Friday, February 27, 2009
I created the above image in Adobe Photoshop CS2.
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
1The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4Now he had to go through Samaria. 5So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
Above image of Jesus and Samaritan Woman copyright Visual Impact Resources Ltd 2006
9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. [Or, 'do not use dishes Samaritans have used.'])
10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
15The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
16He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."
17"I have no husband," she replied.
Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
19"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
21Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
25The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
26Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."
The Disciples Rejoin Jesus
27Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"
28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ[Or, 'Messiah']?" 30They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."
32But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."
33Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"
34"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."
Many Samaritans Believe
39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers.
42They 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."
Jesus Heals the Official's Son
43After the two days he left for Galilee. 44(Now Jesus himself had pointed out that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they also had been there.
46Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
48"Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."
49The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies."
50Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live."
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour."
53Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed.
54This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.
In the time and location where this event took place, men did not talk to women in public. Women were seen as second-class citizens, or as owned property. If a man were seen talking to a woman in a public place, people would likely think he was trying to obtain services from a prostitute. But Jesus not only did not limit Himself to the cultural taboos of the day, He also was not afraid of what people might think.
To add to that, Samaritans were hated by Jews, and were seen as half-breeds or inferior. So, Jesus talking to this Samaritan woman might be compared to a white man (who was not her owner) talking kindly and acting nicely to a black female slave in America during the days of slavery in the United States. If a white man showed compassion and love and kindness and favor to a black slave during those days in America, he would be hated, have obscenities and derogatory statements yelled at him, and possibly even have his house burned down or even be killed.
According to David Carson, “The Samaritan woman said to Him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?’ (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)” (John 4:9) In a later episode at the temple in Jerusalem, John records what becomes a hostile encounter between some Jews and Jesus. It is interesting to note the terms used by the Jews in their attack on Jesus: “The Jews answered Him, ‘Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?’” (John 8:48) They could think of nothing worse to say about Jesus than to call Him a Samaritan."
Note that the woman wanted this everlasting water which Jesus talked about, not so she could have everlasting life, which Jesus was talking about, but so that she wouldn't have to go to the well every day to draw water. She was still looking at the carnal, fleshly, earthly things. But Jesus reproved this thinking.
Salvation came to other nations through the Jews, and Jesus of course preferred the Jewish worship (since they alone worshiped the true God) over the pagan practices that other nations participated in. Yet here, Jesus talks about this being done away with, because God would soon be revealed as the Father of believers in EVERY nation (since the gospel would spread all over the known world).
According to Clarke's Commentary:
"John 4:10 "If thou knewest the gift of God" signifies a free gift.
A gift is any thing that is given, for which no equivalent has been or is to be returned: a free gift is that which has been given without asking or entreaty. Such a gift of kindness was Jesus Christ to the world (John 3:16) and through Him comes the gift of the Spirit, which those who believe on His name were to receive. Christ was not an object of desire to the world - no man asked for him; and God, moved thereto by his own eternal mercy, freely gave him. Through this great gift comes the Holy Spirit, and all other gifts which are necessary to the salvation of a lost world.
'Living water' - By this expression, which was common to the inhabitants both of the east and of the west, is always meant spring water, in opposition to dead, stagnant water contained in ponds, pools, tanks, or cisterns; and what our Lord means by it is evidently the Holy Spirit, as may be seen, John 7: 38-39.
As water quenches the thirst, refreshes and invigorates the body, purifies things defiled, and renders the earth fruitful, so it is an apt emblem of the gift of the Holy Ghost, which so satisfies the souls that receive it that they thirst no more for earthly good: it purifies also from all spiritual defilement, on which account it is emphatically styled the Holy Spirit; and it makes those who receive it fruitful in every good word and work."