On his way back home to Galilee, Yeshua passed through Samaria, an area that is currently referred to as the west bank. Other Jews would typically take the long roads around Samaria. They wanted to avoid all contact with the Samaritans. Because the Samaritans were considered to be worse than the foreigners and gentiles, they were considered half-breeds and worse still blood traitors among the Jews.
They practiced a form of Judaism that though the Samaritans considered to be more correct, the rest of the more conservative Jews -- who had returned from exile just a few decades before -- considered as being corrupt. But Yeshua didn’t care about appearances, he was different.
While traveling through Yeshua saw a Samaritan woman drawing water at a well. He asked her for some of the water she had drawn. The woman was surprised by this. “Why would you a Jew talk to me?” Her question wasn’t that off base either. Most Jews really would rather thirst to death than even speak to these people -- let alone ask for something.
Yeshua’s disciples must’ve thought he was nuts for this as well. Yeshua told her that he
was living water and anyone who drank from him would never thirst again. The part that really shocked this woman was that he knew details about her life. She ran back to the village to tell as many people she could, who would come and listen to him teach.
When they made it back home to Nazareth, Yeshua got so much attention from people because they had heard what had happened in Jerusalem. The Jewish leaders in Galilee heard about all of this and feared him even more than their counterparts in Jerusalem. As Yeshua read from the prophecies of Isaiah the prophet in the synagogue they asked, “Wait, isn’t he the carpenter’s son?” You see as the old saying goes no prophet has honor among his own people. When the leaders in Galilee tried to kill him, Yeshua slipped out of their reach and left them traveling about the rest of Galilee for the next three years.
He preached about a kingdom that was counter intuitive to the prevailing logic at the time. Where the poor are rich, the sick are healthy and the blind can see. If you could, just try to imagine for a moment the looks on these people’s faces when they heard this twist from the logic they were used to. Today most of us grew up hearing these words. But for these people, no one before had ever spoken like this before. They would’ve said things like: People aren’t fortunate to be poor, being poor sucks. Life really is not that fair.
At least some of them must have thought Yeshua to be mad at first. But it’s obvious that, that didn’t last too long because the kingdom he described got people to thinking. And when they started thinking, great things happened.
He really resonated with the regular people, because he was passionate about God. This is really amazing if you think about it. He had a profound impact on everyone who met him. He always glorified God, not himself. What is the lesson to be learned from Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman? What do you find most interesting about the way Jesus' ministry grew and gained greater attention despite the fact that he never glorified himself?