Real Lessons from the Life of Jesus

Real Lessons from the Life of Jesus: Cultivating His Heart – Week 1

We’ve been all about Cultivating Community this summer. We hope you enjoyed learning and growing through the wisdom of God’s word in our July Wise and Kind Proverbs series. As we close out this summer season together, we’re inviting you to continue to cultivate God’s word into your heart and life by digging deep into the life and ministry of Jesus. Each Friday in August, we’ll be reading and reflecting on real lessons from His life. There is no one more fascinating to me than Jesus. There is just no one like Him!

As you read and study things He said, immerse yourself into each story. Pause and imagine you were there. Reflect on what you might have been feeling in those very moments. As you observe how Jesus interacted with all kinds of people, our hope is that you will be deeply moved and motivated to cultivate His heart into your own life.

In Jesus, we have the perfect example of wisdom & kindness.

Jesus loved people well, while also speaking truth into their lives and giving them grace when they didn’t get it right. Imagine what could happen if we as a community of women committed to cultivating the heart of Jesus into every aspect of our lives. It would not only change us, but it would change the world around us.

There is no greater pursuit than cultivating God’s word into our hearts and lives. We love being on this journey with you, and we encourage you to share what you’re learning with a trusted friend or your community group. We want to to hear from you too, and invite you to tell us what God is showing you in the comments below or on Instagram and Facebook.

Seeking Him with you,

Week 1: The Woman at the Well

This week, we are going to read the story of the Woman at the Well. It is one of my all-time favorites. There are so many nuggets of truth tucked away in this exchange. This woman was desperate for hope, for grace and for a new chance at life. I wonder if you can relate? Jesus meets her right where she is and this one encounter changes everything.

As you read, remember to use our REAL study method. You can grab a printable version here. Take notes, highlight, re-read and focus on who you see Jesus becoming to this woman. Then, reflect on your own life and how He is speaking to you.

Read John 4:1-30 (The Message)

1-3 Jesus realized that the Pharisees were keeping count of the baptisms that he and John performed (although his disciples, not Jesus, did the actual baptizing). They had posted the score that Jesus was ahead, turning him and John into rivals in the eyes of the people. So Jesus left the Judean countryside and went back to Galilee.

4-6 To get there, he had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon.

7-8 A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)

9 The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”

11-12 The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”

13-14 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”

15 The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!”

16 He said, “Go call your husband and then come back.”

17-18 “I have no husband,” she said.

“That’s nicely put: ‘I have no husband.’ You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband. You spoke the truth there, sure enough.”

19-20 “Oh, so you’re a prophet! Well, tell me this: Our ancestors worshiped God at this mountain, but you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place for worship, right?”

21-23 “Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you Samaritans will worship the Father neither here at this mountain nor there in Jerusalem. You worship guessing in the dark; we Jews worship in the clear light of day. God’s way of salvation is made available through the Jews. But the time is coming—it has, in fact, come—when what you’re called will not matter and where you go to worship will not matter.

23-24 “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.”

25 The woman said, “I don’t know about that. I do know that the Messiah is coming. When he arrives, we’ll get the whole story.”

26 “I am he,” said Jesus. “You don’t have to wait any longer or look any further.”

27 Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked. They couldn’t believe he was talking with that kind of a woman. No one said what they were all thinking, but their faces showed it.

28-30 The woman took the hint and left. In her confusion she left her water pot. Back in the village she told the people, “Come see a man who knew all about the things I did, who knows me inside and out. Do you think this could be the Messiah?” And they went out to see for themselves.


  1. What do you learn about the heart of Jesus in this story?
  2. How do you see Jesus modeling wisdom?
  3. How do you see Jesus modeling kindness?
  4. Based on this passage of scripture, what do you see in Jesus that you want to cultivate in your own life?
  5. How can you live this out in your relationships this week? Be specific.

Pray, asking God for wisdom, strength, and courage as you seek to cultivate the heart of Jesus.

We’ll see you here next week, for more real lessons from the life of Jesus through the story of Mary, who anointed His feet. Until then, let’s be women who intentionally pursue the heart of Jesus as we grow spiritually wise and relationally kind.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

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  • Reply Cheralyn Nichols August 5, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    So good! Such an incredible story of Jesus crossing cultural and gender barriers. I imagine how excited he was anticipating meeting this woman, or I should say, this woman meeting Him, the messiah in person. Can you even imagine! He wasn’t afraid to be real with her and did it in such a way that didn’t belittle her or make her feel less than.
    I love that in Lisa Beveres book Without Rival, she shares more of this woman’s story. It is real and raw and miraculous and evidence of a life changed because she encountered The Messiah!

    • Reply Elena Kunkel August 10, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Hi Cheralyn, We love that history and perspective that Lisa Bevere shares too, and yes – Jesus let nothing stand in the way of speaking truth into this woman’s life. It’s incredible in every way. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us. We hope you’ll join us for the rest of the series.

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