Here’s a readers’ theatre setting of John 4, where Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. It is set for three voices.
Readers’ Theatre: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
(John 4: 3-28, 39-42)
Narr: Jesus and his disciples left Judea and returned to Galilee.
The trip took them through Samaria.
After a time, they came to the Samaritan village of Sychar,
near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there;
and Jesus, tired from the long walk,
sat down beside the well for a rest.
The disciples ventured off to look for provisions.
It was about noon, and before long
a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water.
Jesus said to her,
Jesus: Would you please draw some water for me, and give me a drink?
Narr: The woman was surprised,
for Jews usually refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans.
Woman: I can’t believe that you, a Jew, would even speak to me,
much less ask me for a drink of water!
Jesus: If you only knew the gift God has for you
and who you are speaking to!
Because if you did, you would ask me,
and I would give you living water.
Woman: Sir, you sit by this deep well,
a thirsty man without a bucket in sight.
Where would you get this living water?
Do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob,
who laboured long and hard to dig and maintain this well
so that he would have clean water to share with his sons and daughters,
his grandchildren, and his livestock?
How can you offer better water than he and his family enjoyed?
Jesus: Drink this water, and your thirst is quenched only for a moment.
You must return to this well again and again.
But the water I offer you is different.
I offer water that quenches thirst forever.
It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within you,
giving life throughout eternity.
You would never be thirsty again.
Woman: Please, sir, give me this water!
Then I’ll never be thirsty again,
and I won’t have to keep coming here to get water.
Jesus: Go and get your husband.
Woman: I don’t have a husband.
Jesus: Technically you are telling the truth.
But you have had five husbands
and are currently living with a man you are not married to.
Woman: Sir, it is obvious to me that you are a prophet.
So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist
that Jerusalem is the only place of worship,
while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim,
where our ancestors worshiped?”
Jesus: Woman, I tell you that neither is so.
The time is coming when it will no longer matter
whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.
Believe this: a new day is coming—in fact, it’s already here—
when the importance will not be placed on the time and place of worship
but on the truthful hearts of worshipers.
You worship what you don’t know, while we worship what we do know,
for God’s salvation in coming through the Jews.
The Father is spirit,
and He is seeking followers whose worship is sourced in truth
and deeply spiritual as well.
Regardless of whether you are in Jerusalem or on this mountain,
if you do not seek the Father,
then you do not worship.
Woman: I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ.
When he comes, he will explain everything to us.
Jesus: I am the Messiah!
Narr: Just then his disciples came back.
They were shocked to find him talking to a woman,
but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?”
or “Why are you talking to her?”
The woman went back to the town, leaving her water pot behind.
She stopped men and women on the streets
and told them about what had happened.
And because of her testimony, the village of Sychar was transformed—
many Samaritans heard and believed.
They approached Jesus and repeatedly invited Him to stay with them,
so he lingered there for two days on their account.
And as he spoke to them, many more came to believe.
They began their faith journey because of the testimony of the woman at the well;
but when they heard for themselves,
they were convinced that Jesus was God’s Anointed –
the Saviour sent to rescue the entire world.
~ this setting drew inspiration from The Voice Bible translation of Scripture, copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. http://www.hearthevoice.com/