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I will do the Gospel of John
Commentary similar to my other Commentaries . . . in that
I will bring the verse or verses in the KJV, followed by what
it is saying to me. What I write will be a personal comment,
it is NOT Scripture.
Commentary On The Book of John
The Gospel of John Chapter 4
John 4:1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (KJV)
"The Lord knew" . . . Jesus is God! He knows all things. http://www.hisservants.org/is_jesus_god_h_s.htm
"How the Pharisees had heard" . . . the Pharisees, here, seem to mean either the members of the Sanhedrin or those who were in authority. They claimed authority to regulate the rites and rituals of religion, and so they thought they had a right to ask about the conduct of both John and our Lord. They had asked John by what authority he had introduced such a rite into the religion of the Jewish people (Jn.1:25).
"More disciples than John" . . . although many of the Pharisees came to John's baptism (Mat.ch3), yet those who were in authority were not happy with John's success (Jn.1:25). The reasons were probably the severity and justness of his reproofs (Mat.3:7), and the fact that their authority and influence were weakened.
As they were displeased with John, so too were upset with Jesus, who was doing the same thing on a larger scale . . . and not only making disciples, but baptizing also without their authority, and drawing away the people after him.
The Lord: (Lk.1:76; 2:11; 19:31,34; Acts 10:36; 1 Cor.2:8; 15:47; 2 Cor.4:5; Jam.2:1; Rev.19:16).
That Jesus baptized: (Jn.3:22; 26).
John 4:2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) (KJV)
"Though Jesus himself baptized not" . . . the reason why Jesus did not baptize was probably because, IF He had baptized, it might have made confusing divisions among His followers . . . those might have considered themselves more worthy or honored who had been baptized by him (Acts 10:48; 1 Cor.1:13-17).
John 4:3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. (KJV)
"He left Judaea" . . . the envy and malice of the Pharisees was growing so rapidly, it was endangering His life. Since His time to die had not yet come, He went to Galilee, a country farther from Jerusalem, and much less under the Pharisees' control than Judea (Lk.3:1). Although He did NOT fear death and did not shrink back from suffering, He did not needlessly place Himself into danger or provoke opposition. He could do as much good in Galilee, probably, as in Judea, and He therefore withdrew Himself from immediate danger. Left Judaea: (Jn.3:32; 10:40; 11:54; Mat.10:23; Mk.3:7).
John 4:4 And he must needs go through Samaria. (KJV)
WHY?? WHY must He go through Samaria? I think it was to reach a certain woman there. What does He say in verse 34: "My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." He must go through Samaria because it is the Father's will for Him to go through Samaria. His destination, apparently, was Cana of Galilee where He had made the water into wine. There was a certain nobleman whose son was sick, and He is headed in that direction. But He must go through Samaria, first! There were three routes Jesus could have taken, or He could go through Samaria. Josephus tells us that, although the most direct route was through Samaria, the Jews did not go that way because of the hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans. But . . . our Lord went through Samaria.
John 4:5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. (KJV)
"Sychar' . . . . this city was about eight miles south east of the city called Samaria, between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. It was one of the oldest cities of Palestine, and was formerly known by the name of Shechem, or Sichem (Gen.12:6; 33:18). The city was in the tribe of Ephraim (Josh.21:21). This was the place where Joshua assembled the people right before his death, and it was here that they renewed their covenant with the Lord (Josh.24). But, after the death of Gideon it became a place of idolatrous worship, the people worshipping Baal-berith (Judg.9:46). It was destroyed by Abimelech, who beat down the city and sowed it with salt (Judg.9:45). It was afterward rebuilt, and became the residence of Jeroboam, the King of Israel (1 Ki.12:25).
"The parcel of ground" . . . the piece of ground; or the land, The parcel: (Gen.33:19; 48:22; Josh.24:32).
