Jesus, Jacob’s well, and the Samaritans

I’m re-reading the Gospel of John now; today read the passage about the Woman at the Well. So much to think about – including the fact that you can actually SEE Mt. Gerizim right close by where they were talking.

Esther's Petition

SamariaMapThe region of Samaria separates Judea in the south of Israel and Galilee in the north, occupied in Bible times by people of mixed races. Because of important differences in beliefs and heritage*** most Jews avoided traveling through Samaria if at all possible, and several main roads made this avoidance possible if not exactly convenient.

One was a major north/south trade route on the eastern side of the Jordan River; another ran along the Mediterranean Sea bypassing the western edge of Samaria. Although taking either road meant traveling many miles out of the way, that was the usual thing to do for most Jewish people.

Yet when he decided to go from Jerusalem back home to Galilee, Jesus had to go through Samaria, according to the Gospel of John chapter 4. Several reasons have been proposed, most having to do with the woman at the well. He certainly did haveā€¦

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1 thought on “Jesus, Jacob’s well, and the Samaritans

  1. There are so many layers to this encounter at the well. The site itself is of incredible spiritual significance with roots reaching all the way back to Genesis of course. One of the significant outcomes of this meeting was Jesus resolving the primary rift between the Jews and the Samaritans regarding where you worship. The Samaritans had their own rival temple which had been destroyed. So on one hand the Jews required worship in Jerusalem but on the other hand effectively barred the Samaritans from that worship. In one short declaration, Jesus changes the entire perspective about worship as not depending on where (i.e. the Temple) but how – in Spirit and in truth. Who but Messiah could heal this rift between Jews and the people of the Northern Kingdom in one simple statement about Himself? On another level, I believe it began the fulfillment of a prophecy God makes through Ezekiel that all of Israel would be reunified in the Kingdom of God. The healing of this long standing rift between the northern and southern people was a start in that prophetic process. A lot of moving parts to this seemingly simple encounter of a sinful woman who was looking forward to Messiah.


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