What was this woman like?

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Woman at the Well
Read John 4:7-18, 28-30
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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.
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