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The Samaritan ~ The Great Pretender

13 Jan

Even if a persecution did not follow the death of Stephen, the Gospel would have had to break out of the haven at Jerusalem where it was nurtured by the Spirit of God since Pentecost. The Jewish religious authorities, in killing Stephen, had officially rejected Jesus as the Messiah and the Kingdom of God whereby the believer is the bearer of the Shekinah Presence of God (rather than Herod’s Temple) and considered thereby to be the Third Temple of God built by the Messiah. Having rejected this revelation, they set up the abomination (rejection of God’s true presence) that eventually made Jerusalem and Herod’s Temple a desolation.

Judaism of the first century was very particular over what was clean and unclean. They went to great lengths to make themselves clean before God and their brethren. It was these traditions that were questioned by the Baptist’s ministry (cp. John 3:25) and which probably resulted in his imprisonment (John 3:24; cp. John 4:1, 3 and Matthew 4:12). The Jews’ religion emphasized cleanliness, and the blurring of clean and unclean was held in great contempt. It was this kind of contempt in which the Jewish authorities held Jesus. All Samaritans were considered unclean, and respectable Jews had no dealings with them (John 4:9), so to accuse Jesus of being a Samaritan and having a demon (John 8:48) was the ultimate rebuke, implying not merely that he wasn’t an Israelite at all, but that he was a pretender to the faith. This is how the Jews viewed all Samaritans—pretenders of descent from Abraham. Samaritans were completely unacceptable to the Jews.

It is interesting, therefore, that Jesus made the Samaritan the “hero” of the parable in Luke 10:30-34. The parable is significant in that the ceremonial cleanliness of both the Levite and the priest prevented them from helping the poor man who lay half dead from an attack by robbers (Luke10:30-32). Had either the Levite or the priest ministered to the man, they would have become ceremonially unclean and couldn’t lawfully participate in their Temple duties. Nevertheless, a Samaritan, when he came upon him, dressed his wounds and paid the cost of an acceptable place for recuperation (Luke 10:33-34), thus fulfilling the requirements of the Law (cp. Luke 10:27). Who, then, in the parable was the pretender, and who was the real worshiper of God? This question is at the heart of Luke’s message in Acts.

In effect, by the Jewish authorities having Stephen killed, they concluded they knew nothing of what was become of Jesus (the Prophet like Moses cp. Exodus 24:18; 32:1; Acts 7:40) who had gone up in the clouds to receive his Kingdom (Acts 1:9). The Jews who accused the Samaritans of mingling the worship of Yahweh with that of other gods (cp. 2Kings 17:25-29), had themselves begun to practice similar worship in that they “prayed” or called out in the name of Beelzebub to harness the power of evil in order to cure the ailments of people to whom they ministered (Acts 7:40-42; cp. Matthew 12:24 and Acts 19:13).[1] Yet, when Philip sought refuge in Samaria from the persecution at Jerusalem and preached the Gospel there, the Samaritans (in contrast with the ceremonial-clean-conscious Jews) received the Gospel. The Samaritans received Jesus as the Messiah, whom the Jewish leaders had refused. If we consider only this passage of Scripture, who is pretending to worship the God of Abraham and who is the true worshiper? There is a reversal of positions after Acts 7. Although the Jews are continually sought out first by Paul to offer them the promises of the Gospel, it is the Jews and not non-Jews who find it difficult to yield to Jesus. Not only so, but the predominant trouble faced by believers come not from non-Jews, but by the Jews themselves—the very people who claim to be God’s own nation, and all this in the name of ceremonial cleanliness.


[1] Compare this with Josephus’ statement about Solomon being “enabled” by God to learn the skill that expels demons: Antiquities of the Jews; book 8, chapter 2, paragraph 5. Considering that Solomon had apostatized the Jewish faith of his father David, it is more probably that he inherited this knowledge from his wives, and Josephus maintains that “this method of cure is of great force unto this day.” Compare also Wars of the Jews; book 2, chapter 8 paragraph 6, where the Essens “enquire after such roots and medicinal stones as may cure their distempers,” showing that the Jews had abandoned the ways of the Lord to rather take up incantations to demons, using charms and trinkets (magic) like their pagan neighbors.

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2 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2012 in Kingdom of God

 

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2 responses to “The Samaritan ~ The Great Pretender

  1. Dion Ray Irwin

    January 30, 2012 at 17:35

    In my deep thirty year study of John 4:1-44 I have found out some things that need to be said in regards to the “Samaritan Theology” at the time of Christ’s ministry. I began studying the “Samaritan Women At Jacob’s Well” soon after I was first exposed to the divorce stigma that dwells within Christendom. I strongly recommend the reading of a book: “The Theology Of the Samaritans” by John Macdonald; Westminster Press,1964. When you read it you will see the buried truth about this woman such as: She is a virgin consecrated to become the Bride of Taheb. Taheb is their Messiah. Then you must read Genesis 24 and put focus on Rebekah and Isaac’s marriage for the extension of Abraham’s genealogy (seed). The Samaritan woman was replicating Rebekah. She was to marry Taheb in order to heve their defiled bloodline (722B.C. by Assyrians) restored. The Samritans were not looking for forgiveness of sin, but only social acceptance restored equal to the oppressive Jews. Her WATER POT was a sacred vessel. The woman’s name means, Ordained wife of the Territory.I say again, the woman was a virgin. Buy that book and it will all come to light. Oh, Jesus did not go to the well to meet the woman; the woman went to the well to hopefully meet her Messiah who they called, Taheb. The truth about this woman will make the Church stop oppressing divorced people; and, oppression is a sin.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      January 30, 2012 at 18:36

      Greetings Dion, thanks for reading and for leaving a comment. If you did a “deep study” of John 4 you would know that the woman couldn’t be a virgin. She was married five times and living with another man at the time when Jesus spoke with her. There can’t be much truth in McDonald’s book if he denies the Scriptures upon which you seem to claim it is based. She is not named in the Scriptures,so how could we know what her name means?

       

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