Woman at the well bible character
Where does one go to find a life partner? In our modern world, social events, dating apps, coffee shops, and bars top the list. But the authors of the Hebrew Bible have a particular setting that indicates someone in the story is about to get hitched. When the authors want to portray a man meeting his future bride, the setting is often a well. One of the more interesting man-meets-woman-at-well stories is the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman, where he offers her a different kind of water—— living water John 4.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Jesus Teaches a Samaritan Woman
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Revisiting the Woman at the Well
Jesus Christ was the master teacher of all times. He taught in such a variety of ways. While he frequently spoke to the multitudes, he also spent considerable time in one-on-one situations. He gave kindly attention to the individual. They were meticulously orchestrated so as to enhance the greatest advantage for the success of his coming kingdom.
Frequently, timing was crucial, for everything must proceed on schedule toward that most important hour on the divine clock cf. Timing was a factor in the case of the present context. His ministry had been enormously successful, as reflected in the number of conversions being effected by his disciples—eclipsing even the work of John the Baptizer.
Because of this success, the Pharisees were beginning to focus a more hostile interest in him. So he decided to redirect his labor from Judea in the south, to Galilee in the north.
Though he was deity in nature, he did not continuously exercise the quality of omniscience. At other times, he accessed knowledge the ordinary way cf. The success of Jesus aroused the enmity of the Jewish leaders.
This jealousy would eventually reach such an apex that they would deliver their own Messiah to the Roman authorities for crucifixion. Even Pilate recognized that on account of envy the Jews had delivered up Jesus Mt. Men with shriveled souls have but two ways of exalting themselves—they either boast of their accomplishments or tear down those they perceive as rivals.
Usually, they do both. Because of Jewish hostilities toward the Samaritan people which we will discuss later , the Hebrews frequently would travel to the east when they had leisure time see Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews Such a detour would take longer than the normal three days of travel.
The Lord, however, did not hesitate to traverse Samaritan territory Luke ; ; John ff. As Jesus and his disciples traveled northward through Samaria, they came to a city called Sychar.
The precise location of Sychar is a point of controversy. It was near Mt. Gerizim, a peak some 2, feet high, about forty miles north of Jerusalem. Others locate the city at the ruins of ancient Shechem now Tell Balatah , which is located at the eastern edge of the pass between Mt. Ebal and Mt. Parrot, cited in Freedman , The well is about three hundred yards south-southeast of Tell Balatah.
When it was cleaned out in , it was shown to be about feet deep cf. It is seven and one-half feet in diameter. The biblical text is strikingly accurate. Westcott , ; Edersheim , He possibly had walked all day. We must not rush by the phrase too quickly. It emphasizes the humanity of our Lord. He was hungry Mt. Think about it. He who effortlessly created the entire universe, now is weary — for you and me! Two things are significant. Second, her gender presented an obstacle.
Normally, Jewish men did not speak to women in public Jn. Let us explore these two matters:. The most common view as to the origin of the Samaritans is that they were a mixed race who developed as a result of intermarriages between earlier Hebrews of the northern kingdom of Israel and the Assyrian settlers in Israel following the captivity of the northern kingdom in B. Other pagans eventually infiltrated the land and mingled with them cf. Ezra , 9, The term is found in the Old Testament only in 2 Kings , being applied to the remnant in the land.
Josiah, the good king of Judah, had sought to remedy this wickedness in his day cf. There was much animosity between Jews and Samaritans. When the Jews were rebuilding Jerusalem following the Babylonian captivity [ B. They were summarily rebuffed Ezra and the Samaritans responded in kind Ezra ff. Josephus characterizes the Samaritans as idolaters and hypocrites Antiquities of the Jews 9. Several centuries before the birth of Christ, the Samaritans had built their own temple on Mt. Gerizim to rival the one in Jerusalem.
Here, they offered sacrifices according to the Mosaic code. Anderson notes that during the reign of Antiochus IV B. This temple was destroyed by John Hyracanus in about B. Only a few stone remnants of it exist today. During the first century, the religion of the Samaritans was similar to that of the Jews, except that they were more liberal—more kindred spirits of the Sadducees, for example, than the Pharisees.
They accepted the Pentateuch, observed certain Jewish feasts and longed for the coming Messiah Jn. Religiously, though, they were considered as foreigners. When Jesus instituted the limited commission Mt. That by no means indicates, however, that the Savior was unconcerned with these precious souls—as this very account proves. The Jewish attitude toward women was less than ideal. While the Old Testament afforded great dignity to womanhood cf. Many a Jewish man started the day with a prayer to God, expressing thanks that he was neither a Gentile, a slave, or a woman!
A Hebrew man did not talk with women in the street—not even with his mother, sister, daughter or wife! Lightfoot , When they saw a woman approaching, they would close their eyes, hence, were running into things constantly! Upon closer examination, it is very significant.
