Many more believed because of his message, and they said to the woman, “We believe now, not because of what you said, but because we ourselves have heard him, and we know that he really is the Saviour of the world.”” (John 4:41–42, GNB)

This is the first time in the life of Jesus that anyone recognizes and confesses that Jesus is the “Saviour of the world.”  The humbling thing here is that it was lowly and hated Samaritans who recognized this while the Jews (as a whole) completely missed it!

Jews hated Samaritans because they were considered half-breeds (a mix of Jewish blood and blood from people the Assyrians had brought in to settle the land after they carried the ten tribes of Israel off to captivity in 722 BC).  They were also religious syncretists, mixing some things from Judaism with other things that they had brought with them from paganism.  In addition they worshiped on Mt. Gerizim rather than at the temple in Jerusalem (perhaps their worst sin in the eyes of the Jews).  The Jews and Samaritans had fought a war against each other.  There was no love lost between them.

Jesus comes to Shechem and meets a woman who has a very low reputation and she becomes the one who calls the other people in her town out to listen to Jesus. [Jesus likes using unexpected people].  Her fellow townsfolk come out and listen and they come to faith in the Messiah.  They confess that Jesus is “the Saviour of the world.”  Hated Samaritans are the first ones to recognize that Jesus’ message and life go, not just to the Jews, but to all people everywhere.

They were, of course, correct, and glad I am that they recognized this, for I am no more a Jew than these Samaritans were, but Jesus died for me!

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