The Samaritans were limited in their understanding of the coming Messiah. They read only the Torah consisting of the first five books of the Bible. Genesis 3 announced that a coming victor would crush the head of the serpent that bruised His heel. But other than that, most of the details of Messianic prophecies were contained in the books of the prophets, all unknown by the Samaritans.
Contrast their lack of knowledge with the Pharisees and Sadducees who knew the writings of their forefathers by memory. They debated and analyzed scripture as a hobby. Their existence was based on the strict following of the Law. They searched the scriptures but missed their God.
Then you have the average layperson of Jesus’ time. They were taught about the coming Messiah by their teachers yet they were still considered unschooled. They had just enough knowledge to question the details of His birthplace and His mission. The masses followed Jesus more for His miracles than for His truths.
Could it be the lack of preconceived ideals of the Messiah allowed the Samaritans to see Jesus as the Savior of the world, when His own people received Him not? There are no recordings of Him performing authenticating miracles among them. He simply told the woman at the well who He was, she told the townspeople, they spent a couple days with Jesus, and well, they all believed Him.
The simple things in life are often the most profound. I wonder what would’ve happened if the Sanhedrin had simply spent a few days with Jesus and just listened to Him. Isn’t that what God wants of us? He did say, “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him.”
Listen to Him pray and marvel at His intimacy with the Father.
Listen to Him teach and tremble at His authority.
Listen to His compassion as He touches the lepers, hugs the children, and weeps with the brokenhearted.
Listen to His majesty as He commands the seas, raises the dead, and casts out demons.
Listen to His joy as He reveals His Father’s glory.
Listen to His suffering and know His amazing grace.