Body and Blood of Christ

The Woman of Samaria.

John 4: 4-42

                

But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water." Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!" The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem."  Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us."

Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you." Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you speaking with her?" Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?" They left the city and were on their way to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?"  Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor." Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done." So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world."

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The Woman of Samaria

 

The woman here was an optimist, indeed! To have gone through five husbands, and still be prepared to take on another man! Jacob's WellThe story is lively and full of humour, but the real significance is that Jesus revealed his Messiahship to only one person in the New Testament - a very marginalised, Samaritan, woman.              
                          
Samaritan High PriestTo the Jews, Samaritans were a heretical and schismatic group of spurious worshippers of the God of Israel, who were detested even more than pagans. The history of this schism is complex, and lies deep in early Israelite history. Some hundreds of years before Jesus met this woman at Jacob's well, (in today's Nablus) the Samaritans had built their own temple to Yahweh on Mount Gerizim, in opposition to the Jewish Temple in the city of David.

Jews, by and large, avoided walking through Samaria, and this is why the woman was so surprised, not only that a Jew would speak to her, but that he would ask her - a woman - for a drink. In his long conversation with her, Jesus pointed out that while salvation is from the Jews, the time would come when people would worship the Father "in spirit and in truth" all over the earth. Geographical location was irrelevant.

Because of her testimony, and his own words, many Samaritans from that town came to believe that Jesus was the Saviour of the world, and he stayed with them for two days, teaching them about the Kingdom of God.

Nuala O'Connor

 

 

 

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Jesus

This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists

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Jacob's Well

Unfolding the Story of jesus

Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries

Unfolding the story of jesus