A Samaritan Woman’s Influence

By Susie Frederick

John 4:1-42

Every person on this earth influences someone. Some people, because they are well-known, or because of their position in the world, influence many others. Some directly influence only the people they know personally. But when we consider that everyone affects the lives of some others, we might say that our influence “spreads” farther than our acquaintances. For example, my influence on my daughter will in some way affect how she influences people of her acquaintance whom I have never met. Since this is true, we should be aware and careful of our behavior.

When Jesus was traveling through Samaria on His way from Judea to Galilee, He stopped to rest beside a water well, while His disciples went into town to buy food. While He waited for them to return, a woman came out from the city to draw water from the well. Jesus asked her for a drink. This greatly surprised her, since the Jews and the Samaritans did not usually speak to each other. After just a short conversation, the woman said, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” Then Jesus foretold a time when the place of worship would no longer be important, saying that “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Then He told her that He is the Messiah for whom they were waiting.

She became so excited that she left her water container beside the well, and went back into the city to share the news that a prophet was there! When she told the men about their conversation, many of the Samaritans believed and went out to see Jesus. They urged Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days and taught them. Then many more believed, saying 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.”

What kind of influence did this Samaritan woman have? She may have had only a bad influence before she met Jesus. She was an immoral woman, and the people who knew her were surely aware of that. She had been married to five different men, and was currently living with a man who was not her husband. But on this day, her influence had far-reaching results for good. She did not let her reputation keep her silent. She had wonderful news, and she was determined to share it! Some people immediately believed in Jesus because of her report. Others believed because her influence reached beyond that report. Because of her, Jesus was invited to stay there. And while there, He taught those who did not at first believe. They might never have heard Him teach if the woman had not told about Him.

What good lessons can we learn from this Samaritan woman?

Do not be silent about the Savior. Tell other people what you know about Him. Study with them from the Bible, and let God’s word convince them of His will.

Our influence reaches farther than we may think. The people we influence will influence others.

It is never too late to make a change in our lives. No matter how sinfully we have lived in the past, we can change our behavior and begin to spread good influence in the world.

Let us learn from the Samaritan woman, and do all that we can to bring the good news of the gospel to other people.