John 4:40-45 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.
‘He abode there two days’ – This is another of many customs of the Jews that was broken by Jesus. Talking to the woman itself was breaking rabbinical law, and having fellowship with Samaritans for two days would have been unpardonable in the eyes of the Pharisees (John 4:9). Jesus taught being neighbourly to those whom one could help, so here He practised what He preached (Luke 10:29-37).
‘Many more believed because of his own word’ – Two groups of “many” (John 4:39, 4:41) made a large congregation.
These Samaritans believed He was the Saviour of Gentiles as well as Jews. They were not like the other Samaritans that would not receive Him (Luke 9:51-56). Receiving Jesus will make a change in any life, community, or nation.
Jesus and His disciples left after two days to continue their journey to Galilee. His native country was Judea – His town, Bethlehem (Mic. 5:1-2; Matt. 2:1-23). His adopted country was Galilee. Judea rejected Him, but Galilee received Him (John 4:45). Nazareth, His adopted home town, rejected Him, but not all of Galilee (Luke 4:16-30).
John 4:16-20 Jesus say unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto 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 said thou truly. The woman say unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
‘Go, call thy husband’ this was Christ’s way of getting to the root of her trouble, so He could legally give her salvation. Christ knew by the Holy Spirit’s gift of knowledge that she had five husbands; and the one whom she was with was not her husband, (1Cor. 12:4-11). He could see her past and read her thoughts, as He did with others (Mat. 9:4; 12:25; Luke 5:22; 6:8; 11:17; John 2:24-25).
This knowledge about her past life startled her and she concluded that He was a prophet with power. She quickly changed the subject lest he exposes more of her life.
Mt. Gerizim, the mount of blessing, just across a narrow valley from Mt. Ebal, the mount of cursing (Deut. 11:29; 27:12-26; Jos. 8:33). Jotham addressed Israel here (Jdg. 9:7). About 332 B.C. Sanballet, governor of Samaria under the Persians, and who opposed Israel under Nehemiah (Neh. 4:7-13:28), went over to the side of Alexander the Great who gave him permission to build a temple on Mt. Gerizim like the one in Jerusalem. He built it for his son-in-law, Manasseh, and made him High Priest. The Samaritans established rival worship to Jerusalem and accepted the Pentateuch as their Bible. The great controversy between Jews and Samaritans was whether to worship on Gerizim or Moriah. Since Christ’s words proved Him to be a prophet, the woman seized upon the opportunity to have this question answered.