John 4:1 Therefore,
when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized
more disciples than John 2
(though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again
The Pharisees were prevalent in
Verse 2 points out that Jesus did not baptize anyone Himself, but He did it through His disciples. Since Jesus was their master, anything they did by His authority could be attributed to Him. We see this many times throughout the Bible. For instance, when a king is recognized for killing 10,000 men, He didn’t kill them all by himself. Instead, his people did most of the killing, but they are under his authority so this is why it can be said that the king killed these 10,000 men. This same idea is true when a person is baptized today. Some like to call it a work of man because someone is dipping another person in the water. However, when a person is baptizing someone, they are doing it by the authority of Jesus, so it is not a work of man but a work of God (Col. 2:12). Since we baptize by the authority of Jesus, we could also say that we are being baptized by Jesus as well.
Verse 4 says, “But He needed to go through
We need realize that most full-blood Jews would not step
Next, Assyria takes over the city of
We need to remember that it was against God’s Law to marry
foreigners, but they did it anyway. Once these mixed people made their way into
At some point, the Samaritans put away their pagan gods and
they regulated their worship by the Torah. They believed the first five books
of the Bible were God’s Word, and they did not recognize any of the other books
in the Old Testament as being from God. The Samaritans were almost destroyed by
the Romans in A.D. 527 – 565. However, two small groups still exist today in
John 4:5 So He
came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that
Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6
Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey,
sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
Most scholars believe that Sychar was probably the same place known as Shechem in the Old Testament. Jacob had bought this plot of land from Shechem’s father for 100 pieces of money (Gen. 33:18-20). Joseph inherited this land and eventually was buried there (Jos. 24:32). John 4 is the only one that talks about Jacob’s well. It is believed that either he or his servants dug it. He used this well, and it was still being used by these Samaritans.
J. W. McGarvey wrote:
Jacob's well is still there, about one
hundred feet from
Jacobs Well, today, is located in a
dark crypt of a church, surrounded with icons and candles. A
In verse 6, John captures the humanity of Jesus because he tells us that Jesus was tired from traveling and He sat down by the well. This shows that Jesus got tired just like every other human and needed rest. This happened about the 6th hour. There is not a clear way to determine if this is referring to Jewish or Roman time. A Jewish day began at sunset, around 6 pm our time. When daylight started around 6 am, they would divide the day up in twelve parts. So, if this verse is referring to Jewish time, it was about noon our time. The Romans’ day began at midnight, and they would count the next twelve hours as morning just like we do. Starting at noon, they would start over, and our 1 pm would be called the first hour. So, if our verse is referring to Roman time, it would have been 6 pm our time.
John 4:7 A woman
While Jesus was resting
at Jacob’s well, along comes a Samaritan woman. At that moment, Jesus breaks
down the wall of prejudice between the Jews and Samaritans, and He also breaks
the social rule of a man talking to a woman. While His disciples were gone getting
some food, Jesus engages in conversation with this woman asking her to get Him
a drink because He did not have a way of getting it Himself. This implies there
was not a community bucket there, and every person that wanted water had to
bring their own bucket with a rope long enough to reach the water.
This woman is shocked
that Jesus is talking to her because she recognizes that He is a Jew, and she
emphasizes that Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus responds to her saying, "If you
knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you
would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." Jesus is
doing the same thing He did with Nicodemus. He is using something physical to
teach her a spiritual message. The gift that Jesus speaks of is the gift of
salvation that comes through Him. Living water usually refers to a running
spring or running water as opposed to stagnate water. However, Jesus was not
talking about physical water; He was talking about eternal life that He can
offer through His words, which will leads to eternal life.
Just like Nicodemus, this
woman was confused because all she could think about was physical water. This
is the reason she asked Jesus how He was going to get this water since He has
nothing to draw it with from this deep well. First, she refers to Jacob’s well,
and then she wants to know where He might get this living water from. She knew
that Jacob had to dig this well so they could have water in this area because
there was not any living water or fresh springs nearby. As she continued thinking
of physical water, she seems to be wondering if Jesus knew of a spring close by
that Jacob did not know about, which is why she asked if He was greater than
Jacob. Of course we know that Jesus is greater than Jacob and every other human
that has ever lived on the earth.
John 4:13 Jesus
answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst
again, 14 "but whoever
drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that
I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into
everlasting life." 15
The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst,
nor come here to draw."
Once again, Jesus tries
to get this woman to understand that He is not talking about physical water. He
does this by telling her that the physical water in Jacob’s well will quench
your thirst for a while, but you will become thirsty again. However, the water
Jesus is offering will cause us to never thirst again. He is referring to the lifesaving
message that comes from His words that will lead us to eternal life. When we
drink in the Word of God, it is for our soul, and when we allow His Word to
dwell in our lives, it will spring up into everlasting life. Sometimes this
idea of living water represents the receiving of Holy Spirit (Jn. 7:37-39).
Other times it is used to represent eternal life in heaven (Rev. 22:1). Again,
this woman was still thinking of the physical because she wanted some of this
water she could physical draw up and drink so she would not have to ever come
to Jacob’s well again.
