Jn.4:39-42 – So there were many from the Samaritan village who became believers in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony: “He told me everything I ever did!” Then they begged Jesus to stay with them, so he stayed there for two days, resulting in many more coming to faith in him because of his teachings.
Then the Samaritans said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you told us, but now we’ve heard him ourselves and are convinced that he really is the true Savior of the world!”
This story serves as a prophetic glimpse into the future of the church. Jesus is venturing into non-jewish waters, ministering for three days among the hated Samaritans. The open door into this community was the most unlikely candidate of all, the well known immoral woman who had five husbands and a current live in arrangement. This is reminiscent of the revival in Northampton so many years later where Jonathan Edwards spoke of a woman he referred to as the ‘greatest company keeper’ in town. It is as if the Lord takes the least likely candidate and chooses them to display the glory of His grace. Here are some comments from the Passion Notes about the woman at the well in Samaria.
“Although unnamed in the biblical account, church tradition identifies the Samaritan woman to be Photini. An internet search of her name will yield many interesting stories about her post-conversion ministry, including her being named as an “apostle” of Jesus and her eventual martyrdom. Regardless of the validity of the extrabiblical references, she will go down in history as the first New Testament evangelist to win a city to Christ. God is faithful to use anyone to reach others when we are honest to tell others that Jesus knows everything we’ve ever done and still loves us.”
This caused all sorts of problems for the disciples. First, this woman was a Samaritan. Samaritans were despised by the Jews as a half breed race of cursed people. Secondly, she was a woman. How could a woman be used to touch a region for Christ. Third, her story was horrible. How could the Lord work with someone with such a sketchy past? The funny thing, these three problems were the very reason the Lord chose this woman. Today, the Lord is at it again; 1 Cor. 1:28,29 – “He chose the lowly, the laughable in the world’s eyes—nobodies—so that he would shame the somebodies. For he chose what is regarded as insignificant in order to supersede what is regarded as prominent, so that there would be no place for prideful boasting in God’s presence”.