Many thanks - I just thought it was worth blogging what I was doing in collective worship as I went along. There's no such thing as a new idea, and if anyone else finds it helpful in priming the pump, it is worth doing!