Part 7, Knowing Jesus Better series
The most important teaching in this passage is not so much about the conversion of the Samaritan woman, but that Jesus is the Christ. It is the title of the Son of God which means the Messiah. Messiah in Hebrews is Mashiach which means the anointed One and has the same meaning with the Greek word Christos. Jesus was chosen by His Father to save His people from sin. There is no other but Jesus who can save. And the story of the encounter of Jesus with the Samaritan woman emphasizes this truth.
1. The Messiah sets the divine appointment.
3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” John 4:3-7.
V. 4 is more of a spiritual necessity for divine meeting with the Samaritan woman, than to taking a shorter route to Galilee.
The Messiah displayed the character of divine love and compassion that is unselective and broad.
He picks the time and sets the occasion to open up the mind of the Smaritan woman.
2. The Messiah’s love for sinners.
“6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)”… 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob?”
During Jesus’ day, many Jews rejected the Samaritans and considered them as sinful for several reasons:
A mixed race. They intermingled with non-Jews and intermarried with them, producing a mix race. The Old Testament scribe and Jewish leader named Ezra, enacted the regulation against intermarrying non-Jews in the late 6th BCE after coming back from exile.
Religious tension. (See vv. 6 and 12). The Jews considered the Samaritans as heretical because the latter believed only in the first 5 books of the Old Testament.
Cultural conflict. (See verse 9). The Samaritans intermarried with foreigners have adopted some of their cultures and tradition, further causing alienation from the Jews.
Aside from being avoided by the Jews for being a Samaritan, she was also isolated from her own people because of her ill-reputation. Having been divorced five times, the Samaritan woman now was living with a man not her husband in violation of the Law of Moses.
3. The Messiah can totally and graciously forgive sins.
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
The water from the well could dry up in arid temperatures but not Jesus. Jesus will never “dry up” on us. He will continue to provide cleansing for our sins, as much as we need.
Water symbolizes cleansing. Cleansing of the human soul happens as Jesus forgives sin completely.
The living water is also symbolic of the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus to His believers. As spring water wells up, the Holy Spirit taking residence in us, stays with us forever as He springs up from our innermost being. He is able to cleanse all our life, bringing transformation to our life. Moreover, the living Spirit in us, enables us to worship God in Spirit and in truth.
The woman believed and shared her story with other Samaritans and many believed. See v. 39-42.
God allows things to happen because He has a purpose for everything. Maybe it’s time to consider, these events that are happening to you and around you, are opportunities to open your heart to Jesus?
Invite Jesus now and ask Him to be your Messiah.