Lessons In The Life Of The Samaritan Woman
This week in our women of the Bible study we had the opportunity to dig into the life of the samaritan woman.Some of the women we’ve studied I can honestly say I had no clue who they were!
I remember studying the wise woman of Able and I had absolutely no clue who she was. I had never heard of her but the samaritan woman I know very well !
She is one of those women who is a familiar that is talked about alot in most churches.
We are going to pick apart this divine appointment with this Samaritan woman and Jesus and see the things we can learn from this meeting.
We will see what we can learn about the Jews and Samaritans but also what we can learn and grow from this ring side seat we have into how Jesus loves this “half breed” Samaritan.
We may even learn how to love those we few as “half breeds”.
We see Jesus portray a love that will sit down with us and meet with us and have a one on one invitation.
We are going to see that Jesus loves the socially degraded, the socially spent and the socially worthless.
Religious Mindset versus Christ-like Mindset.
Jesus does the most unholiest of things in the eyes of the religious and sits down with a woman.
Jesus does the most unholiest of things in the eyes of the religious and sits down with a Samaritan.
Jesus does the most unholiest of things in the eyes of the religious and sits down with a sinner.
So lets combine all that! He does a triple no no…
Jesus sits down with a samaritan woman who is a sinner.
This moment we are given a little sneak peak in at the well has loads to teach us. The question I have asked my self for several years now is….how do we reach a broken world?
How do we reach an outcast world?
Jesus shows us just how to do that in this moment.
How do we reach those we see as “sinners” if we never engage with them?
So my hope is that you’ll see Jesus engage.
We must once again truly love a broken world.
…Not after their clean.
…Not after they have attended church.
…Not after they have embraced our belief system…..
A SAMARITAN WOMAN
The nation of Israel was ripped in two pieces . One portion ended up being called Samaria. This is a really simple explanation. There is a whole history lesson right here but I want to get to the meat of the teaching for today.
These people were a “half breed” hodge podge of Jews and non Jews. The Assyrians had captured Samaria and they began to intermarry. You’ll see this listed in 2 Kings 17: 1-8. This created tension between the Jews and the Samaritans. Heavy tensional relationships between the Jews and Samaritans are strong to this day.
Many Jews believe the Samaritans to be heretics. Many Samaritans did not worship Yahweh. Thus the distain of the Jews for the Samaritans and their removal from them. This Samaritans had served other gods.
Now we turn our mind to this one specific Samaritan woman. She is a woman which made her of lower social status then add she is a Samaritan. She has very little value in the jewish society.
What this Samaritan woman personally believes we do not know but we do see she believed in the Messiah. We see this woman knew the Messiah would come. There are so many ways we can go with this study but I wanted to point out some things I see about this sweet lady and what is birthed in her once she encounters Christ.
We see a woman who is an outcast that is loved by Christ thats given the privilege of relationship who turns into an influential woman.
So we are going to talk about
The Outcast Woman
The Loved Woman
The Privileged Woman
The Influential Woman
AN OUTCAST WOMAN
She was an outcast. She was an outcast from society but she was also outcast by the people of God. Let’s look at how we can see she could have been outcast from her own society. It would be common for women to come to the well In packs…. But she is coming in the heat of the day and she’s coming alone.
We see her possible “outcast” status from the get go listed in John 4: 16-19. We see she may have been outcast because of her situation with her male counterparts.
Another way we see her outcast status is by how Gods people have responded to the samaritan people. I love seeing in John 4:9 that she knows that the people of Israel, the Jews didn’t associate with “samaritans”. She knows that “jewish” people had shunned her people.
What powerful thoughts here girls.
I am not saying run into a den of sin and slather in it.
I am saying love the broken.
You love the outcast….
We see Jesus do just that….
She is blown away that “this jew” is having anything to do with her. I wonder if there was any distain for the jews within her because of that. Was their a hint of angst in her voice as she said that?
We don’t know I just wonder…..
Was she wondering… what makes you different? I can be honest and say that probably would have been for me. I believe we are right here in our culture.
We wonder why the culture is so turned off by our God.We have snubbed our nose at them and just not at their sin.
We have become harsh. She knows “your kind” don’t mix with “our kind”.
She knows that! Scripture straight up “goes” there.
Several years ago when we started a new church plant locally I experienced a little bit of that social outcast feeling. When God led us to begin this new work lots of new folks came into our lives. Some of those people didn’t look like “normal” church people. Whatever “normal” church people are supposed to look like. But you know what I mean.
We went to lunch with our new friends. Our new friends hate lots of tattoos. They had chains on their belts. It wasn’t one hidden tattoo. Full sleeves of tattoos were common. Now before I go any further in this story, I want to tell you I live in a small town. Que the “Cheers” music… Where everybody knows your name…and they’re always glad you came….You get my drift. As we sat their with our friends, some folks we knew very well came by our table. You could see on their face who I was sitting with was offensive to them that I would sit with the “sinner”
In that moment, I felt it. I felt the “outcast”. You are sitting with sinners sneer. I felt the disgust at their very existence. Church, it wasn’t pretty. As I look back I am thankful for that moment. It taught me who I didn’t want to be. It taught me that is exactly how I have looked most of my life.
