Key Verse: “Many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.”
DURING HIS EARTHLY ministry, Jesus had informed his followers not to carry the Gospel message to the Gentiles nor to any city of the Samaritans. They were not of pure Israelitish stock and therefore not fully conformed to all the laws and customs of the Jews.—Matt. 10:5,6
On one occasion, while traveling from Judea through Samaria, the Master was in need of refreshment. He encountered a woman in the city of Sychar and asked her for water while his disciples journeyed onward to purchase food. Since our Lord was a Jew, the woman was perplexed as to why he had requested a drink from a Samaritan. Christ then informed her that he had water which, if partaken of, would lead to everlasting life.—John 4:6-15
As their conversation continued the Samaritan woman perceived that Jesus was a prophet. This was because he informed her that she had cohabited with several men and that the one she was presently living with was not her husband. Additionally, their discussion evolved into a consideration as to the meaning of worshipping the Heavenly Father “in spirit and in truth.” This implies deep reverence for holiness which would be pleasing to him, as opposed to merely perfunctory acts of prayer, praise and thanksgiving. True worship of God should consume us as a lifestyle.—vss. 16-24
Our Key Verse demonstrates that a number of the Samaritans recognized that they were not satisfied in their hearts with what they knew about God as well as their relationship with him. This was evidenced by the woman’s compelling testimony and desire to learn more about Jesus.
All of the events described in this lesson occurred prior to our Lord having paid the ransom for all. Thus, the door of opportunity was not yet open for his consecrated followers to have the hope of reigning with him during the Messianic kingdom, when the human family will come to worship God in spirit and in truth.
The Heavenly Father is not dealing directly with mankind at this time, but is seeking a bride for his Son, Jesus Christ. May we faithfully proclaim the good news of God’s kingdom as the antidote for all that is wrong in this world. “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate.”—Isa. 6:9-11
Let us use every available opportunity to give a word of comfort to all as we have opportunity. “Though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”—I Cor. 9:16