Return to:

The Samaritan Woman

John 4:1-30 & 39-42

The Samaritan woman is one of the better known women of the New Testament. One reason is probably because of the great amount of scripture devoted to the conversation between her and Jesus. As can be observed from the Bible, there are some thirty-four verses used to record this event. I feel this vast amount of scripture affords us the opportunity explore and learn from their conversation. Another reason for her familiarity might be the remarkable change that occurred in her life.

The Samaritans had a very unusual history. In the ninth year of Hoshea, the Assyrians took captive the people of Samaria (2 Kings 17:6). They were replaced with a foreign race, planted there by the Assyrians (2 Kings 17:24-29). All this happened approximately seven-hundred years earlier. In time, those people had accepted the Pentateuch, which consist of the first five books of the Old Testament. The Samaritans are also said to have expected the Messiah, as did the Jews; but they felt He would make Samaria, not Jerusalem, His seat of government. While Jesus was being eyed with suspicion by some rulers of His own nation, here is one of the despised Samaritans who received Him gladly.

It was at Jacob's well that Jesus and the Samaritan woman talked. The well is still there and marks perfectly the spot where Jesus conversed with her. She seemed surprised that Jesus, being a Jew, would talk to her but she seemed perfectly willing to draw Him water from the deep well. It can be observed from the language of the scriptures, that she did not understand what Jesus meant when He spoke of Himself having living waters (John 4:10). But it was not altogether for their conversation, that she is so well known.

She is probably remembered by some, more for her moral condition than anything else. Jesus revealed to her that He knew she had been married five times. Jesus did not tell us whether the husbands were dead or alive. It is possible that she had been married five times and all her husbands died or were killed. That scenario would certainly be similar to the example used by the Sadducees in Matthew 22:23-30. It may also have been that she was married and divorced five times. As far as I can determine, the Samaritans recognized divorce only in cases of adultery. There is the possibility that she had been divorced five times because of adultery, for she was then living with a man to whom she was not legally married.

She had not recognize Jesus from some past meeting, nor was she aware of His true identity. He made Himself known to her, as He must to all who truly come to know Him. She may have been living in sin when Jesus met her, but I feel sure her life was different from that time on. The Samaritan woman was blessed to believe that Jesus was the promised Messiah. She went back to the city and began telling others about Him. This aspect of her life is certainly worthy of us imitating today. Only God knows the fullness of her life and ours, but regardless of what her former life might have been, in the end she had a good influence on those around her.

All of us need to repent of our sins and leave them in the past; then, with our mistakes behind us; we can move forward to do greater things in the service of God. (Read Philippians 3:13-14).

Return to:

Copyright © 2014 Light From God's Word. All Rights Reserved.
This page last updated on June 17, 2014