John 4:16 Jesus
said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." 17 The woman answered and said,
"I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have well said, 'I
have no husband,' 18
"for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your
husband; in that you spoke truly."
Since Jesus was not able
to get her to understand about the living water, He uses another approach to
reach her with the truth. Jesus asked her to bring her husband, and she said
she did not have one. There was a lot more to her story, but she avoided the
details by simply saying she did not have a husband. Jesus complimented her on
her honesty, and He revealed to her that He knew everything about her past and
what was going on in her life right now. We have no way of knowing what the
circumstance was of her first five marriages, but we can know that she was not
married to the man she was with right now. We are not told what she was
thinking, but it is safe to say that she had to be amazed. If I were in her
shoes, it would have taken me some time to speak again. Notice her response:
John 4:19 The
woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.
At first, she recognized Jesus as a Jew, but now she is beginning to see that He is much more than a Jew since He was able to tell her about her past life and her present relationship. Now she considers Him a prophet.
John 4:20 "Our
fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in
Now that Jesus has her attention, she wants Him to answer
the question the Samaritans and the Judeans disagreed on for hundreds of years.
Is the true place of worship at
John 4:21 Jesus
said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither
on this mountain, nor in
Jesus did not have any problems answering her question. In
verse 22, He tells her the Samaritans do not know what they worship, but the
Jews do. Then He affirms that salvation is for the Jews. The Jews were God’s
chosen people. However, under the new covenant, both Jew and Gentile Christians
are considered to be the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:27-29). So, the answer to her
question was that
"But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship
the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship
Him. 24 "God is Spirit,
and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
Every Christian should
take Jesus’ words to heart because He has just taught this woman and us what
true worship is all about. Notice, He says, “True worshipers will worship the
Father in spirit and truth.” Since there are true worshipers, this mean there
are false worshipers. The Father is looking for those who are true worshipers
because they are the only ones that will please Him.
What is a true worshipper?
It is a person that will worship God in spirit and in truth. We worship God in
spirit by engaging all our emotions and thoughts toward Him. We worship Him in
truth by following the Word of God because His Word is truth (Jn. 17:17). If we
worship God with just out hearts, we are not true worshipers. If we go through
the motions and worship God according to His Word, but we do not engage our
hearts, then we still are not true worshippers. So, both of these elements are
absolutely necessary for us to be considered true worshipers.
Unfortunately, there are
many in the religious world who has not taken Jesus’ words seriously because
they are willing to worship Him in spirit, but they have neglected to worship
Him according to His truth. The opposite was true for many of the Old Testament
Jews because they were willing to obey the physical rituals, but they did not engage
their hearts. Again, both elements are necessary. As Christians, we need to
understand that God has given us His fully revealed Word in our Bibles, and it
contains everything we need to know about worshipping Him (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2
Pet. 1:3), which is why Paul told the Corinthians, “…Not to think beyond what
is written (1 Cor. 4:6). This is why we are instructed not to add or take away
from the Word of God (Rev. 22:18). If we go outside God’s pattern, then we are
worshiping Him in vain (Mk. 7:6-7), and we will not be pleasing to the Father
or the Son (2 Jn. 1:9). We should never think so highly of ourselves that we
think we can devise something outside God’s Word that will please Him (Acts
Verse 24 tells us that
God is spirit. God is not human like us because He is invisible (Col. 1:15).
Even though the Bible describes God as having a face, ears, eyes, and hands,
these descriptions are given so we can relate to what is being said. Jesus
makes it clear that a spirit does not have flesh and bone like we do (Lk.
24:39). This is also an excellent Scripture that refutes the Mormon doctrine
that teaches God is flesh and bones.
John 4:25 The
woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called
Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things." 26 Jesus said to her, "I who
speak to you am He."
So, the Samaritans were
also looking for the Messiah that would come and reveal the perfect law of God.
Since the Samaritans only believed in the first five books of the Bible, this
means the coming of Jesus is revealed in those books. Next, Jesus does
something that He does not normally do because usually He allowed His
miraculous works to reveal His identity. In this instance, He tells this woman point-blank
that He is the Messiah. Some say that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah,
but this verse proves that He did. We can only imagine what was running through
her mind when Jesus told her this. Most likely she was shocked because at
first, she thought He was just Jew. Then after He knew about her life, she
thought He was a prophet, and now He says He is the Messiah.
John 4:27 And at this point His disciples came,
and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, "What do
You seek?" or, "Why are You talking with her?"
While Jesus was revealing
His identity to this woman, His disciples were making their way back from
getting food. They see Jesus talking to this woman and they are surprised
because it was unheard of for a man to talk to women in a public place, not to
mention a Samaritan. His disciples wanted to question Him, but they did not.
Apparently, their approach interrupted Jesus’ conversation with her as suggested
by the next verse, or she was so overwhelmed by whom Jesus said He was that she
felt like leaving.
