Summary: This lesson deals with the Lord's visit to the city of Samaria to correct three problems that plagued it. They were social, spousal and spiritual. The problems that faced this city then; face many of ours now. We need the Lord to visit our city today.
1. To Correct the Social Problems of Samaria
2. To Correct the Spousal Problems of Samaria
3. To Correct the Spiritual Problems of Samaria
1. In the lesson today will be discussing the theme "I Must Need Go through Samaria." This is an important subject because it deals with three ills which plagued the city of Samaria, as they now plague our cities today. Jesus felt a compelling need to journey through Samaria on his return trip to Galilee. This was not the only route into Galilee; he could have gone by way of the sea, or the mountain range bordering Samaria. It was not because of geography he had to go this way unto Galilee. But there were some things in Samaria that deserved our Lord’s immediate and uncompromising attention. He had a rendezvous with destiny!
2. First, Jesus had to correct the social problems that prevailed in Samaria and Jerusalem. The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus would break down a barrier to open to all the opportunities to the Kingdom of God. As you know, up until this time, he and the disciples were laboring under a "limited commission." Jesus would use this visit in this city to expand his message and healing beyond the nation of Israel. Truly, if every soul is to be subject to the kingdom of God, its terms of obedience and promises of eternal life; then, his presence and his work in Samaria and the other cities, must be felt. Jesus had to go through Samaria, to make them aware of the good news; and show his compassion for them.
3. Secondly, Jesus had to address the spousal problems in Samaria. The woman at the well would hear news regarding her marriages and how she could with all her problems be allowed to drink of the “living water.” Jesus is that: “Water which springs up into eternal life.” Truly, the grace of God is able to cover and forgive all sins -even the sin of being married 5 times and divorced and even having lived with a man unmarried. He came to preach a gospel of deliverance from all sins! Some ministers would have to stop teaching, when they learned of this woman’s marital condition -but not Jesus; He kept teaching the woman!
4. Finally, Jesus had to correct the spiritual problems that plagued Samaria. They were ill informed on how and where to worship God. Jesus would tell the woman at the well where the Samaritans would worship the true God; and how they are to worship Him and that was “in spirit and in truth.” Worship involves not only the “truth” but also the human “spirit.” Here we mean not just the acts of worship; but a spirit of reverence and joy in our adoration and praise to God. David said: “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go up into the house of the Lord,” Psalms 122:1. There must be joy and exhortation in our worship and devotion unto God. “Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say, Rejoice,” Philippians 4:4. With this introduction, let’s consider point one, “to correct the social problems of Samaria.”
BODY OF LESSON
I TO CORRECT THE SOCIAL PROBLEMS OF SAMARIA
A. The first reason why Jesus had to journey through Samaria was to correct some social problems there. We need him to come through our city today, don't we? Apparently, this city is like many, they found it hard to get along with their neighbors. Notice:
1. First, this was abundantly clear when the woman said: "How is it that thou, being a Jew, asketh drink of me, which is a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans,” John 4:9.
2. Further, their idol worship and pagan wives have separated them from their Jewish roots. They were despised, as were the “publicans and sinners” by the Jews.
3. Finally, Jesus needed to change the Jewish perceptions of their neighbors, if truly they were to be "fellow citizen with the saints, and of the household of God," Ephesians 2:19. He would do it first by his actions; and later through His teaching.
a. Luke wrote: "The former treatises have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach," Acts 1:1.
b. The Lord’s teaching was always as a result of His practices. He was a leader that was leading through His examples.
c. Illustrate: Don’t tell the church to love, show them how; don’t tell them to give more, show them how; don’t tell them to be faithful, show them how!
d. Recall Paul: “Faithful men, teach faithful men, to be faithful,” 2 Timothy 2:2.
B. The Limited Commission. Jesus and his disciples were preaching under the “Limited Commission” during the time of their visit to Samaria. What did this mean?