"That Jacob gave to his son Joseph" . . . it was in this place that the bones of Joseph were buried when they were brought up from Egypt (Josh.24:32). Jacob also gave to Joseph an additional piece of ground which he took from the hand of the Arnorite by his own valor, "with his sword and his bow," as a portion above that which was given to his brethren (Gen.48:22). Possibly these pieces of ground were close together, and were a part of the homestead of Jacob. The "well" was "near" to this.
John 4:6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. (KJV)
"Now Jacob's well was there" . . . this well is not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was called Jacob's well, probably, either because it was handed down by tradition, that Jacob had dug it, or because it was close to the land which he gave to Joseph. There is still a well a few miles to the east of Nablus, which is said by the people there to be the same well. It is about 100 feet deep, cut through solid limestone. It is now dry, probably from having been partly filled with trash, or possibly because the water has been diverted by earthquakes. The well is covered with a large stone, covering a hole large enough to admit a man. It is at the foot of Mount Gerizim, with a plain on the east.
"Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well" . . . Jesus was tired, and He sat down on the well. The word translated on here may mean He sat down by the well, or near it.
"And it was about the sixth hour" . . . about twelve o'clock. This was the common time of the Jewish meal, and this was the reason why His disciples were gone away to buy food.
John 4:7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (KJV)
"There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water" . . . of Samaria, NOT of the city of Samaria, for this was about 8 miles away. She was a Samaritan, and probably from the city of Sychar.
"Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink." . . . this was in the hot part of the day, and Jesus was tired from His journey. The request was also made that it might give Him the chance to talk to her, and what a great chance it was!
John 4:8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) (KJV)
It is noon and His disciples had gone to the city to buy food. The fact that they were in Samaria . . . buying Samaritans' food, reveals Jesus' total rejection of the Jewish prejudice which considered Samaritan food unclean, as unclean as swine's flesh (Lev.11:7-8).
John 4:9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. (KJV)
"How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria?" . . . it seems that the inhabitants of Judea distinguished themselves from those of Samaria by some special way of dressing. And it is likely that our Lord spoke the Galilean dialect, by which we find, a Jew of that district might easily be known. Mark 14:70 And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. (KJV)
"For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans" . . . she refuses His request for water. She's rude and insolent by making this racial distinction. The Samaritans would sell to the Jews, but they would NOT drink from the same cup with them.
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (KJV)
"Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God" . . . signifies a FREE gift. A gift is any thing that is given, for which there is NO payment, or that is to be returned . . . the "Gift of God" . . . is a FREE gift that has been given without asking OR purchase! Such a gift of kindness was Christ Jesus to the world (Jn.3:16); and through Him also comes the Gift of the Spirit (Jn.14:16; Rom.8:9), which those who believe on His Name would receive. Christ was not an object of desire to the world . . . for no man asks for Him; and God, moved by His own eternal mercy, freely giving Him to those who believe (1 Jn.5:10-13). Through this great gift comes the Holy Spirit, and all other gifts which are necessary to the salvation of a lost world. How GOOD our God is!
"And who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water" . . . Living water was an expression 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 the Holy Spirit (Jn.7:38-39).
Just as water quenches physical thirst, refreshes and invigorates the body, purifies things defiled and renders the earth fruitful, so too, it is a proper symbol of the Gift of the Holy Spirit (Jn.14:16), which satisfies the souls that receive it, that they thirst NO more for earthly things. He purifies from all spiritual defilement, and it makes those who receive the Holy Spirit fruitful in every good word and work.
Gift of God: (Jn.3:16; Isa.9:6; 42:6; 49:6-8; Lk.11:13; Rom.8:32; 1 Cor.1:30; 2 Cor.9:15; Eph.2:8-9). Eternal life: (Jn.4:14; 6:35,51; 7:37-39; Ex.17;6; Ps.36:8-9; 46:4; Isa.12:3; 35:6; 41:17-18; 43:20; 44:3; 55:1-3; Jer.2:13; Eze.47:1-9; Zec.14:8; 1 Cor.10:4; Rev.7:17; 21:6; 22:1-2,17).