John 4:28 The
woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the
men, 29 "Come, see a Man
who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 30 Then they went out of the city
and came to Him.
We can see how distracted she became from her conversation with Jesus. Her original mission was to get some water, but she met Jesus instead. This meeting caused her to forget about the water, and she even left her water pot behind. She now had a new mission. She went around her city telling everyone what Jesus did, and she did her best to get everyone to come and see Him. She does not tell the people that He is the Christ, but she defiantly thinks it is possible that He is. Her diligence paid off because the people began to come out of the city to go see Jesus.
Her enthusiasm about Christ and how she told others about Him should be the same enthusiasm that all Christians should have. After all, we know who Jesus is, what He did for us, and the promises that come through Him. We should always be ready to share this news with those around us and get them to come see Jesus as their Savior.
John 4:31 In the
meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32 But He said to them, "I
have food to eat of which you do not know." 33 Therefore the disciples said to
one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?" 34 Jesus said to them, "My
food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
Jesus’ disciples knew He needed to eat some food to regain
His strength. We know He was tired because that is the reason He stayed at the
well in the first place. However, Jesus tells them that He has food that they
do not know about. His response confuses them because they think He is talking
about physical food, but He puts their confusion to rest by telling them that
His food is to do the will of the Father. In other words, His strength comes
from doing the work that God has asked Him to do. Even though Jesus was hungry
for physical food, He was even hungrier to do the will God. Jesus motives are based
on putting God and His Word first just as we are supposed to do (Mat. 6:33). I
also like what Job said, “I have not
departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His
mouth More than my necessary food”
(Job 23:12). So, when Jesus saw these people coming to Him, His physical hunger
went away as He focused in on the task at hand.
"Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the
harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for
they are already white for harvest! 36
"And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that
both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 "For in this the saying is
true: 'One sows and another reaps.' 38
"I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have
labored, and you have entered into their labors."
harvest time starts around April and continues through May, and four months
before that would be either December or January. Jesus may be suggesting that
this event was occurring during one of these months. It is believed that most
of the common people wore plain white clothing because they could not afford
the dyes. These people were coming out of the city and walking across the field
toward Jesus. Imagine these people walking across the field in their white
clothes as we read Jesus words again, “Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for
harvest!” Jesus is teaching His disciples that the harvest of souls is always
ready to be harvested year-round.
Next, Jesus teaches His
disciples about the importance of sowing and reaping. For example, Jesus had
sowed the seed in this woman’s heart, and she took that seed and sowed it in
the city. Because of Jesus’ work and the work of this woman, the disciples
would now have the opportunity to reap what they had not sown, but both the
sower and the reaper can rejoice together because both of them worked together
to bring the lost to God.
We can see an example of
this in a Gospel Meeting. Before the visiting preacher arrives, the members of
that congregation have gone out and setup Bible studies and invited people to
come hear the preacher. They have a sowed the seed. When they come to the
meeting and hear the truth, they may choose to be saved. When this happens, the
preacher has reaped what he did not labor for, but we can all rejoice together
knowing that a soul has been won to Christ.
Sowing and reaping are
both important, and we should not feel bad if someone else reaps what we have
sown. Besides, we would have nothing to sow or reap if it was not for God (1
John 4:39 And
many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the
woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did." 40 So when the Samaritans had come
to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because
of His own word. 42 Then they
said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we
ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the
Savior of the world."
This woman is a great
example of what a Christian can do in the way of evangelism. She did not know
much about Jesus or His teachings, but she told the people what she knew and
that was enough to cause some of them to believe. So, do not think that a
person has to have a vast knowledge of God’s Word to lead someone to Christ
because he does not. A person just needs to tell people what he knows about Jesus
and this will be enough to lead people to Christ.
The Samaritans were so
interested in Jesus that they begged Him to stay longer and He did. For two
more days, He taught them and many of them believed that He was the Christ
based on His teachings and not just by what the woman had said. These people
had opened their hearts to Jesus and accepted Him for whom He was, which had to
be refreshing after the way some of the Jews of Judea had treated Him earlier.
John 4:43 Now
after the two days He departed from there and went to
After two days with the
Samaritans, Jesus makes His was to
John 4:46 So
Jesus came again to Cana of
This is Jesus’ second
John 4:49 The
nobleman said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies!" 50 Jesus said to him, "Go
your way; your son lives." So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke
to him, and he went his way. 51
And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying,
"Your son lives!" 52
Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him,
"Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." 53 So the father knew that it
was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son
lives." And he himself believed, and his whole household. 54 This again is the second
sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into
This nobleman persisted
that Jesus come save his child, but Jesus did something that no one had done
before. From 16 miles away, Jesus heals his son by simply saying “your son
lives.” We can see the faith of this nobleman because He believed what Jesus
said. The next day, the nobleman arrived at home and finds out that his son was
healed at the very hour Jesus had said his son would live. This left the
nobleman with no doubt that Jesus was Lord, and all those in his household
believed as well. Verse 54 says this is the second sign that Jesus did. This
was the second sign He did in Cana, but we know He also did other signs in