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Sabbath School Lessons on Health & Healing
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 39 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 4: The Water of Life *
Introduction: Read the first chapter of the Gospel of John,
and ask yourself "Why did John start out his account of
Jesus this way?" My reaction is that John is concerned
that people do not understand who Jesus is. John
essentially says, "Pay attention and I'll teach you what
you should know about Jesus." Then John tells us a number
of stories to teach us about Jesus. Three of John's first
four stories explaining who Jesus is have something to do
with water. The wedding at Cana story (John 2) converts
water to wine. The Nicodemus interview (John 3) focuses on
water baptism. The Samaritan woman story (John 4) explains
about living water. Let's dive into our study and learn
more about "the Water of Life!"
- Wedding Water
- Read John 2:1-5. Have you ever heard a
conversation between a teen and a parent that
sounds like this? (It seems that Jesus' mother is
not really listening to Him. Jesus says "This is
not the right time," and His mother hears "Yes,
I'll do it.)
- Is this a problem which needed fixing? Our
lesson series is about health and healing.
Which would be better to drink, water or
- Read John 2:6-10. How much wine did Jesus make?
(Between 120-180 gallons!)
- Since we are on the topic of water, what does
this teach us about Jesus and water? (Jesus
has the power to convert water into something
special. He can make water more than water.)
- What does this teach us about Jesus'
willingness to make water special for us?
(Jesus is liberal in His gift of converted
water. He gives us more than we need. He
gives us better than we need.)
- Well Water and Living Water
- Read John 4:1-3. Why would the Pharisees keep
track of how many people were being baptized by
John versus Jesus' disciples? (No doubt the
Pharisees considered these two to be unauthorized
competition. They were concerned.)
- What caused Jesus to go back to Galilee -
learning that the Pharisees were keeping
track of Him or learning that He was winning
in the baptismal contest? (Recall John 2:1-4.
Jesus was concerned about the timing of His
ministry. Apparently, He did not want to
appear to be in a contest with John or to
focus the attention of the Pharisees on
Himself so soon in His ministry.)
- Read John 4:4-6. The most direct way for Jesus to
go back to Galilee is to travel through Samaria.
He has been doing that, it is noon and the
disciples have gone off to buy food ( John 4:8).
Jesus is tired. He sits down at a historic well to
- What kind of a relationship did the
Samaritans have with the Jews? (It was pretty
bad. The Jews thought the Samaritans were
inferior, and the Samaritans had the kind of
reaction you would expect.)
- Read John 4:7-9. Is this woman being nasty to
Jesus? Or, is she just needling Him for asking
for a drink?
- Do you think she is refusing to give Jesus a
drink? Or, is she just reminding Him of the
problems between the Jews and Samaritans?
- Read John 4:10. How would you react to this
statement if you were a Samaritan? (Talk about a
superiority complex! He asks you for a drink,
then announces He is "very important" and already
has better water than you can give Him.)
- Read John 4:11-12. How does this woman react? (She
challenges Jesus - none of what Jesus says seems
possible. After all, it was Jesus who first asked
her for a drink!)
- Does Jesus answer her question? Does He say
He is greater than Jacob?
- The prior chapter of John recounts Jesus'
night meeting with Nicodemus - one of the
most powerful spiritual and political leaders
of the Jews. Read John 3:3-5. How would you
compare the reaction of Nicodemus to the
reaction of the Samaritan woman? (Jesus has
both Nicodemus and the woman asking "How can
you say such a thing? It makes no sense!")
- Why is Jesus talking with Nicodemus
about water? (He is talking about
baptism - spiritual cleansing.)
- Read John 4:13-14. What kind of water is Jesus
talking about? Well water? (No. Spiritual water.)
- Let's contemplate this just a minute. Assume
you lived in that area of the world. What
would water mean? (In dry, sandy, dusty
areas, water makes all the difference. My
brother used to live in Palm Springs,
California. One city block is green and lush,
the next block a dry sandbox. Water makes
all the difference.)
- What does Jesus' water mean for our
- Think back to the wedding at Cana. What
did Jesus' water mean for their life?
(It made basic life better. It made life
enjoyable. It made life richer and
- Look again at John 4:14. What happens to us
when we drink Jesus' water? (We become
springs of Jesus' water "welling up to
- Tell me what you think it means to live
that kind of life? (Full, exciting,
- I once read a magazine that attacked
those Christians who love to celebrate
their salvation. The magazine suggested
that Christians should be very sober and
sad because of their sins? (Our sins
should sober us, but Jesus has forgiven
our sins and has given us eternal life.
A bubbling spring is not a good
description for a sad and sober
- Our lesson series is about health. What
lesson do we learn about health from Jesus'
conversation about water? (Jesus gives us a
life-giving, lush, bubbling life!)
- Deep Water
- Read John 3:1-5. Why is Jesus' statement true?
What is the underlying logic?
- Read Romans 6:1-4. What does the water of baptism
do for us? (This is the logic of baptism: when we
go under the water ("buried") we symbolically go
under the ground and die Jesus' death for our
- How does this symbolism unite the lesson of
the wedding of Cana and the lesson of the
Samaritan woman at the well? (Water, in
Jesus' hands, can transform the ordinary into
the extraordinary. Water, in Jesus' hands
gives us new, bubbling, vibrant life to share
- In the story of Nicodemus and the Samaritan
woman, what do class, station in life,
intelligence, gender, spiritual learning,
money, power and past sins have to do with
the availability of Jesus' water? (Not only
is Jesus' water available to those in the
highest and lowest places in life, but the
need for Jesus' water is the same for both.)
- Read Romans 6:5. What kind of life does Jesus'
water bring us? (We will be resurrected into
- Friend, human history is filled with the quest for
some special drink that will give us life and
health. We have the secret that humans have long
sought - the water that give vibrant, bubbling,
everlasting life! Will you, today, determine to
follow Jesus' instruction to Nicodemus and the
Samaritan woman? Will you (if you have not been)
be baptized into the death of Jesus, and rise from
the water into His resurrection? Will you
determine to drink Jesus' living water that will
make you a bubbling, vibrant spring of a Christian
sharing Jesus' life-changing water with others?
- Next week: The Environment.
* Copr. 2010, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.