John 4

John 4:7-42

4:7 When a Samaritan woman [from the region of Samaria] came [at about noontime as per v. 6; hottest part of the day; perhaps to avoid having to speak with other women at the well in cooler part of the day] to draw water [the woman had more than physical thirst], Jesus said [initiating a conversation with the Samaritan woman indicated Jesus viewed her as a person of worth and value; Jesus turned an awkward situation into an opportunity to witness] to her, “Will you give me a drink [a polite request; note: Jews did not share vessels with the Samaritans for fear of becoming unclean]?”

4:8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

4:9 The Samaritan woman said [probably in a discourteous way] to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you [a Jewish man] ask [in public; crossed barrier of prejudice that involved social position and gender] me [a Samaritan woman] for a drink?” (For Jews do not [because of prejudice that involved race] associate [have any kind of social dealings with (although they did trade with the Samaritans as per v. 8); may refer to the fact that Jews and Samaritans did not share eating or drinking vessels] with Samaritans [racially mixed Jews].)

4:10 Jesus [not offended by the woman’s harsh tone] answered her, “If [indicates the woman lacked spiritual discernment] you [1] knew [knowledge with perception] the gift [emphasizes free nature] of God [refers to salvation, the new life Jesus could give her; cf. Rom. 6:23b] and [2] who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living [running water instead of standing water] water [water from an underground flowing stream or fountain; on the spiritual level refers to eternal life; kind of water that takes away spiritual defilement; cf. Jn. 7:38-39; Rev. 22:17].”

Note: When you are with others, how do you see past their physical needs and determine how you can help them spiritually?

4:11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with [no container] and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?

4:12 Are you greater than our [Samaritans claimed to be descendants of Jacob through Joseph] father Jacob, who gave us the well [Samaritans claimed that Jacob had dug and used the well] and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

4:13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water [literal or physical water from Jacob’s well as per v. 6] will be thirsty again,

4:14 but whoever drinks the water [Jesus used water as a figure of speech to talk about the gift of eternal life] I give him [the gift of eternal life] will never [never under any circumstances] thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up [like a fountain bubbling or gushing out good water from a never-ending source; cf. Jn. 10:10] to eternal life [abundant (present reality) and eternal (future reality) life; begins when we accept Christ as Savior and continues forever into eternity].”

4:15 The woman said [her response indicates she was still comprehending Jesus’ words on a literal, physical level] to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water [woman excited about eliminating chore].”

4:16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back [Jesus’ words forced the woman to face her sin (which stood between her and the living water) and her need].”

4:17 “I have no husband,” she replied [abrupt response]. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.

4:18 The fact is [Jesus knew all about her sinful life], you have had five husbands [according to rabbinical teaching, a woman was to be married only twice or at the most three times (Rienecker/Rogers)], and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

4:19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.

4:20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must [it is necessary] worship is in Jerusalem.”

4:21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on [place of worship; geography not the issue of worship] this mountain [temple on Mt. Gerizim had already been destroyed] nor in Jerusalem [temple in Jerusalem would be destroyed in the future].

4:22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation [deliverance] is from the Jews [directly related to God’s working in history through the Jews; cf. Ps. 147:19-20].

4:23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true [genuine] worshipers [born of the Spirit (cf. Jn. 3:6)] will [nature of worship] worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

4:24 God is spirit [God’s essential nature; God not confined to any particular place of worship], and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

4:25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah [Anointed One]” (called Christ [Greek equivalent of Hebrew term Messiah; Samaritans accepted only the Pentateuch as Scripture and thus had a limited knowledge about the Messiah; Samaritans believed in the coming of the prophet predicted by Moses (Deut. 18:15-18)]) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

4:26 Then Jesus declared [Jesus’ claim demanded a response], “I who speak to you am he [literally, “I am, the one speaking to you.” (cf. Ex. 3:14)].”

4:27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman [violation of cultural taboos; Jews did not speak with Samaritans; Jewish males did not speak with female strangers]. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

4:28 Then, leaving her water jar [indication that she was in a hurry to return home with her exciting news; a full water jar would have slowed her down], the woman went back to the town and said to the people,

Note: What did you “leave behind” after encountering Jesus? Are you eager to tell others about Jesus? What will you do this week to help you be more alert to new opportunities to tell others about Jesus?

4:29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

Quote: “The fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.” (Elisabeth Elliot)

4:30 [the woman’s report stirred the curiosity of the people of her town] They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

Quote: “The woman began her journey that day intending to bring water back to her home. In the end she brought the village to the Source of living water.” (ETB Adult Commentary, Fall 2002, p. 57)

4:31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”

4:32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”

4:33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”

4:34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish [complete the task; cf. Jn. 17:4] his work [Jesus found true satisfaction in satisfying the Father].

4:35 Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields [perhaps a reference to the approaching Samaritans, residents of Sychar]! They are ripe [“white” (NKJV) may refer to Samaritans who often dressed in white] for harvest.

4:36 Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower [Jesus sowed seed in life of a single Samaritan woman] and the reaper [Jesus reaped a harvest of many from the woman’s town] may be glad together.

4:37 Thus the saying [this is not a direct quotation of any known biblical passage] ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true.

4:38 I sent you to reap [harvest of Samaritan believers; post-Pentecost harvest (Acts 1:8; 2:41; 9:31; 15:3)] what you have not worked for. Others [probably includes OT prophets or John the Baptist] have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

4:39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed [trusted Him as a Person] in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”

Note: Have others believed in Christ because of your testimony?

4:40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed [Jesus ignored Jewish rules of ritual purity that forbade association with Samaritans] two days.

4:41 And because of his words [not because of His miracles] many more became believers.

4:42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”

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