To fully appreciate this story, one must be aware of the deep-seated animosity between Jews and Samaritans. These weren’t simply groups who favored a different football team. They were groups who dehumanized the other group. This prejudice is what makes Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan so powerful – no Jewish listener would have made a Samaritan the hero of the story. In John 4, Jesus purposefully went through Samaria on his way back to Galilee. Along the way he encounters a lady at the well and engages her in conversation that concludes with him revealing to her that he is the Messiah (his first public reveal). In this one story, Jesus confronts multiple social issues in a redemptive manner.
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