We need to reach the outcast without concern for the sneered brow of onlookers.
Our text tells us that when the disciples came back from town from getting food they were surprised why He was talking to this woman.
No it was not culturally acceptable for Jesus to speak to a woman.
No different than its not religiously acceptable
for you to engage with the “half breeds” of our society….
but we are called to love as Christ loved.
Jesus reached her through relationship.
He doesn’t seem to be worried about how others view this outcast woman.
He is concerned with her soul.
He knew who she was…and HE was JESUSS….And He purposefully engaged with a woman
And he purposefully engaged with a Samaritan
Get this…let’s pile it on…..
He purposefully engaged with a woman, who was a Samaritan and who is sinful.
Society had purposefully left her.
The church (the Jews) had shunned her.
But Jesus hadn’t …..
I want to love like this right here!
I want to love the broken.
I want to love the outcast.
I want to love those shunned by the church.
Does this take a big reworking on my foundational “stay away from sin” mentality?
Yes!If I did that I’d have very few relationships. I might not have one with you.
SHE IS A LOVED WOMAN
Jesus knows who she is…but He still loves her enough to sit down and engage with her. engaging with her. Asking a drink from her from the well
Of course we know this is a way Jesus is going to share who he is with her but …
To reach the world we have to engage with them, church!!!!
We show our love to a lost world by relationship with them.
When we started this new church plant a few years ago God really was dealing with us with our
church cultural mindset. Our pastor asked us to write down who we knew we could evangelize.
Who we could share the gospel with. Who we knew in our circle that were unsaved.
I knew no one…..
This was a huge revelation to me that I lived in a religious bubble.
No one put me there but myself.
How am I going to love the broken and outcast of the world if I don’t know them?
But Jesus does the simple thing….
He sits down and engages with her…
He didn’t invite her to the temple…to church.
He sat down and began a relationship with her.
Relationship is a very powerful thing.
Simple conversation can show the value we see in others. A conversation centered around Christ changes lives.
Jesus is meeting her needs in an everyday relational task.
She’s gotta go get water.
So He mets her there….
Ladies, just like God met with her in the ritual of an everyday task, He meets you in those same mundane things. I love seeing Jesus goes out of His way, left the droves of people in Judea because He must needs go through Samaria.
She was His “must needs” appointment.
God will go the ususual route to make sure my needs are met.
He did with the Samaritan woman. Jews didn’t go through Samaria. When Jesus engages with the physical needs of the woman of Samaria He is building the relationship to minister to her spiritual needs. We are no different in our culture.
Where could God be asking you to go that “christian” people don’t go but He has a need that needs to be met there. Jesus is definitely walking this one out for us in the flesh. This is something that has to be prayed about heavily and direction given by the Holy Spirit. I am not your personal Holy Spirit nor am I giving direction for you to go and do any specific thing but I am asking you to see this story in a different light.
This encounter with Christ at Jacobs well may seem accidental or happenstance but as we grow in our relationship with Christ in spirit and truth we find their is no such thing.
He is showing purposeful love to her. He is walking out intentional love toward her. There is no happenstance.
Accidents are divine appointments that God chooses to keep the explanation hidden from us.
In verse 25-26, Jesus is incognito. Sometimes Jesus is at work right in front of us and we don’t have the spiritual eyes to see it. Jesus is sitting right in front to the Samaritan woman and she doesn’t have a clue.
I love that we can be purposefully engaging in relationships with those others deem unworthy so we can build relationships that can foster a conversation about Christ.
Sometimes I wonder if the world is in such a dire situation not because they don’t want our God but because they don’t want our version of what He looks like.
We have shunned the “broken”.
We have shunned the “dirty” while all the while being perceived as elevating ourselves by those we desperately need to reach.
Love someone in their sin.
I didn’t say love their sin.
I said love them even while they are sinning.
Sounds kinda like Christ doesn’t it.
Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Please note in this passage Jesuss doesn’t skirt her sin. I wanna hit that hard!
He points out that !
“No you don’t have a husband and even the one you are with now isn’t your husband”. And on top of all that “filthy wretched” sin that most of us would never engage in…
You’re had 5 husbands….
Jesus as Jesus would…
Jesus finds this perfect balance of speaking truth to the heart of sin but still loving her while He does it.
I need to learn that…
The “church age” does not have this down pat at all…
We as a church culture have two ditches.
Both of them cavernous and we don’t want to be accountable to either.
We are with heavy judgment and no love or heavy love with no accountability for sin.
We see Jesus do both!
Jesus brings her sin before her but loves her in the process!
