Woman at the Well Read John 4:7-18, 28-30 QuickTime™ and a TIFF (Uncompressed) decompressor are needed to see this picture. Historical background 922BC Kingdom of David and Solomon divided into two kingdoms Northern portion called Israel (10 tribes) Southern potion called Judah after largest tribe 722BC northern kingdom conquered by Assyrians, taken into captivity No more Israel until 1948 Northern kingdom populated by pagans from conquered lands Became worshipers of Yahweh when a priest was sent back from captivity to teach them about the law Became a strange mixture religion, including human sacrifice 586BC southern kingdom taken into captivity by Babylonians Remained much more orthodox in their Jewish beliefs 539BC first captives return to Jerusalem, after Persia defeats Babylonians Regarded the Samaritans as heathens When work was begun to rebuild the temple, Samaritans asked to help but were turned away by the orthodox Jews, so the Samaritans did what they could to disrupt its building So bad blood between the two continued for over 500 years when Jesus met the woman at the well He that eats the bread of a Samaritan is like one who eats the flesh of swine. Why did she come to the well in the middle of the day when it is hottest? Women gather at the well to tell the news, perhaps talk about this woman Other women ignored her or made fun of her May be getting water for men in the fields Maybe she was just running late Maybe the water had spilled Maybe they had underestimated their needs that day God’s grace at work What was this woman like? Street smart, could take care of herself Made same mistake over and over again in marrying May have been unable to conceive children, divorce easy In today’s society what would say about a woman who has been married five times and is currently living with a man who is not her husband? When you were growing up were you told not to associate with certain people? The request for a drink from a traveler was not unusual The traveler had no skin or bucket or rope Jesus makes no use of His power to meet His own needs Living water = running water as opposed to rain water Water symbolizes satisfaction of man’s highest need Woman considers this response a slight upon the man who dug the well V. 20 asking where do I find God? Where do you find God? The burning question between Jews and Samaritans was about the divinely appointed site for control of worship and sacrifice Temple at Mt. Gerizim (destroyed in 128BC) or Jerusalem Samaritans had a strong case in verses from Pentateuch Read Deut. 27:4-8 Their version was correct and woman points this out in V. 20 Samaritans reject all of Old Testament except Pentateuch Jesus responds in v. 21 bringing true meaning of worship above discussion The object of worship will continue to be the same, God; but an end shall be put to all differences about the place of worship. Religion gives no preference to one place above another Samaritan word for Messiah is He who returns Read Deut. 18:15 Christ brought woman face to face with the facts of her life She answered honestly to a point Woman used religion as a shield between her and God Today we would call that playing church What does “playing church” mean? We attend meetings, come to Sunday School, attend worship Well versed in the doctrines Satisfied to know about Jesus, but do we know Jesus What is the difference between knowing”about “ Jesus and knowing Jesus? V. 23 Some like worship lean and austere so nothing distracts the mind Others like worship wide open so that every sense is touched Worship is centered on God not on ourselves What is your preference and why? Disciples were amazed that Jesus was talking to a woman. She was an alien and a hostile Samaritan, merely speaking to her was thought to disgrace our Lord Jesus. Why would Jesus risk His reputation talking to this woman? Character or nationality did not matter. Yet to this woman did our Lord reveal himself more fully than as yet he had done to any of his disciples. No past sins can bar our acceptance with him, if we humble ourselves before him, believing in him as the Christ, the Savior of the world. Rabbinical saying “A man should hold no conversation with a woman in the street, not even his wife, still less with another woman, lest there be gossip.” In Christ’s day it was debated whether or not a woman had a soul Low conception of women Christ lifted women into equality with man Christ’s thinking of women was extraordinary for those days Read Gal. 3:28 Many believed because of this woman’s testimony Her friends and enemies could see the change in her Samaritans so accustomed to being despised They find a man who embraces them In your witness to those around you,would they be able to see that you have changed in some way? Of all the people to pick, Jesus chooses this woman to reveal himself as the Messiah and He can use each one of us if we just let Him.