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ADAMII - John: Chapter 4:1-42
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Jesus, The Living Water
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Genesis 23/John 4 Parallels
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Unexpected Encounter
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John Chapter 4:1-42


Jos.11:16, 17
For our context, Samaria refers to the region of Samaria and a city called Sychar of that region, not to the city Samaria proper, which lay some two hours distant. The region was assigned by Moses and conquered by Joshua (himself an Ephraimite) in his Northern Campaign. It was possessed by the tribes of Manasseh to the north, Ephraim to the south, Issachar, Zebulun, Asher, and Naphtali in the distant north and west. (Jos.16 & 17, Jos.19:10-39)
See these passages for insight into the nature and rivalry of these tribes which was reflected in the idolater, Micah, who resided in Mt. Ephraim, and the Levites' (who lived in the region) experience.

I Ki.11:31-39
It was ruled in the United Kingdom under kings Saul, David, and Solomon, with its capital at Jerusalem. Because of the sin of Solomon's reign, God divided the kingdom, giving Jeroboam (son of Nebat) 10 tribes to rule in the Northern Kingdom, called, Israel, in Kings and Chronicles. Its capital was first at Shechem, then later under Omri (6th king), at the city of Samaria that was built by him. The one remaining tribe, Judah, ruled by Rehoboam (son of Solomon), constituted the Southern Kingdom called, Judah, with its capital remaining at Jerusalem. Thus began the rivalry, ca. 975 B.C.

I Ki.12:25-33

I Ki.17:6-23
II Ki.17:24-41
II Ki.17:25
II Ki.17:26
The northern Jews were not permitted by Jeroboam to worship any longer in Jerusalem at the Temple, but, instead, he built for them worship centers at the northern and southern borders of the region (Dan to the north and Bethel to the south). Brazen calves were erected as each's focal point of attraction. Thus, Israel began in idolatry that would continue for over 200 years, until their fall in 721 B.C. to the Assyrians as God's punishment. The kingdom would never return, and the ten tribes would be swept away in captivity to be dispersed throughout Assyria's empire. By the Assyrian conqueror's (Sargon) own count, 27,280 were taken away, leaving behind only a small number of the poorer lower class. These would eventually mix with the citizens from other conquered lands brought in to repeople this region. After their introduction into this new, now hostile and wild area (wild beasts roamed the area at God's command), frightened newcomers requested and received permission and aid to learn and practice the ways of the Israelite God (while continuing their own polytheistic practices). Hence, we have the beginning of the mixed blood Samaritan Jew that populated the region in Jesus' day. It is also thought that the Samaritan Bible (consisting of only the Pentateuch) has its origins in those priests who were returned by Assyria to teach these new people God's ways.

Ezra 1

Ezra 4:1-5
Ezra 9 & 10

ca. 330 B.C.
The Southern Kingdom of Judah was spared from this present judgment of her sister nation Israel, but eventually fell to Babylon in 586 B.C. as their final judgment for their own idolatrous practices. After a captivity (the first group taken in 606 B.C.) of the prophesied 70 years, they were allowed to return under favorable Persian rule who had risen to world power and had conquered Babylon. Upon returning, these pure-blood Jews began rebuilding Jerusalem and its Temple, much to the dismay of their neighboring Samaritan Jew to the north. The returning Jews had made it all too clear that their bloodline was to remain pure, at all cost. After being rejected in their offer to these southern Jews' repatriation, the (now called) Samaritans set out to thwart their work. Samaria resented this exclusion, and eventually, under Sanballat, built their own Temple near Sychar on Mt.Gerizim after the one in Jerusalem. They also changed the Ebal in Deu.27 & 28 of their Bible to read Gerizim, claiming this mountain of worship was the site of Abraham's test of faith with Isaac.
ca.129 B.C.
ca.124 B.C.

See Obadiah
Later, during the Maccabean reign, a priestly-king came to power who sought to reunite the regions of Judea and Samaria. This king, John Hyrcanus, began a campaign for this purpose that included the destruction of the Samaritan's Temple with hopes of reestablishing central worship in Jerusalem (Antiq.XIII.9.1). (A short time later he also instituted a campaign to the south to assimilate the Edomites (half-brothers to the Jews -- from Esau's lineage) into the Jewish nation by forcing them into Judaism through circumcision. From these arose the Edomite Jewish (Idumeans) kings of Jesus' time, called Herods. Although Edom ceased to exist as a nation, these Idumeans never mixed fully with the Jews.)

