The Last of the Samaritans

Some time back, I came across a great Bible Study called She Hears. Written by Rachael Groll, the study looks at the interactions Jesus had with six different women in the Bible.

One of these was the Samaritan Woman at The Well, and Rachael goes through the story, as relayed in John chapter four. But she starts by outlining how Jesus left Judaea, and headed to Galilee by way of Samaria. Once there, the Lord stopped at Jacob’s Well, and had a conversation with the woman.

Prior to going through the study, I’d assumed Jesus passed through Samaria because it was the best route to take. However, Rachael explains the Jews actively avoided Samaria. In fact, the tensions were so high that if a Jew had to go from Judaea to Galilee, they’d cross the Jordan River and travel along the other side (see map below). The Jews felt like they’d become defiled simply by stepping foot in Samaria!

Map taken from She Hears

Yet, not only does Jesus go through Samaria, but John 4:4 says, “And he must needs go through Samaria.” It turns out this phrase comes from the root word dei, which means “it is necessary, or what must happen,” in terms of a directive from God. Now for the really good part… Guess where else the root word dei is used? In Matthew 16:21, when Jesus is telling His disciples He “must go” unto Jerusalem (and the cross).

In other words, Jesus loved the Samaritan woman so much that He “must needs go” to her, just as He “must go” to the cross. And the “her” in this case refers to a woman whom most would have avoided, and who was even then living in adultery. Yet, God intentionally went to where she was – going out of His way to do so.

It’s worth noting here that the conversation with the Samaritan woman is said to be the longest recorded conversation Jesus had with an individual. It’s also the one in which He first disclosed His identity as the Messiah!

Having studied all of this previously, I’d been hoping to visit Jacob’s Well, or at least Samaria, while we were in Israel. We weren’t able to, because tensions still run high in that area. However, my ears perked up one day on the tour, when I heard there were only 140 Samaritans alive today.

My research shows the number is actually closer to 800, but still yet, learning of the small number of survivors made the story even more meaningful to me. This meant that God purposely chose to first reveal Himself to a people who wouldn’t be known as powerful or influential. In fact, they would almost become extinct. Not to mention, they were a people who literally lived on the wrong side of the tracks.

Most of all, however, I continue to be amazed at how much Jesus cares about us – down to the very least – and the least-worthy – of us. And while He doesn’t condone our sin, He intentionally comes to us while we’re in that sin. Then, just like He did with the woman at the well, He sits with us. He doesn’t rush us. He stays with us, until we’re able to fully grasp and accept His love.


For more posts about God and life, you can find my blog page here. I can also be found on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you for stopping by. Blessings!

Featured image by Pexels

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19 responses to “The Last of the Samaritans”

  1. Wow, how interesting that there are that few Samaritans. I had no idea.

    I love how you pick up the theme that we are all worthy of love, grace and redemption, no matter if we come from or live now on the other side of the tracks. Such a beautiful thing to remember for ourselves and in how we treat others!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was about the reply with “WWS” — What Wynne Said 😉 – being completely unaware of the Samaritan story. Thank you, Kendra. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

      1. An Audience of One Avatar
        An Audience of One

        I like that! I’ma have to use that too – WWS! 🤗🤍

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You two are hilarious and delightful. Can one of you teach me kids to listen to “What Wynne Said” then? 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’m on it…tell Mr. D and Miss O that your friends Kendra and Vicki think you’re the smartest…and so should they. If they ask for our ‘credentials’ you might need to adopt a new strategy…you know, bribing with candy. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Oh, I’m laughing, Vicki!! You are brilliant!! ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 2 people

    2. An Audience of One Avatar
      An Audience of One

      Crazy, isn’t it? I thought I must have heard the number wrong, but it’s true.

      And you’re so right. This should be our model of how to treat others (and ourselves). Thank you, Wynne! 🤍🤍

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would be curious to know why Samaria was a place forbidden to enter, Kendra. Thanks for this story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An Audience of One Avatar
      An Audience of One

      Thank you, Dr. Stein! As to the why, I’m not an expert, and there are doubtless differing viewpoints, but from what I’ve read, it came down to the fact there were four groups of people involved, dating back to the time of the Assyrian captivity. 1) Those serving Yahweh, 2) Those who served other gods, 3) Those who tried to mix Yahweh with other gods, and 4) The Hebrew people who’d been left behind; considered the remnant. My understanding is the people who’d remained faithful to Yahweh had worked hard to remain that way, and felt they’d become unclean by mingling with the others. And thank you for letting me blather on a bit more here. There’s so much beauty and history to this story and location, I kept having to rein myself in. 😊🤍

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am grateful for your enlightenment. Not blather at all, Kendra!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. An Audience of One Avatar
        An Audience of One

        You are unfailingly kind, Dr. Stein, and very much appreciated. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. My mother used to say this about herself: “People say I’m kind, but what I’d like to know is, what kind?”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. An Audience of One Avatar
        An Audience of One

        Sounds like she had a keen sense of humor to go along with her kindness. 😁

        Like

  3. Your post is so relevant to our society today. Jesus told us not to judge, yet how often do we walk on the other side of the street as a means of avoidance? Jesus spent time with the Samaritan woman. Incredible. Do we spend time with people who are different than we are? Thank you for the beautiful reminder! Great job again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An Audience of One Avatar
      An Audience of One

      Thank you, Mom! Btw, it’s interesting to consider that it was a Samaritan who was willing to stop and help someone laying by the roadside when nobody else would do so… Just further musings. 😊🤍

      Like

  4. You present a fascinating perspective, Kendra. He (must needs spend) individual time with us and declares it time well-spent! Who am I that The God of Hosts and of all Creation should condescend so low?
    And I didn’t know that there was a count of Samaritans, and that count was so few. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An Audience of One Avatar
      An Audience of One

      Thank you, G. W! It’s humbling, isn’t it?! And neither did I – had to do some fact-checking on that count (no pun intended 😊)!

      Thank you as always, for reading and your thoughtful comments!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jesus had a definite purpose in Samaria just as he did with everything he did while on earth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. An Audience of One Avatar
      An Audience of One

      Yes! He’s intentional! 🙌🏼🙌🏼

      Liked by 1 person

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