Chapter 4 (Part 2) - Study Notes

May 7, 2020

Conflict Between Jews & Samaritans 

Jews and Samaritans actually share the same ancestry. However, in 720 B.C. the Assyrians waged war on and eventually overtook Samaria. In doing so, the Assyrians then carried off many who lived there (2nd Kings 17:6), while at the same time moving in the Assyrian people, Assyrian culture, and Assyrian worship practices. With this infiltration of Assyrian culture the remaining Samaritans were forced to adopt Assyrian practices which led to Samaritans abandoning Jewish standards to marry pagan spouses and their Assyrian practices. For this reason Jews no longer recognized Samaritans as true Jews. Thus, Jews despised Samaritans because they believed due to compromise and the marrying of non-Jewish people that Samaritans had sinned against Jewish Law and by doing so loss their right to be considered Jews. 


Adding to the feud between the two groups was the Jews refusal to allow Samaritans to help in the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, led by Ezra and Nehemiah. Jews deemed Samaritans no longer worthy of building God’s Holy temple due to their compromise.   


Fast forward many years, a Jew named Manasseh married the daughter of a Samaritan (Nehemiah 13:28), and decided to build another Temple on Mount Gerizim in Samaria, which was later destroyed by Jewish forces only 160 years prior to Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4


These conflicts, along with many others, led to tension between the two sides. The tension was so great that Jews in their expeditions from Galilee (North Israel) to Judea (South Israel) would customarily walk an extra 3 days journey around to avoid going through Samaria (Central Israel). Yet, when making this same pilgrimage, Jesus intentionally goes through Samaria (John 4:4).  



Jesus' Need to Go Through Samaria

  • Purpose to bring redemption and restoration to the House of Israel.

  • The value / treasure that exists in those who have missed the mark. 



Jesus’ Encounter With The Samaritan Woman



Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.


Sixth hour = 12 noon

This is typically not the time that Samaritan women came to the well to draw water. This is traditionally the time when men would come. Women were known to come later in the day around the 12th hour, or 6pm. 


This is important to note because it gives greater insight into the level of sin the Samaritan woman was walking in. Her coming to the well at 12 noon was not simply a function of drawing water. Rather, it was a calculated and intentional practice to draw men. Her daily pattern of behavior was to come to the well at this time to entice and manipulate men to provide for her needs.


​I Am The Samaritan Woman


The fact that the Samaritan woman’s name was never stated affords us the ability to insert our own names into this passage. It is very easy to attribute this woman’s behavior to “someone else” that we know. Yet, it is important that we make the conscious effort to become aware of our own sin patterns and dysfunctions that we have become comfortable with.


This is particularly note worthy when we think about the men that frequented her advances. Oftentimes people will never correct or challenge your behaviors because it makes them comfortable operating in their own dysfunction, and/or their dysfunction is co-dependent on yours. Whenever it is easy for you to maintain an openly sinful lifestyle, you may need to check and change the environment that you are operating in. 


Sin Never Satisfies


No matter how long you sin, it will never satisfy the hole in your heart. What wells of sin do you continue to draw from that ultimately leave you broken and still in need?  Five different husbands, and countless relationships would not commit to her, yet, she returns daily to the same well of poor choices and thinking that she would find different results. 


     Romans 6:23

     For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


     Proverbs 26:11

     As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly (foolishness, wrong doings). 


     Psalm 14:1

     “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt; their acts are vile. There is no one who

     does good.


Every time we return to sinful practices, we are making a statement concerning what we believe to be true about God and his ability to deliver us from our circumstances. Patterns of dysfunction are a man’s confession of faith that God is NOT GOD of whatever situation they are in.  


God intentionally and willingly interrupts our sinful patterns and practices so that we can encounter His redeeming love. 


Vs. 6 states that Jesus sat beside the well of Jacob to encounter the Samaritan woman. Then in His conversation with her, He presents Himself as The WELL that gives living water. This introduces us to the moments when God will interrupt acts of sin and wrong choices to offer us His incredible grace.  


She comes to the well, and instead of finding the typical lustful man, she finds a man of God who offers a different way. 


1st Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.



1. Your circumstances are NOT UNIQUE. They are common. 



2. God is faithful. 



3. God has empowered you to withstand the temptation. 



4. Open your eyes to God’s escape plan.




5. Endure (Greek Word - hypophero)



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