Read 2 Kings 17; John 4:7–29
So the people of Israel were taken from their homeland into exile in Assyria… The king of Assyria brought people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath and Sepharvaim and settled them in the towns of Samaria to replace the Israelites. 2 Kings 17:23b-24 NIV
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When Samaria was resettled by Shalmaneser, King of Assyria, he was superstitious enough to believe that the people needed to worship the "god" of that land. So he brought back one of the exiled priests to live in Bethel and “teach the people what the god of the land requires." (2 Kings 17:27) But each national group had its own gods for which they set up shrines and idols in the mountains. They were taught about the God of Israel, so they knew about the promised Messiah. But their religion was a mixture of truth and error.
This passage is the background for the New Testament story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. In a conversation about worship in the mountains, the woman said to Jesus, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he." (John 4:25–26)
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Dear Father, there are many people around us who are accepting a mixture of Christianity and pagan religion. Help us to be ready to share our faith in Christ with kindness, clarity and simplicity–as Jesus spoke to this woman.
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Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" John 4:28-29 NIV