Living Water: (Isa.12:3; 41:17-18; Jer.2:13; Zec.13:1; 14:8; Jn.7:38-39; Rev.22:17).
Our article on Living water: http://www.hisservants.org/living_water_h_s.htm
Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (KJV)
John 4:11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? (KJV)
"The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep" . . . you have no bucket. Good water is not at all plentiful in the east; and travelers must carry bottles or buckets with them, and a rope, to let them down into the deep wells, in order to draw up water. "Sir" is found 7 times in John (Jn.4:11,15,19,49; 5:7;12:21;20:15).
"From whence then hast thou that living water?" . . . what our Saviour spoke symbolically, comparing His grace, His Spirit, or the doctrine of His Gospel, to "living water," this woman understood as literal, much like Nicodemus (Jn.3:4). Persons are completely ignorant of spiritual things, until they are endowed and enlightened by the Holy Spirit of God. Natural man: (Jn.3:4; 1 Cor.2:14).
John 4:12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? (KJV)
"Art thou greater than our father Jacob" . . . art YOU wiser, or better able to find water, than Jacob was? It seems that she thought that He meant that He could direct her to some live spring, or to some better well in that region. This shows how sinners so quickly misunderstand the Words of Christ, and to pervert the doctrines of religion (2 Pet.2:1). "Our father Jacob" . . . the Samaritans were made up partly of the remnant of the ten tribes, and partly of people sent from Chaldea; but they still considered themselves descendants of Jacob. "Which gave us the well" . . . this had to be the tradition, although there is no evidence that it was true. Jesus IS greater: (Jn. 8:53; Isa.53:2-3; Mat.12:42; Heb.3:3).
John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: (KJV)
Jesus did not directly answer her question, nor did He say that He was greater than Jacob, but He did give her an answer by which she might think that He was. He did not despise or undervalue Jacob or his gifts; but, however great might be the value of that well, the water could not completely remove thirst. Whosoever: (Jn.3:15-6; 6:27,49; Isa.65:13-14; Lk.16:24).
John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (KJV)
"But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him" . . . Jesus is referring to His teaching, His grace, His Spirit, and to the many benefits that come into the soul that embraces His Gospel. It is a tremendous image, and especially where there are vast deserts that have a great lack of water. The soul of mankind is like such a desert, or like a traveler wandering through such a desert. It thirsts for happiness, seeking it everywhere, and finding it no where! It looks in all directions and tries all objects, but in vain. Nothing meets its desires. Sinners seek for joy in wealth and worldly pleasures, but they are NOT satisfied. There seems to be a God-shaped void that CANNOT be filled by anything the world has to offer (1 Jn.2:15-17). He still thirsts for more, and is never able to be filled. To such a weary and thirsty sinner, the amazing grace of Christ Jesus is as cold water to a dry and thirsty soul.
"Shall never thirst" . . . the soul of mankind CANNOT be satisfied by anything that this world has to offer! There will always be a sense of want, a feeling of distress. BUT . . . the soul who drinks of the water that Jesus provides, will NOT seek for joy in other objects, for they are totally satisfied with the grace of Christ . . . he will have NO desire for the pleasures of this world . . . for ever, in this world and the world to come. Whosoever drinketh of this water, and who partake of the Gospel, shall be for ever satisfied.
"But the water that I shall give him shall be in him" . . . the grace of Christ shall be in his heart and mind and soul!
"A well of water springing up into everlasting life" . . . a constant supply, an unfailing fountain; a grace and mercy that shall live constantly with him. "Springing up" . . . a beautiful symbol! It shall bubble up like an artesian well! It is NEVER like a stagnant pool . . . like the world has to offer! The Water that Jesus offers is a never-ending fountain, flowing through ALL seasons of the year. "Into everlasting life" . . . NOT temporary but eternal!
Consider: #1. TRUE believers have a never-ending source of comfort with Jesus! #2. Jesus has a seat in our heart, He should constantly live there. #3. Jesus sheds His blessings on a world of sin, manifested by our continual life of piety, like a constant flowing spring. #4. Jesus is the ONLY Way to everlasting life, which will continue for ever; and whosoever drinks of His Water shall never thirst, and our faith in Him shall be in our heart a pure fountain springing up to eternal joy.
