Sunday message 03 15 20 Woman of Samaria and Jesus (John 4:5-42)

It is important for us in order to understand this passage 

We need to understand some of the history 


Basically, that means I am going to get the boring part 

Out of the way in the beginning! 


Well not boring to me but maybe/ probably for some 

Conflict between those of Judea and those of Samaria 

Formerly were one kingdom called Israel 


The Assyrian Empire conquered the northern area called Samaria 

Formerly the capital of Israel 

The people there were taken to Exile and many enslaved 

They were forced into subservience 


While many of the people became mixed together over time 

With people of other lands and places 


The southern kingdom of Judea then became the capital 

They considered themselves to be the “pure” people 

Who had not been mixed together with all those foreigners 

By the first century CE, Samaritans held a Torah-centered faith focused on the patriarchs, centered worship on Mount Gerizim, and looked for a messiah who would be a prophet like Moses, while the Jewish people held a broader scriptural tradition that included the prophets, centered worship in Jerusalem, and looked for a messiah-king in the line of David. Although sharing the same founding history, they currently shared nothing else, including food, drink, or utensils. 

       Sherri Brown 

Associate Professor of New Testament 
Creighton University 
Omaha, Neb. 


Their hatred of the Samaritans had continued all the way 

Until the days of Jesus right here meeting this woman.  


And here we have these two groups coming together 

Around a well, around the need for water 


The well is a place of extreme importance in society 

A place where people come to survive 

To provide for themselves and their animals 


It is also a meeting place of sorts 

Reminds of the movie Prince of Egypt 

Where Moses finds himself at a well 

after fleeing through the desert 


He ends up saving some girls there 

and so, ingratiating himself with the people of Midian 

and his future Father-in-Law 


As we note with that movie 

there can be dangers to the area of the well 

As well… 


It is also a place that people want to control 

Use for their own purposes 

Which may or may not be best for the average person 

We see how greed in our own lands 


Means that some still do not have sufficient water to drink 

And food to eat 


People gathered around the well 

and it became a social place


It is a place where travelers must stop 

to replenish their animals 

And their water containers 

It brings together people from a variety of backgrounds 


Because of a singular need that we all have 

= H2O 

Makes me think of the movie the Waterboy 

“Gatoraaaaaade”  “H2O!!”  “Gatoraaaaaade”  “H2O!” 


We are also seeing how dangerous that need 

Can become, how we can fight over it quickly 


We also have another singular need… 

That is love and grace and forgiveness 


And it is most often found in relationships 

And even more-so, 

in relationships that break down barriers 

we have placed between ourselves 


Jesus does what he is not supposed to do… 

Meets with a Samaritan woman! The Scandal! 


And he stays with them for 2 days 

Would probably take him years to become pure again 

by the Jewish legal-religious system 


Actually, he brings purity and life to all he meets 

because he breaks down the legalism 

He breaks down the fear and hatred 

He unites the people 


Those his disciples still seem to be lagging behind 

as always (sigh…) 


As are we often? 


The first profession of faith in the Gospel of John 

From a whole community 

A community of Samaritans 

They profess their faith, 

And then, they become the ones who “dan hospedaje” 

They are hospital to Jesus and presumably his disciples 


Even though they are both from different faith traditions 

Jesus invites the Samaritan woman to worship God 

In a whole new way 

That goes beyond the geographic and historical and cultural limitations 

Of their own traditions 


That goes beyond the centuries of conflict 

between their peoples


The story of the Bible is of individuals but also of a people, 

How they found meaning and interacted with others 


That story applies to all nations of the earth 

Including how we exclude and persecute others 


And the good things as well 

This conflict is a story about all of us 


Jesus is the fulfillment of both of their traditions 

And has the power to reunite them 


Jesus has the power to do the same for us 


Who are you separated from in your personal life? 


Who are we separated from as a congregation? 


Who are we separated from as a nation?  



How can the church be a place, 

that continues that work of the well? 

Bringing people of diverse backgrounds together 


That continue that work of Jesus? 

Bringing love and grace to society 

Uniting us as a human species 


In Christ, all are welcome to the table, 

all are welcome to the wellspring of life, 

To have our thirst for love and grace and peace 

Quenched for ever and ever.  


For everyone born, there’s a place at the table!