Summary: Part one of the Woman at the Well
JN 4:1 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. More Church envy “I gotta get out of here” 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. - No Rabbi ever had to go through Samaria
Background Jews and Samaria
Samaria Map 1 - Samaria lay between Judea/Jerusalem and Galilee
Jews have no dealings with Samaritans - understatement of the world
Jewish prayers - “Lord, do not remember the Samaritan in the resurrection.”
Jewish saying: “May I never set eyes on a Samaritan.”
Josephus characterizes the Samaritans as idolaters and hypocrite. Religious similar to Jews but more liberal - intermarriage with Assyrians soiled their pure Hebrew blood. So they were ostracized - they built a different temple on Mt. Gerizim to offer Jewish sacrifices.
Samaria Map 2 So Jews would cross the Jordan river and skirt Samaria going out of their way
Samaria Map 3 - but not Rabbi Jesus - he walked through storms
I like the attitude of the King’s men - where is life the toughest? Where do people need Christ the most? Can that be my attitude? Easy to build a church that caters to Christians, but a church for those outside church! That is another story.
Read vs. 5-10
5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired (beat) as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. (Noon) 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )
10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
Ministry happens on the way -
Never forget that!
Ministry doesn't wait until you are rested
Jesus is hungry, tired - imagine sending his disciples ahead. Was it just because he saw a woman heading down the path - and he didn't want his disciples to muck this outreach moment up? Could it be that Jesus was whipped? That God was tired - hungry - thirsty?
Ministry happens when you let go of prejudice
The rabbis taught: “Let no Israelite eat one mouthful of any thing that is a Samaritan’s; for if he eat but a little mouthful, he is as if he ate swine’s flesh”
And yet, the disciples are buying food in Sychar. Were they were beginning to be influenced by Jesus’ attitude towards all those fashioned in God's image?.
Ministry happens to those you least expect
Try to imagine the scene - veiled woman (show image of veiled woman) coming to the well at noon, hottest time of day, not early morning when all the other women came. When you see things out of place, go to God and listen.
The value of asking for help - was Jesus helpless or was he fishing?
How can you ask me for a drink? Not hostile - amazed - broken - overwhelmed.
We project our culture/ lives into the Bible. What’s the big deal with Jesus talking to a woman?
We need a little culture shock now and then to understand this story
Every mention of women in the Bible, every conversation, has to be seen with horror. No woman would touch a rabbis feet, washing them with tears, drying them with her hair. No woman would meet a risen Jesus and cling to him, no woman would be named as a disciple certainly - no rabbi would accept a cup of water from a Samaritan woman.
OT conferred dignity on women, it soon degraded to be more like the pagan in Jesus day. Woman had no right to own property, to speak in public, to ask for justice, to seek a divorce
A Hebrew man did not talk with women “in the street” — not even with his mother, sister, daughter or wife! Bleeding and bruised” Pharisees; Jewish men often started the day with a prayer Thank God, I am neither a Gentile, a slave, or a woman
Role of women changed so much with so many battles fought. 150 years ago women could not attend the university! Access to professions that required college education were stopped. Until mid 19th century, women had no rights to seek divorce from abusive relationships, and they had no rights to custody for children upon a divorce It took 1900 years from Jesus' day for women to get the right to vote. POP is a safe place for men and women to minister and serve!