Samaritan Woman
Brothers :
The Holy Spirit
and Jesus
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9. Samaritan Woman

Jesus Forgives People

The Early Church identified the Samaritan woman at the well as "Photini," or later, "Saint Photini" or "Photine." She was probably a disciple and friend of the Apostles. In his conversation with her, Jesus did a remarkable thing considering she was a Samaritan woman and considering the customs and religious prohibitions of the time. The Jews intensely despised Samaritans and regarded as "half-castes" and heretics to the Jewish Faith. The Law prohibited Jews from talking to women, especially when alone. Jesus was a Jewish man, and yet he spoke to her. Rather than despising her in his questions and answers, he empathizes and gently points her to the truth. Jesus, both here and on other occasions, shows a warm and forgiving spirit to everyone he meets. The woman ends up telling all and sundry how wonderful Jesus is! In John 4.29-30, she announces, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?" As a result, people come out of the town and make their way towards him. Jesus forgives other people but not only forgives this woman, but he also empowers her!

Paralytic Lowered

Paralytic LoweredOn another occasion, in Luke 5.18-20, we read, "Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof, knocked a hole in the roofing materials and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.'" The teachers of the law were watching and became critical because Jesus said that he forgave the young man's sins. The teachers of the law believed that only God could forgive sin and, although they were right, they didn't realize at this point that Jesus himself was God too. Jesus forgave people, even though they may not have believed that he was God himself in human form. Some of the law teachers said to themselves, as recorded in Luke 5.21, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

Jesus Freedom Walk

Lower Pool of SiloamWhen we experience Jesus' freedom walk, we know the forgiveness of sins and the power to dismiss evil thoughts and to become truly free. After Jesus healed the paralyzed man lowered on his bed, the teachers of the Law criticized him. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to the teachers of the law in Matthew 9.4-6, "Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk?' But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.' So he said to the paralyzed man, 'Get up, take your mat and go home.'" Jesus knew their thoughts revealed by the Holy Spirit, and being released from his sins, the man did the Jesus freedom walk! A physical action resulted from a spiritual transformation. Jesus asserts that because of his deity, he has the authority to forgive sins and release people from the hold that sin has on us, including illness. The grateful man, who was no doubt thoroughly confused by the teachers of the law now, did the Jesus freedom walk; and went off to show himself to his family!

Jesus Healing Power

Peter's Mother-in-law's HouseHis healing power comes to Peter's mother-in-law in a place called Capernaum on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. The New Testament is full of examples. Matthew 4.24 reads, "News about him spread all over Syria, and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed; and he healed them." There seems to have been nothing that Jesus could not cure. One particular instance occurred at the home of Peter in the town of Capernaum at the Northern end of the Sea of Galilee. We read of this miracle in Luke 4.38-39, "Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Peter. Now Peter's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them." Jesus' healing power and lordship extended still further. His healing power can, as God, completely heal individuals, not in a slow transition but an instantaneous healing miracle.

Peter's Mother-in-Law

Modern SurgeryThe little house which belonged to Peter's mother-in-law, where this miracle took place still stands today, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee in the village of Capernaum. It was extended very early in the church's life to accommodate travelers and pilgrims and built over with a large church on a concrete structure. On this occasion, Jesus' healing power pours forth on Peter's mother-in-law. He has just left the synagogue, which is among the oldest synagogues in the world, and the remains of which still stand just a short walk up the road from Peter's mother-in-law's house. Interestingly, there are several Christian symbols like an anchor and a fish on grave markers in this ancient cemetery from the earliest times. These engravings were early Christian symbols.

Jesus Healing

Jesus Casting out DemonsJesus' healing power and the Good News were made available to all who came to him no matter how rich or poor, or who they were. Jesus became known in the whole area not only because he preached the Good News but by showing his healing power over people with physical and mental problems of all kinds who flocked to him. Luke 4.40 told us, "At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one; he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, 'You are the Son of God!' But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah." Here, we saw Jesus healing power over sickness, physical disabilities, mental illnesses, and possession by demons. He did not allow the demons to speak because they knew he was the "Christ" otherwise called "the Chosen Messiah" or "the Anointed One" from God.✞

Exhausted Jesus

Dura Europos SynagogueJesus' healing work was taking such a toll on him that he became exhausted and tried to find some quiet on his own. He makes it quite clear that his mission is not to become a traveling healer alone but primarily a preacher of the Good News. Luke 4.42-44 tells us, "At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him, and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, 'I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also because that is why I was sent.' And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea." At some point, all committed Christians and especially preachers and Christian leaders need to retreat like Jesus to a solitary place to recharge our spiritual batteries for the primary work of preaching the Good News.

"Samaritan Woman"
©1990-2019
by Ron Meacock

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