The Samaritans were a group of ethnically mixed people whom the King of Assyria brought from Babylon that settled in modern day Palestine. They procreated with the remaining Jews in the land and adopted many traditions from the Jewish religion. Ultimately the Jews that returned from captivity in Jerusalem refused to allow the Samaritans to join in the rebuilding of the temple. As you can imagine, this stirred up some serious beef. The story goes on as the pages of history dictate the bitter enmity between the two groups. The Samaritans were outcast because of their mixed origin and being treated like outsiders is an understatement. This was no gentle rebuke, the Jews were malicious and cursed them and viewed them as having no part in the resurrection. Simply, I guess the Jews will never have the Samaritans over to watch a football game, grub on some wings or have a beer. Did I go too far?
In John chapter four Jesus had a remarkable conversation with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well after stopping to rest and drink water. Instead of quenching His own thirst He ends up quenching hers. Initially Jesus engages her in conversation by asking for a drink. After a brief dialog He exhorts that if she only knew who He was and what He offers, she would be asking Him for water. The tables turn and she does. Many commentators believe she did so sarcastically or with a taunting tone. At that point, with some serious swag, Jesus goes for the juggler and demands that she gets her husband. What!
Regardless if she was taunting Jesus or not, He now has her complete attention. Christ totally demolished her worldview and exposes her current reality. She’s sees that He’s much more than just an ordinary Jewish man, but a prophet. No, he is the Messiah! She runs back to her town leaving her jar screaming “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29) The Samaritan woman sees who Jesus really is and tells everyone she encounters.
I wonder If we really know who Jesus is? Do we see what the Samaritan Women saw in Jesus? Do we know that he is the Messiah, Lord, reigning King of all that exists? Or do we think… should I say do we live like he’s simply some biblical character in a really cool story, a wise dude nothing more nothing less, a rebel with a cause but too countercultural for my comfortable life?
For us, much like the Samaritan women, it often takes a radical encounter to open our eyes and exposing us to who we are from the inside out before we truly realize the majesty of the God we reckon with. He’s JESUS, GOD incarnate, stop taunting Him with your lifestyle. See Christ for who HE really is through the eyes of the Samaritan women then GO and proclaim the God who intimately knows us.