The Son of God Among the Sons of Men Part 6: Jesus and the Woman of Samaria -- By: Everett F. Harrison

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 103:410 (Apr 1946)
Article: The Son of God Among the Sons of Men Part 6: Jesus and the Woman of Samaria
Author: Everett F. Harrison

The Son of God Among the Sons of Men
Part 6: Jesus and the Woman of Samaria

Everett F. Harrison

VI. Jesus and the Woman of Samaria

The early Judean ministry met with considerable success, inasmuch as Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (John 4:1). Already the thing which the Baptist had foreseen as inevitable was coming to pass—Jesus was increasing, he himself was decreasing. But this promising situation did not last, for the reason that the Master withdrew to Galilee rather than have an open encounter with the leaders of the Jews at that time. His destination was Galilee, and the most direct route lay through Samaria. Perhaps, in view of the events which are unfolded in this chapter of John, the “must” of verse 4 has more than a geographical implication, but the primary emphasis is upon gaining His destination in the least time. With Christ, however, even an urgent journey is not “out of season” and He was willing to abide two days in the midst of these people, in view of the readiness of their response to Him (vs. 40). The whole setting here is agreeable to the spread of the gospel in the early days of the church—Judea, Samaria, Galilee, in that order.

Jesus and His party came at length to Sychar, near which was Jacob’s well. This was now Samaritan territory. The story of the Samaritans is one of singular interest. When the Assyrians overran the northern kingdom, they instituted a policy of deportation of many of the inhabitants, filling their places with people brought from afar (2 Kings 17:23, 24). During this shifting, the wild beasts increased, and we

read of lions killing some of the people. In their superstition, they felt the need of placating the god of the land who seemed to be scourging them, so they appealed to the king of Assyria. He sent them a priest who had been carried away captive from this area, that this man might teach them the “manner of the God of the land.” So now these people added the worship of Jehovah to that of their own deities, giving Him deference because it was His land, but not attached to Him as they were to their idols. Hence the anomaly arose that “they feared the Lord, and served their own gods.” When the children of Israel returned from captivity and began to rebuild their temple, they received a proposal from the descendants of this same group to the effect that they should share with the men of Judah and Benjamin in the erection of the sanctuary. Their plea was that they had been s...

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