Good balance….. Jesus in this moment at the well chooses to give her a glimpse into who He is. He is the messiah. Holy Cow. Who is she that Jesus would impart to her this grand revelation? Most of us would never think God would give her a special nugget like that but he does. Reminds me to be careful who I deem holy and worthy of the pedestal I put them on. It may be the mongrel wretched sinner that I would never engage with. That this samaritan woman is the one who is shares who He is with… just love it..
It’s just like Christ to flip the script.
I also want to hit the fact that when Jesus stops at the well He has nothing to drink with. When He asks for a drink from her, He would have been drinking from her cup…. HUGE. Samaritan women were viewed that they were so filthy they were viewed as menstruating at all times. If you know history, women were considered unclean and you were unable to touch them during their menstrual cycle. Jesus was engaging with an “unclean” woman and willing to drink from the cup she offered him. Israel was Gods chosen people but Jesus was by example showing salvation had come to the world. It had come to the Samaritans…
A PRIVILEGED WOMAN
No matter the depth of sin, Christ loves and pursues them. I love seeing in John 4: 4 that scripture tells us that he “needs” go through Samaria. Most Jews would have went around the area of Samaria…. On purpose. Yet Jesus says he must needs go through Samaria.
This divine appointment with this one woman caused Him to go through an area that was not common. We see her being privileged to be sought out by Christ. Of course we know Jesus has been in Judea. We see that in our scripture reading but He left there,scripture gives us insight, into that because He was baptizing more than John.
The Pharisees evidently had gotten wind of that so He leaves this area, of obviously tons of growth, to meet the needs of this one woman. To sit at a well with a woman, a Samaritan woman and speak to her, engage with her, converse with her and reach her. This is not at all how it normally works. But Jesus gives an awesome example that one sheep matters.
We see the awesome example here that Jesus is personal and a real life intimate relationship is to be had with Him.
AN INFLUENTIAL WOMAN
I had a one liner I put out several months ago that went something like this “when the wounded are embraced they become warriors no mouth can shut”. When wounded peopled are loved with the love of Christ they become warriors no mouth can shut.
Once she hears that this is the Messiah. She goes into the town and testifies!
John 4:39 tells us many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what she said. Sharing with one person can have a ripple effect upon an entire people group but we have to share first !
In the seriousness of the moment the disciples are worried about Jesus eating. Jesus is quick to tell them I have food to eat you don’t know anything about. The food He is speaking about is to be about his father’s business! He begins to give the analogy of a harvest ready.
Jesus is worried about the harvest of souls! He shows this by reaching out to the Samaritan woman. Then she goes in and brings a harvest of Samaritans in……
Just like the disciples, we can get so focused on what’s right in front of us. They were concerned for Jesus that He needed to eat but Jesus is concerned about souls.
This has been a huge reminder to me to love those I have deemed not lovable….
This has been a huge reminder to me to love those I have deemed not holy…..
This has been a huge reminder to me to love those I have deemed dirty…..
This has been a huge reminder to me to love those I would normally shun…..
(makes me sick to my stomach honestly)
Who built a throne and put me on it?
Realizing I have spent most of my life as a Pharisee….
Crossing all my t’s and dotting all my i’s while staying away from “sinners” ?????
Can I say I always get it right like Christ did In this moment? No.
I still struggle engaging with those who “appear” as sinners.
Heck fire y’all I am a sinner….
I would never want someone to treat me as an outcast..
I am reminded that the religious people were the ones who wanted to stone the “woman caught in adultery”. Here Jesus is “loving a woman” in the same situation.
I often times look more like a Pharisee and not Jesus!!!!
BUT HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE…..
Let’s take a societal look at what happens when this woman encounters Christ.
By breaking down this racial, religious prejudice a “half breed” worthless, outcast individual became a radical disciple of Christ.
By breaking down this racial, religious prejudice a half breed worthless, outcast individual became an influential woman for the kingdom.
All this happens around the well.Jesus is the well spring of living water..
HERE’S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE LOVE LIKE JESUS…..
Walls Come Down.
Relationships Are Built
Lives Are Changed.
Family Direction Changes.
……All because we loved like Christ loved……
HERE ARE SOME EASY TAKE AWAYS FROM THIS STUDY
Jesus met her where her need was.
Jesus didn’t expect her to come to Him. He went to her!
Jesus came to seek and to save those who were lost. We often times don’t seek the lost.
Let’s start seeking the lost out.
I don’t see how we can do wrong with love.
Love your neighbor as yourself…Church…Do we do that????
Jesus loved the “dirty”
Jesus didn’t mind sitting with the dirty.
Jesus didn’t mind risking his reputation.
Let’s love like Christ loved
After all, isn’t that what we are called to do.
I have lots of rewiring of my brain to do on this mindset. I feel like I am probably not the only one.
Jesus loved the outcast
Jesus loved the broken
I must do the same……