06.01.05 Jn. 4:39-42 Samaria
THE FIRST WOMAN EVANGELIST
39 Now many Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of what the woman said when she testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 Therefore, when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them, and He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of what He said. 42 And they told the woman, “We no longer believe because of what you said, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this really is the Savior of the world.”
There can be little question that this woman’s reputation was the lowest in the community. Yet her statements were so profound that the village elders, who normally would never have listened to her, decided to investigate her report. She said that Jesus had supernatural knowledge concerning herself that He could have received only from God. She recognized him as Savior and the Messiah; the Taheb or Restorer – a great prophet of the end-time. The greatest evidence of divine truth has always been a transformed life. There was a growing circle of believers who recognized the identity of Jesus.
At this time women were not considered viable witnesses and their ideas were generally considered meaningless. But with this encounter and others like it, Jesus underscored the importance of women and thereby, their status was elevated. The manner in which Jesus nullified prejudice was later more fully illustrated in the letters written by the Apostle Paul. Only heaven knows her name although the Eastern Orthodox tradition says her was Photina.
“The Savior of the world.” It wasn’t the woman, but the village leaders who announced that Jesus is the Messiah of all humanity. Ironically, the Jews could not accept this teaching because, in their preconceived ideas, the messiah would be theirs alone and would overthrow the Roman Empire. They refused to consider the possibility that He would also be the messiah for the Samaritans, Greeks, and the hated Romans.
. Bruce, New Testament History. 34-35.
. Rom. 3:27-4:18; 8:9-17; etc.
. Jordan. Who’s Who in the Bible. 239.