At the time Jesus was on earth, the social food chain went like this: Jews don’t talk to Samaritans. The strife between the two groups stretched back hundreds of years, to the Babylonian exile.
When the Babylonians attacked Judah, they moved a large group of God’s people away from their homes. But some of the people—the poorest, sickest, least able to work—were left behind in the region that became known as Samaria. The exile lasted 70 years. During that time, those left in Samaria began to mingle with their neighbors to the north. They intermarried and practiced foreign customs. While the Samaritans still believed in God, they adapted their beliefs.
The Jews who returned home from Babylon to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem rejected this new way of life. They were dedicated to obeying and worshiping God, and they didn’t agree with the Samaritans’ practices. The Samaritans opposed the Jews’ efforts to reestablish their nation. In time, the Jews’ hate for the Samaritans grew—so much so, that a Jew traveling from Judea to Galilee would take a longer route to travel around Samaria rather than through it.
Jesus broke down barriers when He traveled to Galilee by way of Samaria. Even more surprising, Jesus stopped at a well around noon and asked a Samaritan woman for a drink. Jewish men did not speak to women in public.
But Jesus was kind to her, and He offered a gift—living water. The woman didn’t understand, but Jesus revealed His knowledge of her past. He even gave her a glimpse of the future. The Samaritan woman expected a Messiah to come and fix everything. Jesus said, “I am He.”
Jesus offered the woman something no one else could give her—living water. Jesus wasn’t talking about water that she could physically drink; Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit who would satisfy her spiritual thirst. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to those who come to Him by faith.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
● Babies and Toddlers
○ Jesus is the Messiah.
○ Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman.
○ The woman told people to come and hear Jesus.
○ Many people believed Jesus is God’s Son.
○ Who did Jesus say He is? Jesus said He is God’s Son.
○ Jesus told the Samaritan woman He is God’s Son.
○ Who did Jesus say He is? Jesus said He is the Messiah.
○ Jesus told the Samaritan woman He is the Messiah.
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