google-site-verification: google3e8cc4742c5fd8a2.html Investigating Jesus - Part 26

Investigating Jesus

Investigating Jesus Part 26
Jesus Encounters the Samaritan Woman at the Well

In John 4, w we come to see somebody who accepted Jesus for who he was. Jesus went via Samaria as it was the shortest route back to Galilee. It was hot. Jesus was thirsty and wanted a drink. His disciples had gone into town to get food. So, he asks a Samaritan woman to fetch Him some water from the well. That he asked a Samaritan would have been bad enough, but to also talk to a woman. What does this tell us about the woman? We don’t know the name of this woman, but by looking at this conversation between Jesus and her, we do discover several things about her.

We can see straight away that she was a Samaritan. There was equal animosity between Jews and Samaritans, as seen in “For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.” (John 4:9) This could equally be translated as “for Jews do not ask any favours of the Samaritans”. The Samaritans were a mixed-race people of both Jewish and Assyrian descent from the time of the division of Israel into two parts and the annexation of the Northern kingdom by Assyria, who had repopulated the area. (2 Kings 17).

She was therefore an outcast, that is why she was fetching water at the hottest part of the day. But not only because she was a Samaritan but also highly likely due to her sexual immorality having had 5 husbands and currently in a 6th relationship (John 4:18). This Samaritan woman also affirms that she was waiting for the Messiah (John 4:25).

What does this tell us about Jesus?

This encounter not only tells us about the Samaritan woman, it also reveals more about Jesus Himself.

  • He showed great humility by asking for a drink of water; he was putting Himself in her debt.
  • Tells us of his genuine humanity. He was tired, drained, hot, thirsty and hungry – normal every day human feelings and reactions.
  • Jesus contravened tradition in that he spoke to a woman who was a Samaritan and a sinner. Respectable Jewish men never did that sort of thing.
  • He knew the woman’s life of sinfulness (John 4:17).
  • Tells us of his divinity, when he offered her the water of eternal life (John 4:14).
  •  He could spiritually satisfy (John 4:14).
  • Loved the woman, and gave her the most revealing and explicit statement we have in the Gospels as to who he really was (John 4:26).

In showing love for the woman, he transcended cultural barriers. Ordinary Jewish men would never ask a Samaritan woman for a drink. Hence the disciples’ reaction in John 4:27. But Jesus is no ordinary man, his love is for all, whether they be rich, learned, male, female, wanted and unwanted. This act shows that Jesus’ offer of salvation is for all people, and not just the Jews.

The woman misunderstood the living water Jesus offered as she probably thought he meant running water or water from a river. But the living water Jesus offered was spiritual water to cleanse her from sin and give eternal life. Elsewhere in the Old Testament, God is described as “a fountain of living water” (Jeremiah 2:13). When the disciples returned, the woman left her water jar and went back to the town to tell other people about Jesus (John 4:29-30). Many people came to faith in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony (John 4:39-42) and knew Him as the saviour of the world (John 4:42). As Jesus’ ministry continues, we know that he spoke to people regardless of their social status, education, nationality or gender.


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