Acts 8:5-25

It was these northern antagonists that the pure-blood Jews of the south hated and avoided with great care. And it was this "Samaritan Jew" (called by this name only once in the Old Testament, II Ki.17:29, and nine times in the New) that Jesus went to at the base of this mountain (Gerizim) and did a work preparing them for the gospel to come by way of Philip after Pentecost when they would then receive the "Living Water" so promised by Christ -- the Baptism in the Holy Spirit! (For further insight into the Samaritan and Jewish hostility, see a previous encounter.)
There were hundreds of thousands of them during the later Roman years, ca., A.D.330, but because of these nine New Testament references to them, the Byzantines declared them a Christian schismatic sect and massacred them (Fodor's 90 Israel, pp. 139, 140).
Today their population is less than 1,000, with one-half living in Nablus, who resemble their Arab neighbors, and the other one-half residing as typical Israelis near Tel Aviv, many of whom serve in the Israelis army.
Their schism with the Jew of Jesus' day is all but healed, with the Elders permitting intermarriage with them, which is in large part responsible for their survival.
To this day, they make the annual pilgrimage to Mt.Gerizim to observe the Passover and kill and eat the lamb sacrifice hastily at midnight. There are even houses built on this mountain top for use in the three required annual Biblical pilgrimages, but because of the housing shortage in nearby Nablus, there are plans to build more for permanent quarters.

1:31 ; 4:1


As we look at Chapter 4, John the Baptist is already, or soon to be, arrested. His pronouncement of Jesus' increase over his own decrease has passed. Jesus is now baptizing more followers, which is causing the focus of the now increasing opposition of the Pharisees to shift to Him (they previously had not accepted the legitimacy of John's ministry either). He must leave Jerusalem, for darkness is settling in over the city and the Light will utterly go out at the Hour of the Cross when man's evil will finally be full. He must needs go to those who will receive Him; the harvest is ripe in Samaria. This gives unmistakable meaning to His words: "I must work the works of Him that sent me while it is day: The night comes when no man can work."

Lk. 21:5

Acts 3:6
And so He arrives, though weary from the harvest of Judea, yet now ready to reap in the great harvest of Samaria. (He will glean in His final year. Compare His own actions to His command of Acts 1:8.) As typical at this early point in their spiritual journey with Christ, the disciples are focused on the natural -- Jesus on the spiritual! In time they will come to see the world as Christ saw it (and still) -- in imminent and desperate need of a clear voice speaking the Truth of Hope that all men are living their frantic and unfulfilled lives in search of. The lame beggar by the Temple will be the first to hear this Voice of Truth spoken in such a convincing manner that will cause him to respond in a faith that will restore his spirit to an incomparable joy. The material (silver and gold) will no longer be the disciples' first concern. What a transformation! It is only Christ who is capable of accomplishing this in the hearts of people in any walk of life.

Acts 10
However, to their credit, these chosen six are now willing to follow Christ wherever He may lead, even if it is into the land of the unclean. This was no small matter to these who most recently (and still were not fully purged of) would have avoided this region in the same manner as any of their Jewish brothers -- like the plague. So when they strike out on their own into the city of Sychar, it is safe to assume that their confidence in Jesus is sufficient to convince them they were doing the right thing in order to overcome any personal reservations any one of the six may still possess. (Compare this to Peter's experience with his vision of unclean things in connection to the Gentile Cornelius' request of his personal ministry. Also compare it to Jonah's experience with the Assyrian capital of Nineveh.)
And so, with the above thoughts in mind, let us now observe Jesus in action and conversation with those of a different cultural background than Himself or His fellow Jewish kin.
John has shown us Jesus in conversation with one social extreme of his (and any) day; he has now elected to write to us a record of one at the other extreme -- a social outcast, a Samaritan most despised by the other, and an adulteress woman at that! Again Jesus will speak to the individual's particular obstacle and corresponding need to entering the kingdom. With his choice of these two extreme examples of all human nature and condition, John is showing us that Jesus has come to everyone, regardless of his or her origin and present station in life. His Gospel really is hearer can understand. To the self-righteous Nicodemus, Jesus said, "Ye must be born again," and to this sinful woman He will be heard to say, "Whosoever drinketh of this water [of Jacob's well] shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life [born again]." Same message, different words.
Let us turn now and listen in as He captures her attention and wins her heart in one short encounter. What a way this Jesus has about Himself! Our study will unfold around several successive steps Jesus so succinctly moves her through to conclusion in such a brief conversation that will change her life forever. Study His style and incorporate it for your own personal use in sharing with others this same Jesus that may have already come to you. It is there for our benefit, as He taught many other things about Himself that we are to emulate in becoming His trained disciple.

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