October 09, 2020 – Friday
John 4:39-42 NIV
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.” (emphasis added)
Yesterday, Thursday, we conclude with Jesus declaring to the Samaritan woman He was speaking with, I, the one speaking to you—I am He. Meaning He was/is the Messiah (Christ) she was waiting for. Before we get to our verses for today, we find His disciples returned and found Him still talking with the woman. Odd or strange for two reasons. First Jews simply did not speak with Samaritans as they considered them half breeds, not truly Jewish. Second, a rabbi generally would not speak with a woman, especially a Samaritan woman.
He and the woman must have had quite a discussion as she left without her water jar and went back into town telling everyone who would listen, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him
At the same time His disciples were trying to get Him to eat, but he would not eat and said to them, 32 I have food to eat that you know nothing about. This left the disciples confused and wondering if someone else had brough Him food. Knowing what they were thinking Jesus said the following, 34 My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor. His food was to do the will of His Father and to finish His work!
It is from there we transition to our verses for today about many Samaritans believing. Note they first believed because of the woman’s testimony. There we find out just how important our own testimony could be to another. Because many believed because of her testimony, many more came out and heard what Jesus had to say. As a result, many believed because of His words, what He had to say to them. Finally, many who had come to believe because of the woman’s testimony came to believe even more strongly because of what Jesus had said and not just because of her testimony.
These Samaritans who had every reason to distrust Jews who happened into their land (most Jews would add days to their travels to avoid contact with Samaritans) and especially Jewish rabbis who declared them unclean and not truly Jewish. Nonetheless, they found Jesus and His message so compelling they believed. They trusted His message. They took His message to heart. They believed in His message of forgiveness and grace that was to come.
It is amazing Jesus took His message to those who were looked down upon by the Jewish people and especially the Pharisees. It was the same when He healed a cripple or a blind person or a person possessed. The Pharisees considered such people as unclean and their physical problems to be a result of sin. Jesus even went so far as to heal a leper which should have made Him unclean for a week. Instead He made the leper clean. I wonder at the words Jesus must have shared with those in Samaria to bring them to belief. Was it His words or was it Him simply doing the work His Father had sent Him to do?
Bottom Line: Jesus message of love, mercy, and grace had come to Jew, Samaritan, and Gentile alike. All would have the chance to accept His offer of forgiveness. Many Samaritans chose to believe. Many Gentiles would choose to believe as well. We are blessed to have such a choice.