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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

JESUS MEETS A WOMAN OF SAMARIA

John 4:5-7 Then cometh He to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give Me to drink. (Also see John 4:8-12)

Realizing the unresolved dissention that arose among His disciples and those of John the Baptist, He (Jesus) left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And because this Palestinian province lies between Judea and Galilee, He must needs go through Samaria (See John 4:1-4). Samaria was also the name of a City, which was the provincial capital of the province of Samaria. The Israelite tribes of Ephraim and the half tribe of Manasseh formerly occupied this province. When the armies of Assyria invaded the northern ten tribes of Israel, they were defeated and many Jews were carried away into captivity. Heathen people, mostly from Babylon, Syria, and Assyria, repopulated this land and brought with them their ritualistic, idolatrous worship. When these pagan people mingled with and married into the Jewish families that remained in the land, a mixed race resulted that were referred to as the Samaritans. At many times in biblical history, the Jews that retained their pure bloodline, especially during the time of Jesus' earthly ministry, despised this mixed race of Judo-Assyrian people.

With this state of unfriendly enmity existing between the Jews and the Samaritans, then cometh He (Jesus) to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Most bible scholars think that the city, here referred to as Sychar, was formerly the city of Shechem. It was here that Abraham dwelt after entering the land of Canaan, and it was here that Jacob lived after returning to the Promised Land. And, as noted in verses 6 & 12, which follows, it was here that Jacob dug a well to obtain water for himself, his family, and his cattle. Joshua 24:32 confirms that it was in Shechem that Jacob bought a parcel of ground ...for an hundred pieces of silver, and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph. Coming to the site of Jacob's well, Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. One doesn't usually think of the physical frailties of Jesus, but here we note that He became fatigued due to this lengthy and arduous journey He was making to Galilee. He took His rest by sitting on the curb of this well, and it was about the sixth hour of the day, or as we recon time today, it was at noontime.

As He rested at the well, there cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. She was evidently not from the city of Samaria, and was most likely from the nearby city of Sychar. She was a Samaritan woman that had come to the well to fetch water for herself and probably for her family. Until she came, Jesus had sat alone at Jacob's well, ...for His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat (Vs. 8). It seems to be providential that His disciples were away at this time. It allowed this great lesson to be told about Jesus' meeting with the Samaritan woman and teaching a lesson of spiritual value to her, her relatives and neighbors, as well as to us today. Realizing Jesus was a Jew, the woman questioned Jesus' reason for asking her to give Him a drink of water, since it was well known that the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans (Vs. 9).

Jesus dispels her reservations about a Jew having a friendly relationship with a Samaritan by showing nothing but kindness toward her. Then He answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and he would have given thee living water (Vs. 10). Whether "the gift of God" referred to here is Jesus Himself, or the opportunity, at this moment of time, to learn the true way to eternal salvation, we aren't exactly told. But we know that the living water, He referred to here, is the gospel message of salvation He was beginning to usher in by His current ministry on earth. What a wonderful lesson for all people of the world. Just as this Samaritan woman, people of all generations are encouraged to know Jesus. To know Him you must believe God's message of salvation, repent of your sinful life, confess Jesus Christ to be the Savior and Son of God, and be baptized for the remission of sins. Then, and only then, will you be added to God's church, the church Jesus died to establish, and enjoy the hope of eternal salvation.