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40 Days of Lent

"Where do you get that living water?"
(John 4:11)

Third Sunday in Lent

A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah

John 4:5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
John 4:6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
John 4:7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"
John 4:8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
John 4:9 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 4:10 Jesus 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."
John 4:11 "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?
John 4:12 Are 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?"
John 4:13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,
John 4:14 but 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."
John 4:15 The 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."
John 4:16 He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."
John 4:17 "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband.
John 4:18 The 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."
John 4:19 "Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet.
John 4:20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
John 4:21 Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
John 4:22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
John 4:23 Yet 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.
John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
John 4:25 The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
John 4:26 Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."

The Whitened Harvest

John 4:27 Just 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?"
John 4:28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,
John 4:29 "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"
John 4:30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
John 4:31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something."
John 4:32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about."
John 4:33 Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?"
John 4:34 "My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
John 4:35 Do 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.
John 4:36 Even 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.
John 4:37 Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true.
John 4:38 I 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."

The Savior of the World

John 4:39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."
John 4:40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.
John 4:41 And because of his words many more became believers.
John 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."

[John 4:9] Upset by the northern kingdom's defection to Egypt in 722 B.C., Sargon destroyed Samaria, the capital, carried her inhabitants to Assyria, and replaced them with foreigners who integrated with the remnant (2 Kin. 17:6, 24; 18:10). In time, the monotheism of Israel became dominant, but a mixture of religious and racial intermarriage produced a people who became known as the Samaritans. When the southern kingdom returned from the captivity, the first signs of schism were evident in their refusal to accept assistance from Samaria for rebuilding the temple (Ezra 4). Sanballat, who was then governor of Samaria, built a temple on Mount Gerizim ("this mountain," v. 20) to rival that in Jerusalem. To add to the ongoing mutual animosity, John Hyrcanus destroyed the temple in Samaria in 128 B.C. The words "have no dealings with" (sunchraomia, Gk.) probably refer here to the sharing of vessels for food or drink. The disciples' purchasing of food seems to indicate some commercial "dealings." The comment may have reference to Jesus' request, which is equivalent to the sharing of vessels.

[John 4:10] The significance of Jesus' offer as Provider is grounded in the O.T., where Yahweh is referred to as the fountain of living waters (Jer. 2:13; 17:13). In 7:37-39 the living water is identified as the Holy Spirit, whose presence results in all the blessings of eternal life, an endless supply indeed.

[John 4:22] The promised Messiah, the Savior of all mankind, comes into the world as a member of the line of David and of the tribe of Judah.

[John 4:23] The true worship of God will be afforded by Christ's death (His hour) since it removes the barrier imposed by sin.

[John 4:25] This word "Messiah" means "the Anointed One." For the disciples it was easy to call Jesus the "Messiah," but the evidence points to a substantial lapse of time before they came to an adequate understanding of the term. The title "Messiah," or the Greek Christos, connects Christ with the O.T. prophecy of a coming Prophet (Deut. 18:15-18), Priest (Ps. 110:4), and King (2 Sam. 7:12, 13). For a fuller discussion of the Messiah, cf. Matt. 1:1, note. Notice the progression of Jesus' revelation of Himself and the woman's growing comprehension of who He is.

[John 4:24] The emphasis lies on Spirit as God's essence. He is free from the limitations of time and space. No idols and no images need assist us in worship. True worshipers worship in spirit and truth. Truth is the ultimate reality, which only God can fully know.

[John 4:29] The Samaritans expect a Messiah because there are prophecies about Him in the Pentateuch. Since the Samaritans reject the rest of the O.T., their notion about Him is inadequate and flawed, but to the Samaritan woman Jesus discloses the truth of His messiahship. Other Samaritans come to believe through her witness and confession, in agreement with John's thesis (20:31), "This is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world" (v. 42).

[John 4: 35] Using the analogy of the grain harvest, Jesus points to the soul harvest which is ready (the Samaritans, coming from the city, may have been in sight), but the disciples are still seemingly unaware of this more important harvest.

NSRV & Believer's Study Bible (BSB) Notes


Readings for the week of March 26th
Fourth Sunday in Lent
First: 1 Samuel 16: 1-13
Psalm 23
Second: Ephesians 5: 8-14
Gospel: John 9: 1-41


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