“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me everything I ever did.’” (John 4:39)
For years I studied John 4:1-42 with students at the Scum Study Center. We picked apart the text from the literary context to the poetic imagery to the place where they were to the historical cultural background – and I still can’t get over it.
I’m sure I will be returning to this story in the future.
Today, I want to focus on one part of the story: The fact that the Samaritan woman is the first person mentioned in the New Testament who told other people about the good news of Jesus.
The people of Samaria believed in Jesus because she told others about him.
Considering historical-cultural background, a woman could not bear witness to anything at that time in Israel. Her testimony in court was not considered valid. She had no say, no rights (more on this later), no credibility.
And yet, God used her to bring men and women to Himself.
And not just anyone. She brought more Samaritans to Himself.
Samaritans were considered “less than” in Jewish society. They were half-bloods (“muggles” if you will). Their mixed race status brought the disdain of the Jews and they were unable to worship in the Temple. Heck, people traveled hours extra in order to avoid crossing through Samaria.
Jesus didn’t just pass through Samaria, but He stopped and ministered to a woman, who then brought others to Jesus.
Later, women would be the first to tell others about the resurrection of Jesus.
Jesus changed things for women.
Jesus changed things for me. Because Jesus empowered this woman to bear witness, He empowered me to bear witness, to tell others about Him. To teach others about Him.
(The FMF prompt for this post was “tell”)