Shall never: (Isa.49:10; Jn.6:35,58; 11:26; 17:2-3; Rom.6:23; Rev.7:16).
Shall be: (Jn.7:38-39; 10:10; 14:16-19; Rom.5:21; 8:16-17; Eph.1:13-14; 4:30; 1 Pet.1:22; 1 Jn.5:20).
John 4:15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. (KJV)
She seems interested in Jesus' spiritual water, but then she goes right back thinking about Jacob's well again. Give me: (Ps.4:6; Jn.6:26,34; 17:2-3; Rom.6:23; 8;5; 1 Cor.2:14; 1 Jn.5:20; Jam.4:3).
John 4:16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. (KJV)
The "water" Jesus offers is available for all . . . BUT . . . there is a condition! She must, recognize that she is a sinner. The same goes for us today! God does NOT change, nor does He lie. Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (KJV)
"Go call thy husband" . . . she did not understand. He then proceeds to show her that He knew all about her life and her sins. His object was to get her to consider her own state and sinfulness . . . of making her see that she was a sinner. By showing her that He knew her life, although a stranger to her, He convinced her that He was qualified to show her the way to Heaven, thus preparing her to admit that He was the Messiah (Jn.4:29). Go: (Jn.1:42,47-48; 2;24-25; 4:18; 21:17; Heb.4:13; Rev.2:23).
John 4:17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: (KJV)
"I have no husband" . . . this was said, most likely, to evade the subject. She feared that if she came there with the man that she lived with, the truth might be exposed. It is very probable that by now, she began to realize that Jesus was Someone special! "Thou hast well said" . . . . has spoken the truth.
Our Lord seems to have spoken these words for two reasons: #1. To make the woman consider her sin. #2. To let her know that He knew her heart, and everything about her, so He was therefore well qualified to teach her the Truths of God.
John 4:18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. (KJV)
"Thou hast had five husbands" . . . it is not clear if this woman was a prostitute, or if she had been legally married to those five, and might have been divorced through some misbehavior of her own, but not adultery. An adulteress was to be put to death, both by the Jewish and Samaritan law, not divorced . . . or she might have been cast off through some whim of her husband; because in the time of our Lord, divorces were very common among the Jews, so that a man could put away his wife for any fault (Mat.5:31).
"He whom thou now hast is not thy husband" . . . she had had five husbands, but she didn't have one then. She was living with a man in adultery. Our Lord Jesus insists that, when you come to Him, you must deal with your sin. All secrets must come out in the open before Him. Here was a sinner. The woman was actually shocked into reverence. But then she wanted to change the subject by opening a religious argument. Is not: (Gen.20:3; 34:2,7-8,31; Num.5:29; Ruth 4:10; Jer.3:20; Eze.16:32; Mk.10:12; Rom.7:3; 1 Cor.7:10-11; Heb.13:4).
John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. (KJV)
"A prophet." . . . One sent from God, and who understood her life. The word here does not mean one who foretells future events, but one who knew her heart and life, and who must therefore have come from God. She did not yet think that He was the Messiah (Jn.4:25). She believed that He was a Man sent from God.
I perceive: (2 Ki.5:26; 6:12; Jn.1:48-49; 4:29; Lk.7:39; 1 Cor.14:24-25).
A prophet: (Jn.6:14; 7:40; 9:17; Lk.7:16; 24:19).
John 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. (KJV)
"Our fathers" . . . the woman's fathers, meaning the Samaritans; perhaps meaning to say that the patriarchs had done it also.
"Worshipped" . . . had a place of worship. "In this mountain" . . . Mount Gerizim, just a little way from Sychar. On this mountain they had built a temple similar to the one in Jerusalem. This was one of the main subjects of controversy between them and the Jews. The old Samaritan Pentateuch, or five books of Moses, has the word Gerizim instead of Ebal in (Deut.27:4). On this account, as well as because the patriarchs are mentioned as having worshipped in Shethem, they supposed that that was the proper place on which to erect the temple.
