Summary: A sermon about the first non-Jewish Evangelist in Samaria.
“Look How She’s Changed”
By: Kenneth Emerson Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport
Samaria was a region located between Galilee to the North and Judea to the south.
In Jesus’ day, Jews would try to avoid going through Samaria--by going around it.
You see, the Jews and the Samaritans didn’t get along very well.
The Samaritans were a mixed race, and the Jews--keeping with their purity system
considered Samaritans impure.
The Samaritans, on the other hand, refused to accept the Temple of Jerusalem as their
Temple, they helped the kings of Syria in the wars against the Jews, and around the time Jesus
was born, some Samaritans profaned the Temple in Jerusalem by leaving human bones in
After that, the Samaritans were prohibited from entering the Temple.
There were also religious differences between the Jews and the Samaritans.
For example, the Samaritans only accepted the first five books of Moses as Holy
Scripture, so the Messiah they were looking for was quite a bit different than the one the
Jews were looking for.
The Jews were looking for a nationalistic Messiah, while the Samaritans expected a
Messiah like Moses.
In spite of all this, or perhaps because of it, Jesus decided to pass through Samaria,
where he arrived at a city named Sychar, where He felt tired and sat down near a source of water
called Jacob’s well.
It was the middle of the day--when the sun is the hottest--and a woman from the
region approached the well to draw water.
This is odd in itself.
It’s odd that the woman would draw water at this time of day.
Usually it was done at dawn or sunset.
She was also alone!
Where were her friends?
Where were the other women from the town.
Could it be that the woman had been pushed to the edges of society for her behavior?
Was she being judged by others?
Was she an outcaste?
Did she suffer from very low self-esteem?
I would say, “Yes.”
At any rate, the woman must have been quite startled to see a Jewish man sitting there!
What went through her mind?
Of course she had spent her life being used by men....
....one of her thoughts may have been....
Here’s another man coming to take something from me.....
Why else would he be here?
She must have been astonished that all Jesus asked her for was a drink of water!
Now, the rules of social behavior did not look favorably upon men conversing with
It was said by the teachers of the time, “Don’t detain yourself for a long while to speak
with a woman.”
In other words, “A conversation with a woman is a waste of time.”
On top of this, the Jews considered themselves to be superior to Samaritans...
So here was this Jewish man, engaging in conversation a Samaritan Woman with a
questionable reputation out in the open in the middle of the day!
And unlike every other man that this woman has ever come in contact with....Jesus isn’t
trying to take something away from her....He is giving her something....
Jesus ignored social norms in His preaching, teaching, healing and other actions.
He disregarded the hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans, and He was even speaking