Friday, April 4, 2008

Bible Study About The Woman Of Samaria

The Woman of Samaria is the woman I read about this week in my devotional. She is often referred to as The Woman at the Well.

Her story is found in the Bible in the book of John.

Here are the first verses from John that introduce us to this woman.

John 4:1-9
1.The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John,
2.although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples.
3.When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4.Now he had to go through Samaria.
5.So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6.Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7.When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"
8.(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9.The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. )

There is so much that moved me about the story of the Woman of Samaria, that I am having a difficult time even knowing where to begin. So this week I will share a few things that I loved about her story, and I will continue it again next Friday.

I will start by giving you just a little background about water at this time in history. Water was precious; it was often scarce. It was largely the duty of women at this time to go to the well to get the water that was needed for each day. Typically the women would go to the well in the evening, so it would not be so hot while they did this chore. With so many women gathering around the well at about the same time to draw their water each day, you can safely assume that the well was a gathering place of sorts. Probably a lot like your local beauty salon today. (Think Steel Magnolias.)

But if you'll look again at verse six, Scripture says it was the sixth hour.
That means noon. The heat of the day. Needless to say the well would not be crawling with women at that time of day. The Woman of Samaria obviously did not want to be around any of the local women. The kind of life she led was a questionable one, and she did not want to be their "topic of conversation" any more. Their stares, judgments, and harsh words hurt. The stifling heat of the day would be more pleasant than their gossip-filled glances.

When she arrived at the well, she was surprised to see a man there, and not just any man, but a Jew. Jewish people at this time usually went out of their way to avoid even passing by Samaria. My devotional says that, "Jewish people thought that the Samaritan people were half breeds that worshiped at their shrine on Mount Gerizim instead of at the temple in Jerusalem." Upon seeing Him, she probably thought He definitely wouldn't speak to her, because at this time men did not address women in public. And since He was a Jewish man, she probably felt very certain she did not have to worry about being bothered by Him.

So, try to imagine her surprise when she heard this come out of His mouth in verse seven.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"

You can see by her response in verse nine that she is confused by His question.

The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?"

Not only was this Jewish man speaking to her, He also wanted her to give him a drink!
The notes in my Bible say that the passage, (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) in Scripture could also be translated, (or do not use dishes Samaritans used).

She must have really been confused, wondering to herself, "Who is this Jewish man?"
Not only is He talking to her, He also wants to drink from the same dish as her.
Both of these actions were unheard of in her culture. There was definitely something different about this man.

I love that Jesus is different than we are. What I mean by that is that He does what we won't do. He doesn't let "traditions" determine what He does or who He will speak to. He loves us all exactly where we are in our lives. It doesn't matter where we come from, what others think of us, or what kind of lifestyle we lead. He loves us all, even though we don't deserve it. He looks at each and every one of us with love and acceptance in His eyes and His heart, even those of us that society over looks or looks down upon.

Read what Scripture says that Jesus did in the book of John while having dinner with His disciples.

John 13:3-5
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He, the One and Only Son of God, got down on the floor and washed their feet.

Think about that for a moment.

During this time it was customary for the owner of the home to have his lowest servant wash the feet of any guests that came into his home.

Jesus was a guest at this dinner, not the lowest servant in the home.

If I traveled to your home today, wearing sandals while walking on dusty roads, would you want to wash my feet?

I would not want to wash any body's dirty feet......especially the filthy feet of grown men! But the Bible tells us that is exactly what Jesus did.

It's humbling to me.

He talked to a woman that others ignored.

He did the dirty job of washing feet that others didn't want to do.

He forgives us of our sins when we don't deserve it. He reaches out to us even though we so often ignore Him. He loves us even when we don't love Him.

I am so thankful that God doesn't treat me how I deserve to be treated.

I found this clip on You Tube about the Woman at the Well and Jesus. I am a visual learner, so I am able to comprehend things much better if I can see them.
This scene that I have to show you is their meeting and conversation at the well. As you watch it, put yourself in her shoes. Try to imagine what she must have been feeling in her heart as this meeting took place. Jesus, the Son of God, wanted to talk to her!

He wants to talk to you too.

Will you listen?

I will share more about the story of the Woman of Samaria, including more verses from the book of John, next week.

Matthew 5:6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Thank You, Lord, for noticing me, for talking to me, for forgiving me, for fighting for me, and for loving even me. My cup runneth over.


Sandra said...

Amy, that was AWESOME!!!! you are so blessed with the gift of writing!
Mom! :)

MrsJoeB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MrsJoeB said...

What a tough topic to study. In one way or another, I think many of us women relate to the women at the well. Jesus did not judge, like all the other women in the town-hence why she probably came in the mid-day to avoid them. I know her feelings, I know what it feels like to meet Jesus...where He's at and to live in His forgiveness and grace. I know her heart, her emotions and I also know of her transformation!!
God is so good and merciful to us...
A very thought provoking post. Have a blessed weekend!
In His Graces~Pamela

melissa said...

I am in awe of my God who loves me when i am unlovable. He, who is King of kings, cares enough to beckon me when my back is turned toward Him. Thank you, Amy, for sharing such a beautiful truth.