The Pharisees heard the rumors that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John.
Truth was, Jesus didn't do the baptizing. He left Judea and departed for the province of Galilee. You might say he walked away from the men at the rumor mill.
Going through Samaria meant saving time. Imagine our eternal creator being frugal with his time on earth. Most good Jews didn't want anything to do with the Samaritan people, and often walked around the province.
The Jews had a storied history with the Samaritans. During the reign of the king of Assyria, and under Jewish captivity, other tribes of people settled into Samaria. Later the Samaritans rejected the restoration of the temple under the return of Ezra, and thus the true and living God.
Jesus entered the city called Sychar, where he would find Jacob's old well, from the patriarchal times. The sun baked his olive skin. He was tired and thirsty as he sat down next to the well.
When the Samaritan woman approached the well to draw water for her family, Jesus asked her for a drink. He was alone, while his disciples had gone to the village to buy some food.
The woman was surprised at this: A Jew talking to her, let alone ask her for a drink? "How is it that being a Jew, you are asking me for a drink, since I am a woman of Samaria?"
Jesus looked up at her with tired but penetrating eyes. "If you only knew what a wonderful gift God has for you, and who 'I am', you would ask me for some living water!"
She looked down at him with in honest bewilderment. "But you don't have a rope or a bucket, and this is a very deep well! Where would you get this living water? Do you think yourself better than Jacob our ancestor? How can you offer better water than what his family enjoyed?"
Jesus held his voice for a moment and with his kind eyes, he replied. "People soon got thirsty from drinking this water. But the water I give them," he said, "becomes a continuous spring within them, watering them forever with eternal life."
"Please, sir, give me some of that water. Then I will never thirst again, and won't have to take this long trip out here everyday."
"Go and get your husband," Jesus told her.
"But I'm not married," the woman replied.
"How true! You have had five husbands, and you aren't even married to the man you're living with now."
"Sir, you must be a prophet. So tell me then, why is it that the Jews insist there is only one place of worship, in Jerusalem, while we Samaritans claim it is here?"
"The time is coming, when we will no longer be concerned about whether to worship the father here or in Jerusalem. For it's not where we worship that counts, but how we worship. For God is Spirit, and those who worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth."
The Samaritan woman shaken, attempted to dismiss his perception of true worship, and his bold claim of her blindness.
The woman said to him, "I know that when the Messiah comes, which is called Christ: when he comes, he will tell us all things."
Jesus said to her, "I am the Messiah!"
The woman dropped her water pot, and rushed back into the village, telling all the men, "Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did! Can this be the Messiah?"
Throngs of people came streaming from the village, based on her bold and powerful claims, to see if the rumors might be true.
Woman at the well
Living water at your feet
Drink eternal spring
Author notes: Narrative is primarily taken from "The Living Bible," John 4:1-30
Other scripture references of historical importance: 2 Kings 17:24-41, Ezra 4:2,3
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