"The Lord doesn't look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
This attitude was always apparent in Jesusí life here on earth. One particular instance is in the story of His meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well.
The Bible story is in John 4: 1-42.
It is a simple story and one that we might not consider significant without understanding the climate of the times.
- Samaria was an area within Palestine. Its people were racially mixed and practiced a religion that had resulted from an attempted blending of Jewish and pagan beliefs.
- Jews did not associate with Samaritans and so hated them that they would even go miles out of their way so as to not cross Samaria.
- Jews would not even use a dish that a Samaritan had used.
- The prejudices of the day prohibited public conversation between men and women, between Jews and Samaritans, and especially between strangers.
- A Jewish rabbi would never teach matters of religion to a woman.
Jesus was traveling in Samaria when He stopped to rest at the well. The disciples had gone to find food when a woman came to the well to fill her water jar. Jesus did something that surprised her: He asked her for a drink of water.
The woman immediately challenged Him, asking why He would speak to her, a Samaritan woman.
Jesus responded with a conversation of "living water", drawing her interest and leading her toward spiritual teaching. He was speaking of the gift of the Holy Spirit, however, she had no understanding of spiritual matters, and mistakenly thought that this living water might save her the chore of going to the well for a drink.
It seemed that before she could receive spiritual truth, the woman had to admit the sin in her life.
Jesus, "Go get your husband and come back."
Woman, "I donít have a husband."
Jesus, "What you say is true. You have had five husbands and the man you have now is not your husband."
Realizing that this man was more than met the eye, her questions turned to religious matters, though still in a materialistic point of view. She may possibly have wanted to change a tender subject.
She asked, "Where is the true place of worship?"
Jesus spoke to her of the new order of things that would begin with Him.
"God is spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth."
Then, this Samaritan woman received a blessing that is rare in New Testament Bible stories. While in most meetings, He left it to the listener to discern His deity; He told this woman plainly that He was the long awaited Messiah. (John 4:25, 26)
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Almighty God. The Creator of heaven and earth.
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