"Ye say" . . . . the Jews say . . . "In Jerusalem". . . the place where the temple was built. This was built in accordance with the Promise and command of God (Deut.12:5,11). In building this, David and Solomon were under the divine direction (2 Sam.7:2-3,13; 1 Ki.5:5,12; 8:15-22).
As it was contemplated in the law of Moses that there should be but one place to offer sacrifice and to hold the great feasts, so the Samaritans were in error in supposing that their temple was the place. Accordingly, our Saviour decided in favor of the Jews, yet in such a manner as to show the woman that the question was of much less consequence than they supposed it to be. Fathers: (Gen.12:6-7; 33:18-20; Deut.27:12; Josh.8:33-35; Judg.9:6-7; 2 Ki.17:26-33). And ye: (Deut.12:5; 1 Ki.9:3; 1 Chron.21:26; 22:1; 2 Chron.6:6; 7:12,16; Ps.78:68; 87:1-2; 132:13).
John 4:21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. (KJV)
"Believe me" . . . as she had professed to believe that he was a prophet, it was right to require her to put faith in what He was about to say. It also shows the importance of what He was about to say.
"The hour cometh" . . . the time is coming, is near.
"When ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father" . . . peculiar rites of the Jews shall cease. The worship of God, so long confined to a single place, shall soon be celebrated everywhere, and with as much acceptance in one place as in another. Christ Jesus does not say that there would be no worship of God in that place or in Jerusalem, but that the worship of God would not be confined there. He would be worshipped in other places as well as there (Mal.1:11; Mat.18:20).
John 4:22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. (KJV)
"Ye worship ye know not what" . . . this probably refers to the comparative ignorance and corruption of the Samaritan worship. Although they had the five books of Moses, they still rejected the prophets, and worse . . . they rejected all that the prophets had said concerning the TRUE God. Originally, they also had joined the worship of idols to that of the TRUE God (2 Ki.17:26-34). They also had NO authority for building their temple and conducting public worship by sacrifices there. All this was done in an unauthorized manner. They were NOT obeying the TRUE God, nor offering the worship which He had commanded or would approve. Jesus thus indirectly settled the question which she had asked Him, yet in such a way as to show her that it was of much less importance than she had thought.
"We know" . . . we, the Jews. This they KNEW because God had commanded it; because they worshipped in a place appointed by God, and because they did it in accordance with the direction and teaching of the prophets of God.
"Salvation is of the Jews" . . . the Jews have the true religion and the true form of worship; meaning the Messiah, who will bring salvation, is to proceed from them (Lk.2:30; 3:6). Jesus affirms that the Jews had the TRUE form of the worship of God. He realized just how much they had corrupted it, and at different times reproved them for it.
And ye: (Deut.12:5; 1 Ki.9:3; 1 Chron.21:26; 22:1; 2 Chron.6:6; 7:12,16; Ps.78:68; 87:1-2; 132:13).
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. (KJV)
"But the hour cometh, and now is" . . . the old dispensation is about to pass away, and the new one about to begin. Already there is much light that God may be worshipped acceptably in any place.
"The true worshippers" . . . all who truly and sincerely worship God, do it with the heart, and not merely in form . . . rites and rituals and customs!
"In spirit" . . . the word spirit, here, stands in total opposition to rites and ceremonies, and to the gala pomp of the external worship of some churches. "In the spirit" refers to the mind and soul and heart. These shall worship God with sincerity, with the simple offering of gratitude and prayer; with a deep desire to glorify Him in ALL things, and without external pomp and splendor. Spiritual worship is simply the heart being offered to God, where there is NO dependence on external forms for acceptance. "In spirit" (Phil.3:3).
"In truth" . . . NOT through customs, NOT by means of sacrifices and bloody offerings, but in the manner represented or typified by all these (Heb.9:9,24). In the TRUE way of direct access to God through Jesus Christ (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12).
