39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.
42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
(John 4:39-42 NIV)
I love this story.
John continues with the narrative as it unfolds before Jesus and His disciples. As the woman hurried back to town to tell everyone about meeting Messiah, Jesus uses this teachable moment as an object lesson for His disciples. As the crowd draws near, Jesus gets excited about what is about to happen, when many will believe in Him. The harvest is now and is about to happen before their very eyes.
The Samaritans came to see Jesus because of the woman’s testimony of what Jesus had said to her. They all knew her checkered past; who was this Jewish stranger that would not only converse with her but could tell her life story? The woman went for water and came back a changed person. The woman’s change was both immediate and dramatic and was worth dropping everything and investigating, even in the heat of the day.
After spending time with Jesus, the town people not only accepted the woman’s testimony but believed on their own from hearing and meeting Messiah in person. The Samaritans were so engaged and taken with Jesus that they invited Him to stay with them. And Jesus willingly remained with them for two days.
John goes into great detail to describe these events in Samaria. John’s account was in contrast to Luke’s account of Samaria when a village refused to let Jesus and His disciples stay in their village because they were headed to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51-56).
John’s recounting of this story parallels God’s redemption of humanity on so many levels:
- the Samaritan woman, with all the mess of her life and relationships and pride
- the town folks, with their traditions and beliefs
- the city of Samaria itself, with its history of sin, rebellion, and animosity toward God
- the region of Samaria, considered by many as unclean and to be avoided at all costs
Just as Jesus provided redemption for this woman, He longs to redeem us as well. Our sin, our brokenness, our rebellion, our pride are no match for His grace, mercy, and love.
Like the Samaritan woman and the town folks, may we lay our brokenness and pride and self-sufficiency aside and let Jesus tell us our story, not to shame us, but to redeem us and transform us as only He can.
We will never be the same. Because of Christ, we are forever changed.
While the details are different, her tale is just like mine and yours. But our Redeemer is one and the same – Jesus, Messiah – crucified, risen, and coming again.
I love this story.
What is stopping you from making it your story?