Why does John include this interaction between Jesus and the woman at Samaria in his gospel? It doesn’t seem to fit very well. The first half of John, where this negative takes place, is all about Jesus doing signs and miracles but being rejoiced by the Jews. So why does John include a negative with Samaritans believing when John also talks about Jews rejecting? John 1:11 says, “He (Jesus) came to his own (creation) and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” When it says his own people did not receive him, it is talking about the Jews. Jesus came as the savior to the Jews that was promised long ago, but John wants his readers to realize something. Even though most the Jew’s did not believe in him (though many had superficial faith) his salvation is not just for them, but for any who turn to him. Not only is Jesus the savior of the Jews, but also to all the nations. He is the blessing to all the nations that is promised to Abraham in Genesis 12:3. He is the one who brings about the fulfillment of Psalm 67:4-5:
“4Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah 5Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!”
When he is saying the nations, the psalmist is including those who are not decedents of Abraham by birth. We, the church (even though most of us are not Jewish) like the Samaritans in John 4, receive the blessing of living water, through faith in him. We are now worshipers of God in fulfillment of Psalm 67.
Second, I want you to pay attention to Jesus’ call to his disciples. He calls them to go out and reap the harvest of eternal life. He is talking about leading people to repentance and faith. He says a similar thing in Matthew 9:35-38. Now that we have received the blessing of eternal life that we enjoy as we seek Christ every day, we tell others of the good news of living life for Christ. This hard work leads to the great joy of seeing people be born again; the food that satisfies Jesus and leads to rejoicing in the church, and rejoicing in heaven.