John 4

Who are the Samaritans?

In John 4, Jesus travels from Judaea to Galilee and ventures through Samaria. Jesus’ journey is astonishing because Jews would never travel through Samaria. Even when they most direct path to a place would take them through Samaria, they would go around it. The Samaritans occupied the area of Israel that was given to Ephraim and the half-tribe of Manasseh. And the question must be raised, why did the Jewish people despise the Samaritans so much? Here are a few reasons…

  1. When Assyria conquered Israel, they deported many of the Israelites. They also sent some inhabitants from other countries (people not from the nation of Israel) to occupy the land of Samaria. The Israelites who are left in Samaria then begin to intermarry with foreigners. The result – the foreign gods are worshipped and God was forgotten. During this time, the Samaritans face a problem with lions and decide it is due to the fact they do not worship the god of the land in which the now live. To answer this problem, a syncretic (meshing together different religions) religion forms by combining worship from their foreign gods with the God of Israel. Obviously a huge mess. Aside – It is worth noting that many people try to do this same thing today – mixing together different religions or schools of thought. It never works because there is only one God!
  2. The Samaritans set up their own temple in Samaria and name a man who is not from the tribe of Levi as the high priest. The idolatrous religion of the Samaritans is perpetuated.
  3. In this new syncretism, the Samaritans only recognize the first 5 books of the Bible as authoritative. They reject the writings of the prophets and the Jewish traditions.

Because of all this and more, the Jewish people consider Samaritans “half-breeds” and we see they are counted less than dogs. All this just so you understand the power behind what happens at the well.

The Woman at the Well

While Jesus is in Samaria, He stops at a well and wants to get a drink of water. He meets a Samaritan women and begins to speak with her. John 4:9-10, “How is it that you a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” 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 a drink.” The Samaritan woman is utterly confused. She recognizes that Jesus has nothing to draw water with and the well is deep. What kind of water could this man offer her? Based on what she knows of Him, He is unable to provide for her. (There is so much more I wish I could write you about but it would take far more time than what this is intended to be!) 

She cannot see who is sitting right next to her at the well. She is blind and the truth alludes her. However, the bind gains sight by the power of Jesus! He speaks to her and tells her about her life and then the words that forever change her life. 

Jesus is the Messiah

John 4:25-26 – 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. Jesus said to her, “I am he who speaks to you.”

Some of the most powerful words a person can hear! Jesus is the Messiah who has been promised since Genesis 3! And He is sitting right next to the woman at the well. A woman who was not only a Samaritan but a woman who was considered low even among other Samaritans. She is the lowest of low and the Messiah, Jesus Christ, steps down into her low estate and tells her who He is.

Do not miss the magnitude of this encounter. The Samaritan woman is the first person where we see Jesus speak the words that He is the long awaited Messiah in the book of John! 

What does this mean? Jesus visits all those who are in low estate and exalts them to be a child of the King! The only thing we must do is what we have seen so clearly and often in the book of John – we must BELIEVE in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved!

Jesus Gives LIFE

And Jesus is speaking to you today! Come to Me. I am the Messiah. I will take the blinders off of your eyes and I WILL GIVE YOU LIFE! 

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