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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

MANY SAMARITANS BELIEVED

John 4:39-42 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and He abode there two days. And many more believed because of His own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

Jesus, not only told the Samaritan woman about her past and present life, but about the source of living water that will quench one's spiritual thirst forever; about the coming kingdom of God; about eternal salvation that is promised through Jewish heritage; about worshiping God from the heart of mankind in spirit and in truth, rather than from any physical temple or any particular geographical area; and, finally, that He was the promised Savior. Convinced that Jesus, whom she met at Jacob's well, was more than a prophet of God, she accepted His teaching and Himself as the one that is called Christ (See John 4:5-26). In verses 28-29, we find this same Samaritan woman returning to the city in which she lived. There, she excitedly told the people of her hometown about the man she met at the well, and about all that He had told her. With a rhetorical question she asked them, is not this the Christ?

Here we have one of the most essential tenets of New Testament Christianity - teaching God's plan of salvation through Christ Jesus to others. And the fact that it is compared to a small seed that, when planted in the fertile soil of one's heart, it will grow into a mature plant that, and when harvested, will yield 10, 20, 50, or more times than it was originally, is even more significant to the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is the lesson that Jesus wanted His disciples, and all of His followers, to learn. Where are the fields that are white ready to harvest? Just how does one preacher, teacher, or any other follower of Christ, who is capable of teaching God's word, call many to repentance and the hope of eternal salvation? Christians need to learn this scriptural principle, believe in it, and put it into practice daily. The principle demonstrated here by Christ Jesus is the multiplying effect of bringing one man or woman into the body of Christ.

In the lesson text we find Jesus teaching the woman of Samaria about the living water that He offers to all that accept Him as the promised Savior and obediently believe and obey His teaching. Convinced in Jesus and His teaching, the woman immediately went into her city and told others. No doubt these, in turn, told their neighbors until many people of the city became interested in hearing the teaching of Jesus, and came unto Him (Vs. 30). They believed in Him, first of all, because of the saying of the woman. She testified of her belief in Jesus as the Savior, not only because of His message of eternal salvation, but because He miraculously told her about her sinful past - something that no one could have possibly known about her unless they were a prophet sent by God. It was because of her testimony that the people of the city wanted to hear more teaching from this man called Jesus. This was a very extraordinary occurrence. It was very strange that people of a Samaritan village would invite others to hear a Jewish teacher. It is equally strange for a Jew to accept such an invitation. However, the doors of opportunity to teach others, even those considered enemies of the Jewish people, had now been opened. God's plan of salvation had been offered to one woman of Samaria. She heard and believed Jesus to be the promised Savior of the world. After she returned to the city and told others, they also wanted to know more. So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and He abode there two days.

The spiritual lessons Jesus taught during these two days are not revealed. Also, we are not told whether Jesus used other miracles to establish the truths that He taught to these Samaritans. We are told of the results. Some believed on Jesus because of what the woman told them, and many more believed because of His own word, that is, after they saw Jesus and heard for themselves, they knew, without any doubt, that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world. Here is the first confession that Jesus is the Savior, not only of the Jews, but also of the Samaritans and all people of the world. One conversion, that of the Samaritan woman, led many to hear, believe, and accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. What a great lesson for Christians of all ages. Who knows, maybe the one you teach will also lead many others to Christ!