Summary: Picture # 4 in the series: The 14 Candid Snapshots of the Maturing Christian as found in the Gospel of John. The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well is a picture of a rational sinner who can come to Christ. A skid row prostitute can become a child of God.
Picture # 4: The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well is a picture of a rational sinner who can come to Christ as a new creation.(John 4:1-42).
In this picture, we’re going to see that a skid row prostitute drug abuser can become a child of God, and then immediately become an evangelistic witness for Christ.
The Samaritan woman left her clay water pot at the well, as Jesus filled her life with living water.
The gift of God is salvation by faith (Ephesians 2:28).
“Three Common Lies About God”
A familiar passage in the Bible is John chapter 4 where Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman at a well.
Many sermons have been preached about Jesus gently dealing with the Samaritan woman.
But in the midst of his gentle conversation, Jesus distinguishes firmly between right and wrong.
Read John 4:1-42.
Jesus had to pass through Samaria because He is all knowing and He knew the woman would be at the well at the 6th hour(6 is the Bible’s number for man).
It was high noon near Jerusalem, and it was probably a very hot day!
This is a woman (part of the human race) and it is high noon in her life.
Across the parched earth, a woman was walking toward the water well located on the edge of town.
This is the same well that Jacob gave to his favorite son, Joseph, and even today this well still exists and is approximately 96 feet deep.
The Samaritan woman was alone.
The other, respectable women who lived in town, had been to the well early in the cool of the morning.
They had all filled their pots with water for their needs of the day.
This woman came to the well alone because she was considered an outcast in her village.
She had been married 5 times and was currently living with a man who wasn’t her husband.
Her reputation around the town was pretty low.
She wasn’t a respectable woman, that’s why she arrived at the well in the middle of the day; so she wouldn’t be harassed by the respectable women who lived in the area.
As she approached the well, she carried a heavy clay water pot toward the well, but she also carried a much heavier burden in her soul.
This story unravels three lies about God.
We want to consider each one.
I. The first lie about God that this story unravels is the lie that God is whatever we want Him to be.
Having been confronted by Jesus with her blemished history, the Samaritan woman concludes that Jesus is a prophet.
To gain a better understanding of this story, you have to know something about Old Testament history.
When Israel separated from Judah after the death of Solomon, the northern kings led the nation further and further away from God.
Then, during the prophets Ezra and Nehemiah’s time, Samaritan leaders established a worship center at Gerazim.
Obviously the Samaritan religious leaders could not let their people make the long journey to Jerusalem each year to worship.
So, in their minds, they needed a God for the Northern Kingdom.
So, the Samaritans used scripture to get what they wanted (Burger King Theology).
They used Deuteronomy chapter 27 as their authority for locating a new temple at Gerazim.
The temple the Samaritans built at Gerazim was a rival to the great temple at Jerusalem.
No wonder the Samaritan woman was surprised when Jesus talked to her, because the Samaritans were despised and hated by the Jews.
The Samaritans recognized only the parts of the Bible that suited their needs for the moment.
They made God fit for their own agenda.
They rationalized God in their lives to fit their own needs, therefore, they are the perfect picture of the rational sinner.
The Samaritans turned God into what ever they wanted Him to be, in this case, a deity they could conveniently worship at Gerazim, and so they wouldn’t have to make the long journey to Jerusalem.
Today, we can’t rationalize God into whatever we want Him to be.
II. The second lie about God that this story unravels is the lie that God is obligated to offer salvation to the followers of other religions.
Jesus clearly affirms God’s continued selection of the Jews as the source of the Messiah.
No other religions can confirm that truth because they don’t contain that truth.
But look how close the religion of the Samaritans was to the religion of the Jews.
The Samaritans believed in the first five books of the Bible, but they rejected the books of Joshua through the book of Malachi.
The Samaritans descended from Abraham but they intermarried and mixed with the Medes and the Persians.
The Samaritans lived in the Promised Land, but they centered their culture around the historic well dug by the Jewish patriarch, Jacob.