Sunday, May 29, 2011

John 4:4-6. Good or bad Samaritans

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.

This is modern day Nablus a Palestinian town on the West Bank. Samaria, capital of the Northern Kingdom had been conquered by the Assyrians who had scattered its inhabitants throughout their empire and resettled foreigners there. When the refugees from the Southern kingdom (Judea) returned from Babylon under Nehemiah the inhabitants of Samaria were seen as a mongrel people whose religion had been contaminated. Later they had built a Temple at Sychar but the Jews had pulled it down. There was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans.

Note how John emphasizes Jesus' human characteristics as well as his divine ones. He was tired.

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