MOMUSA: John 4 Part 1 on 5.25.2016 by Surleigh Tara

May 26th, 2016

John 4: Samaritan Woman at the Well by Surleigh Tara

Jesus met a Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob. At noon time on the way from Judea to Galilee, Jesus was sitting by the well while a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Due to cultural differences, Jews and Samaritans do not have a good relationship. Jesus asked the woman for water, but the woman responded by questioning Jesus’ intention.   Jesus already knew the reputation of the woman, and he wanted to reach out to her regarding sharing with her what is yet to come. First, the culture would not allow a Jew to carry out conversation with a non-Jew. Let alone, a Samaritan woman who had had five husbands. She was the third striker, yet Jesus wanted to share the living water with her. In this passage, Jesus is the main speaker speaking to the audience of one. The conversation with the Samaritan woman took place at the well of Jacob. The well is in the city called Sychar. The city was near the land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. We learned from the passage the Jesus met the woman at well about noontime, and the event took place approximately 33 AD.

The literary context of the passage conveys the salvation is for one and all. Looking at the events before this passage, Nicodemus, who was highly educated and well respected, came during dark hours asking Jesus the way to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. The response that he got from Jesus was to be born again. At first, he did not understand the meaning of being born again until Jesus explained. Following this, John the Baptist also confirmed about the one who comes from heaven is above all. John baptized with water and Jesus, who is the son of God, baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

The historical context conveys that Jesus came to abolish the cultural struggles that had been in existence. And in the passage, we learned about the ongoing 700-year-old struggle between the Jews and Samaritan. The city between Judea and Galilee is Samaria. The Jews when taking a regular route from Judea to Galilee, they would go further east just enough to a point that when they start going north, they would not have to go through Samaria. There was an absolute avoidance between the Jews and the Samaritans. And in Jesus’ case, he confronted the issue by going to the city of Samaria where he waited by the well and the reached out to the woman. After the confrontation, the woman went back into the city, and we learned that the entire town was involved with Jesus’ ministry and some received salvation.

Galatians 3: 8 talks about God in His plans that Abraham is a blessing to the Gentiles. One man’s absolute obedience is a blessing to one and all. We learned that Abraham is the father of the Jews and thousands of years later, Apostle Paul was telling the people of Galatia that the non-Jews will receive the Gospel by faith. The death and resurrection of the Lord and Savior fulfill this promise that by faith in Jesus Christ, we will have eternal life.

The book of the Acts of the Apostles chapter 10 also affirms that salvation is for one and all. A centurion, who feared God, had a vision from God to send for Peter, who was in a different town. The centurion’s name was Cornelius. After the vision, he sent his men to Peter. And before they got to where Peter was, he, too, received a vision from God about the Gospel being for one and all. Right before he was out of the trance, he was informed while in the trance that two men were waiting for him at the entrance. He went with them and there they received salvation and started ministering to the other Gentiles.

Jesus sends out the 12 disciples to get food for 13 people, 12 disciples, and Jesus. The question that was brought to my attention was how many men would it take to get food for a small group of men? The consensus would commonly answer with one maybe two. Now I learned that if these 12 men were in town or with Jesus, they might have scared away the woman from spending time in answering question whole-heartedly. They would not have been ready to handle the situation because of the cultural stigmas. Jesus, being God and man, handled the situation according to the will of God.

Jesus is the gift of life by the grace of God we can receive salvation. It is not by our works but only the love of God through our Lord and Savior we can have eternal life. Grace is a gift that we do not deserve. Jesus did it all as we read in these passages.

Many times, we tend to avoid confrontations. As Christian, we behave exactly like the disciples in the passage. Jesus could not use them in the situation so he had to send them away so he could accomplish the will of God. He could have made a miracle converting stones to bread to satisfy their hunger. But he chose to perform another teaching moment.

This passage speaks louder to me now. Before this, I always looked at the angle of the message within this passage that there will be a day where everyone will worship in truth and spirit. In my opinion, this was the big angle that everyone I know would consider. The new perspective that I learned from this would have to do with the disciples being a hindrance to Jesus’ mission. The omniscience quality of our Lord led him to remove the followers from the scene because they were not ready to be in His service. Now I start asking that question about my service to God. I started asking myself and wondering how many times Jesus had to remove me from the scene because I was a hindrance to His work. This message brings humility in me. I need Jesus more to show me the way that I can be of service to Him.