Returning to the New Covenant, I am reading the Book of John. Yesterday, I cam to the portion of chapter four concerning the conversion of Samaritans. I am struck especially by the final paragraph, provided as a summary of the events.
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 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 indeed the Savior of the world.”
First. Who are Samaritans? According to BibleStudy.org, “Generally, a Samaritan would be an inhabitant of either the city or region of ancient Samaria. They occupied the land formerly belonging to the Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh. The city was purchased by Omri, the sixth king of Israel (885 – 874 B.C.) and named Samaria after the name of its owner, Shemer. Over a period of time the entire northern kingdom of Israel was also called Samaria (1Kings 13:32, Jeremiah 31:5).”
It is a Samaritan that Y’shuaJesus gives credit to for helping a mugged traveler in the story of the “Good Samaritan.” It is also the Samaritans that were opposed to, and wanted to sabatoge, the rebuilding of Jerusalem and of the temple in the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, who returned to Jerusalem from the Captivity around 539 B.C.
So there’s certainly some history between the Samaritans and Israelis. Enemies, of sorts.
Second. The woman spoken of first met Y’shuaJesus while at the town well. She was amazed that a Jew would even speak to her, let alone ask for a drink, which meant drinking out of her pail. That would have been considered “unclean” to the Jews. In the dialogue that took place between Y’shuaJesus and the woman, the woman’s faults were revealed to her by Y’shuaJesus. Instead of running away, hiding, hating the bearer of this information, she saw something entirely satisfying. She could unburden herself the this man. And, no doubt, she didn’t feel the wrath of disapproval, but of a loving Spirit to which she could cleave, to which she could find some healing and rebirth.
Matthew Henry wrote that “One would have thought His telling the woman of her secret sins would have made them (the Samaritan town’s folk) afraid of coming to Him lest He should tell them also of their faults, but they will venture that rather than not be acquainted with One who they had reason to think was a prophet.”
“Many would have flocked to one that would tell them their fortune, but these flocked to One that would tell them their faults,” wrote Mr. Henry.
Third. The most import part of this story told by the author of the Book of John, it seems to me, is in this that the town’s folk told 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 indeed the Savior of the world.”
We can talk until we are blue in the face, out of breath, crying out our testimony of Y’shuaJesus as Lord and Savior, but until the crowd of unbelievers is willing to hear the Master speak, there is no new faith. Conversely, if we hear a testimony about Y’shuaJesus, the person giving that word must have been with Y’shuaJesus, must have heard Him speak, must have been in His presence, or that word is empty.
Y’all have a wonderful week. Lord Bless, Keep, Shine. . .