He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And He must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water.
Jesus saith unto her, “Give Me to drink.” (For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”
Jesus answered and said unto her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.”
The woman saith unto Him, “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?”
Jesus answered and said unto her, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
The woman saith unto him, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”
Jesus saith unto her, “Go, call thy husband, and come hither.”
The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”
Jesus said unto her, “Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.”
The woman saith unto him, “Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.”
Jesus saith unto her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
The woman saith unto him, “I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things.”
Jesus saith unto her, “I that speak unto thee am He.”
And upon this came His disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, “What seekest Thou?” or, “Why talkest Thou with her?”
The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?”
Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him… And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, “He told me all that ever I did.”
So when the Samaritans were come unto Him, they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of His own word; And said unto the woman, “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”
The first thing was the statement that "He must needs pass through Samaria." Why was Samaria such a big deal? I decided to do a bit of research on why there was such an animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans. Here is a summary of what I found out:
- After the death of Solomon, the nation of Israel divided into Judah and the 10 tribes of Israel.
- Those 10 northern tribes instituted their own system of worship and created their own places of worship, something that clearly went against what God had commanded them with the building of His temple in Jerusalem.
- The 10 northern tribes were ruled by a succession of evil kings, who did not seek after the Lord and who engaged in and encouraged the people in idolatry.
- As a punishment, God sent the nation of Assyria to conquer them and to remove them from their land.
- However, there was a small remnant who remained. The Assyrian king was worried about this remnant, so he sent several foreigners in to intermingle and intermarry with the remaining Israelites.
- This mixed group of people abandonned all faith in the Eternal, chosing to worship and adore idols.
- Troubled by savage lions, the people asked their then king (they were now ruled by Babylon) to send them a Jewish priest to instruct them in the law and the proper worship of God.
- The Babylonian king agreed, so they relearned some of what Moses had originally taught God's chosen people, but they also kept many idolatrous traditions and practices which they intermingled with remnants of Jewish faith and practice.
- The nation of Judah, which had also been led into captivity by the Babylonians, was allowed to return to their Promised Land.
- The mixed remnant of the northern tribes of Israel (or the Samaritans) offered to help in the reconstrution of Jerusalem, but the people of Judah refused, knowing of their idolatrous practices. This was the beginning of much animosity and anger between these two groups.
- It was the Samaritans, led by Sanballat and Tobiah, who were responsible for much of the attacks on Nehemiah and those rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.
- Afterwards, the Samaritans decided to create their own temple on what they deemed the true holy mountain, and their own priesthood, totally separate from Jews.
- Their land, Samaria, became a place of refuge where religious and political refugees, as well as Jewish criminals, were welcomed. Thus the Samaritan population of those disgruntled with the Jewish nation grew.
- The Samaritans refused to accept anything other than the 5 books of Moses (the Torah) as God's Holy Word.