Sunday, August 21, 2011


PHOTINI - The Samaritan Woman of John 4:4-9

(Sometimes a question sparks investigation. Luke mentions many writing about Jesus. Luke 1:1-4. The Bible does not try to tell everything that might be told. John 20:30-31; 21:25. But traditional history tells of Photini, the Samaritan woman.)

Whoever invests his/her life in God's Son
Doesn’t die, but gets given this everlasting life.
Do you think God sent His Son to slam people down?
NO! He sent His Son to liberate people! [John 3:17]

1. Who were the Samaritans [Palestinians]?

The Samaritans were a mixed race and traditional enemies of the Jews. Although they worshipped the God of Israel and were awaiting a Redeemer, they accepted only the first five Books of the OT (the Pentateuch) as their Scriptures. They had built their temple at Mt. Gerazim, which the Jews destroyed in 128 BC. Their worship was similar to the Koran of Islam. [Note the Koran shows Mohammed dead, but Mary's Son Jesus ascending to heaven. And the Koran shows Jesus coming at the End of the World.]

God allowed the 10 Tribes to be taken captive. 2 Kings 17:1-18.

"Then the king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Ava, Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel; and they took possession of Samaria and dwelt in its cities."
2 Kings 17:24

Bwecxause these new people did not worship Him, God sent lions among them. 2 Kings 17:25-27.

"Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the Lord." 2 Kings 17:28

Note God sent no more lions. He must have accepted the things the Samaritans did to worship Him.

2. Jesus at the well.

Jacob's well was at the foot of Mt. Gerazim. It was here Jacob had the vision of the Ladder (Gen. 28:12-19).

"Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." John 4:9-10

"Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?" John 4:12

Jesus is greater than Jacob. He is the final revelation of God. "And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." John 1:51

3. Fountain of Living Water.

"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:14

The living water given by Jesus is the Holy Spirit as a gift. The inspired explanation is John 7:37-39. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified." And the Holy Spirit Himself becomes a Fountain of Water which flows with eternal life. [Jesus was glorified in the Cross & Resurrection.]

4. I AM - who speak to you am He.

Jesus reveals Himself to be more than the Messianic Prophet [who the Samaritans were expecting] and more than the Jewish Messiah. He is the Incarnate GOD Himself.

"Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world." John 4:42

The Samaritans are the first to recognize Jesus as the Savior of the world. The Gospel is for the world. The Samaritan woman becomes the first evangelist, testifying to the advent of Christ and bringing others to Him (John 4:39).

According to an early tradition, after the Resurrection of Christ she was baptized [at Pentecost] and given the Christian name Photini, "the enlightened one." Along with her two sons and five daughters she went to Carthage to spread the gospel. There they were arrested and taken to Rome under Nero, imprisoned, and later martyred.

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
Blessed are You, O God.
In Christ the walls that divide are broken down,
the chains that enslave are thrown aside,
and we are freed from death and despair
and given life and hope.
We are liberated from hate and war
and empowered to love and to seek peace.
For these and all Your mercies, we praise You:
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever!
[from an old prayer]