Returning from Judea into Galilee, Jesus Christ with His disciples went through Samaria, past a city called Sychar (in ancient times called
Shechem). Before the city, on the southern side, there was a well, dug,
according to tradition by the patriarch Jacob.
Jesus Christ, wearied with His journey, sat on the
well to rest. It was about noontime, and His disciples went into the city to
At that time, there came to the well a woman of Samaria to draw water.
Jesus Christ said to her, "Give me water to
The words of the Saviour greatly surprised the Samaritan
woman. She said, "How is it that Thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me,
who am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans."
Jesus said to her, "If thou knewest the gift
of God, (that is, the great mercy of God which He has sent to you in this
meeting), and Who it is that saith to thee, ‘Give me
water to drink,’ thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee
The Saviour called His divine teaching the living
water. As water saves the man dying of thirst, thus His divine teaching saves
man from eternal death and leads him to blessed eternal life. But the Samaritan
woman thought that He spoke about ordinary well water, which by them was called
The woman with astonishment asked Him, "Sir,
Thou hast nothing to draw with and the well is deep. From whence then hast Thou
that living water? Art Thou greater than our father Jacob,
who gave us the well and drank thereof himself and his children and his
Jesus Christ said to her in answer,
"Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again; but whosoever
drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water
that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into
But the Samaritan woman did not understand these
words of the Saviour and said, "Sir, give me this water, that I thirst
not, neither come here to draw."
Jesus Christ, wishing the Samaritan woman to
understand what He had said to her, first told her to call her husband. He
said, "Go, call thy husband and come here."
The woman said, "I have no husband."
Then, Jesus Christ said to her, "Thou hast
well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for thou hast had five husbands; and he whom
thou now hast is not thy husband. In that Thou saidst the truth."
The Samaritan woman, struck by the omniscience of
the Saviour, Who revealed everything about her sinful life, now understood that
it was not an ordinary man speaking. She immediately asked Him to resolve the
ancient question between the Samaritans and the Jews: which faith was more
correct and which service was more pleasing to God. Sir, I perceive that Thou
art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain (by this she meant Mount Gerizim upon which were visible the ruins of the demolished Samaritan
Temple); and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
Jesus Christ said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain,
nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know
what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews." Until that time only the Jews had the true faith, their services
alone were done correctly and pleasing to God. "But the hour cometh, and now is when the true worshippers shall worship the
Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God
is a Spirit (unseen, bodiless): and they that worship Him must worship Him in
spirit and in truth;" — that is, the true and God-pleasing service
occurs when people worship the Heavenly Father not only with their bodies and
not only by outward signs and words but with all their being — with all their
soul — when they truly believe in God, love and honour Him, and by their good
works and mercy to others fulfil the will of God.
Having heard this new teaching, the Samaritan
woman said to Jesus Christ, "I know that the Messiah cometh, Who is called Christ; when He is come, He will tell
us all things."
Then, Jesus Christ said to her, "The Messiah
— I am the One, Who is speaking to you."
Upon this scene came His disciples and marvelled
that He talked with the Samaritan woman. Yet no man asked the Saviour about
what He had spoken with her.
The woman then left her waterpot and hurried into
the city. There she started to tell the people, "Come, see a Man, Who told
me all things that I ever did. Is not this the Christ?" Then, they went
out of the city and came to the well where Christ was.
Meanwhile, the disciples besought him saying,
"Rabbi, eat." But the Saviour said to them, "I have food to eat
of which you do not know." So the disciples said to one another, "Has
anyone brought Him food?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the
will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. Do
you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? I tell you,
lift up your eyes and see how the fields (and the Lord showed them Samaritans —
inhabitants of the city who at that time came to Him) are already white for
harvest (how these people want to see the Saviour Christ, how they were inclined
to listen to Him and receive Him). He who reaps receives wages, and gathers
fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here
the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that
for which you did not labour; others have laboured, and you have entered into
The Samaritans who came from the city, of whom
many believed in Him because of the words of the woman, asked the Saviour to
remain with them. He went to them, and stayed there for two days, and taught
After this, more Samaritans believed in Him. They
said to the woman, "It is no longer because of your words that we believe,
for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that He is truly the Saviour of
the world, the Christ."
By tradition, it is known that the Samaritan woman
who spoke with Christ at Jacob’s well, spent the remainder of her life
preaching the Gospel of Christ. For preaching faith in Christ, she suffered in
the year 66 (she was thrown by tormentors into a well). The Holy Church celebrates her memory on March 20th
(April 2 NS). Her name is the holy Martyr Photina (Svetlana in Russian).
the Gospel of John, 4:1-42.
a Nobleman’s Son.
When Jesus Christ came to Galilee, the
Galileans welcomed Him with faith having seen the miracles that He had done in Jerusalem at Passover. Jesus Christ came again into Cana in Galilee,
where He had changed the water into wine. There came to Him a nobleman from Capernaum, who served at the royal palace, and begged the Saviour to
come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death.
Jesus Christ said to him, "Go, your son will
live." The nobleman believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went
home to Capernaum. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him
that his son was alive.
So he asked them the hour when he began to revive.
The servants said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left
The father knew that it happened when Jesus had
said to him, "Your son will live." The nobleman and all his household believed in Jesus Christ.
From Cana, Jesus Christ went around the cities and towns of Galilee in
order to preach His teaching everywhere. Preaching, He healed sickness and
every kind of infirmity among the people. Word of Him spread throughout the
land, and from everywhere the sick, the possessed, lunatics, and paralytics
came to Him, and He healed them. He refused help to no one, and all found
consolation in Him.
By the example of His life, the Saviour taught
that everyone, who wishes to be in the Kingdom of God, must be kind and must do
good to all and help everyone as far as each one’s strength allows.
the Gospel of John 4:43-54.
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