And yet, the disciples are buying food in Sychar. When Christ asked of this unnamed woman a drink of water, he challenged the best from her. It is commonly the case that when we offer to assist someone who harbors a grudge against us, they will ruffle up and resist. Yet, if they are petitioned for help , they surprisingly respond.
She is taken aback, but intrigued. The Lord seizes the opportunity, lifts the conversation to a higher plateau, and arrests her attention further by introducing several matters that were bound to stimulate her interest. If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give me to drink; you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water Jn.
Jesus spoke of a gift. Employing symbolism appropriate to the occasion, he mentions a living water , i. This could mean something quite significant to a person whose day-to-day existence was characterized by deadness.
He associates these blessings with a who , i. There was a great deal of subtle information packed into a seemingly ordinary statement.
It was, in fact, the gospel in miniature. It is a free gift which cannot be merited or earned Eph. It is available only through that person who was conversing with the Samaritan woman, the Messiah Jn. The result is the promise of life , i. The woman immediately changed her tone and addresses the friendly stranger with a term of respect. She is still thinking of literal water of some sort, and her question implies a negative answer as the Greek construction indicates.
The Savior gently nudges her forward. The Samaritan lady obviously had both the need for salvation and at least a threshold interest in things divine. Christ determines, therefore, that it is now time to bring the discussion closer to home. In so doing he must accomplish two goals. First, he must penetrate her conscience with a sense of sin. Second, it is imperative that he establish his own authority as a spokesman from God.
There are two ways of looking at this—neither of which puts this woman in a favorable light. The point is she was in a sinful relationship and she needed salvation that only he could offer. It was a startling revelation to the woman. This stranger had exposed details of her life he could not possibly have known naturally. That, of course, is hyperbole. But the information revealed by Jesus was so dramatic that it seemed like he had drawn the curtain back on every foul deed she had ever done!
By Rev. John Trigilio, Jr. Kenneth Brighenti. The Samaritan woman at the well is no angel.
She has 30 years experience in Bible teaching, directing women's ministry, retreat and conference speaking, training teams and teachers, and writing curriculum. Married to David for 34 years, she especially enjoys extended family gatherings and romping with her four grandchildren. Very well put. Much in the face of culture and convention, Jesus, as revealed in the Bible, always treated women with dignity, respect and equal with men in worthiness of His time, message and mission. What does John 4, as well as first century social customs, reveal about her character?
Fresh perspectives on Biblical Women–The Woman at the Well
Jesus Christ was the master teacher of all times. He taught in such a variety of ways. While he frequently spoke to the multitudes, he also spent considerable time in one-on-one situations. He gave kindly attention to the individual. They were meticulously orchestrated so as to enhance the greatest advantage for the success of his coming kingdom. Frequently, timing was crucial, for everything must proceed on schedule toward that most important hour on the divine clock cf. Timing was a factor in the case of the present context. His ministry had been enormously successful, as reflected in the number of conversions being effected by his disciples—eclipsing even the work of John the Baptizer.
Spiritual Rebirth: The Samaritan Woman at the Well
Categories: Bad Girls of the Bible , Blog. Not this girl. A moment of relief during the heat of the day. He sat. The Son of God, the Savior of the world, was limited by his humanness, just as we are.
The Samaritan woman at the well is a figure from the Gospel of John , in John — The woman appears in John 4 :4—42, However below is John — But he had to go through Samaria.
Jesus and the Samaritan Woman
Question: "What can we learn from the woman at the well? This was an extraordinary woman. She was a Samaritan , a race of people that the Jews utterly despised as having no claim on their God, and she was an outcast and looked down upon by her own people. However, this woman was ostracized and marked as immoral, an unmarried woman living openly with the sixth in a series of men.
I have to confess, when I saw it listed in the church bulletin, I cringed a little. The Samaritan woman is one of my favorite characters in the Gospel of John. Traditional Christian interpretation, however, has turned her into a lazy, slutty sinner, an outcast in her community:. The Samaritan woman at the well is no angel. Mixed up with a wrong crowd, this poor woman from Samaria has quite a reputation.
Jesus Offers Living Water and… Marriage?
The story of the woman at the well is one of the most well known in the Bible; many Christians can easily tell a summary of it. On its surface, the story chronicles ethnic prejudice and a woman shunned by her community. But take look deeper, and you'll realize it reveals a great deal about Jesus' character. Above all, the story, which unfolds in John , suggests that Jesus is a loving and accepting God, and we should follow his example. The story begins as Jesus and his disciples travel from Jerusalem in the south to Galilee in the north. To make their journey shorter, they take the quickest route, through Samaria. Tired and thirsty, Jesus sat by Jacob's well while his disciples went to the village of Sychar, roughly a half-mile away, to buy food.
4 Amazing Things We Can Learn from the Woman at the Well