May 16, 2021

Surprised by Grace

Surprised by Grace


Surprised by Grace (John 4:1-13)

Verse 1-4 The scene starts by telling us that Jesus has once again returned to the region of Galilee, which was north of Judea.  But to get there, he had to pass through Samaria,

  • This was considered the short cut.
  • There was a longer way to cross the Jordan and go north on the other side of the Jordan and then cross back over the river to avoid going through Samaria.
  • You may remember from the story of the Good Samaritan, Jews and Samaritans don’t exactly get along.
    • The Jews considered the Samaritans a half breed. Because when the Assyrians occupied the land, the Jews who remained intermarried with other peoples.
  • But this history does not bother Jesus at all.
  • In fact, Jesus love to step into sticky situations like this.

Verses 5-6 Jesus arrives in a town called Sychar. Not much is known about this Town.

  • Although for john to mention it, it must have been widely known in its day.
  • Some scholars believe that this town is just a short distance from where Joseph was buried.
  • Jacob’s well is both a dug well and a spring fed source of water that flows to this day.
    • It was a well or cistern that held or pooled the water from the spring.
  • It in the Greek it says they arrived at the sixth hour. Which would be noon.

Verse 7 This where things start to get interesting.

  • Woman would have come to fetch water together in groups. This was a very social society.
  • They also would have come early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day and to get the water need for the day.
  • So just in the way that John is telling the story here, we begin to see that something is wrong.
  • Jesus speaks to the woman. This was a no-no, on several levels.
    • She was a woman, she was a Samaritan, they were alone, she would have been considered unclean.

Verse 9 The woman is  shocked and surprised by His Grace, she begins to object.

  • Of course, these are the cultural and social objections she was used to.
    • In all honesty, these objections are the things that have become her identity.
  • Most Jews were afraid to use or touch anything used or touched by a Samaritan.

Verse 10 In Jesus’ answer he now begins to show here a better way.

  • This passage started by telling us that Jesus came out here to this place to hide. But He reveals Himself to this woman, because her of desperate need of Grace.

Verse 11 Of course, the woman is only thinking in natural terms.

  • She thinks Jesus is going to draw water for her.

Verse 13 Given the woman’s history and background this may be more of a statement about the woman’s emotional state. The need to belong and fit in.