"For the Father seeketh such to worship him" . . . the Father seeks persons who worship Him in humility and sincerity. Heb.13:15-16 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. 16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (KJV)
See our article Religion or Christ: http://www.hisservants.org/religion_or_christ_h_s.htm
John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (KJV)
God the Father is NOT a physical being, made up of flesh, blood and bones, nor does He have senses as physical bodies have. He is a spiritual Being, the Father of spirits, and He requires (demands) a spiritual service. To better understand this, see our article: Worship in Spirit and Truth: http://www.hisservants.org/spirit_and_truth_h_s.htm
John 4:25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. (KJV)
"I know that Messias cometh" . . . since the Samaritans acknowledged the five books of Moses, they did expect the Coming of the Messiah.
"Which is called Christ" . . . these are probably the words of John, the evangelist, for it is not likely that the woman would call this Name on this occasion.
"Will tell us all things" . . . the woman does not seem to have been satisfied with the answer to her question in verse 20, because here she said that the Messiah would tell them all about this question of where to worship. Messiah: (Deut.9:24-26; 18:15-18; Jn.1:41-42,49; 4:29,39,42).
John 4:26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. (KJV)
"I that speak unto thee am he" . . . I am the Messiah, He says! This was the first time that He openly professed it. He did not do it yet to the Jews, for it would have excited envy and opposition. But since the woman of Samaria seemed reluctant to listen to Him as a prophet, and professed her willingness to listen to the Messiah, He openly declared that He was the Christ.
John 4:27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? (KJV)
"Upon this" . . . at this time, His disciples returned.
"And marvelled that he talked with the woman" . . . they wondered because the Jews did not commune with the Samaritans, and they were surprised that Jesus was engaged in conversation with her. Marvelled: (Lk.7:39; Jn.4:9). Jesus marvelled: (Mat.8:10; Mk.6:6; Lk.7:9). At a Gentile's belief and at the Jew's unbelief!
"Yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?" . . . NONE of the disciples dared say anything for that would show lack of respect and reverence for Him. We should always be confident that Jesus is right, even when we cannot fully understand all that He does.
John 4:28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, (KJV)
"Left her water-pot" . . . her mind was greatly confused and excited. Disturbed, she hurried to the city to tell what had happened. She now seems convinced that He was the Messiah, and went immediately to make it known to others. Shouldn't we do the same thing? Shouldn't we make Jesus known to others?
John 4:29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? (KJV)
As soon as she had tasted the "living water" spoken of by Christ, she left her water pot. She went into Sychar (Jn.4:5), and invites the citizens to come and see Christ, that they might judge from the hearing of their own ears, and see with their own eyes. Come and see: (Jn.1:39,46; 4:29).
John 4:30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. (KJV)
They went out of the city, and came unto him" . . . the men of the city left it and went to Jesus, to hear and see for themselves. Many of them did not view with contempt or despise the news of a woman, but went to see and to hear this Man. Was it out of curiosity? At least they went and placed themselves in the right place to hear the right words to save their souls! How different from the Jews! And how rich was their openness rewarded.
John 4:31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. (KJV)
Jesus' disciples knew that He was 'give out' both with hunger and fatigue.
John 4:32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. (KJV)
"I have meat to eat that ye know not of" . . . our precious Lord grabs every chance to raise the minds of His apostles to heavenly things, through earthly matters. Jesus tells the disciples that they have not yet learned that spiritual refreshment and soul satisfaction is more important than physical food and drink.
“Man shall not live by bread alone” (Mat.4:4; Lk.4:4). The Lord went forty days in the wilderness without food, as His soul was exalted by His baptism and the descent of the Holy Spirit. He could easily forget the hunger of His Body when He was pouring out the "water of life" to a poor, thirsty soul.
John 4:33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? (KJV)
They just cannot think of spiritual food, heavenly manna, bread of life, even though long before, Isaiah had spoken of this food and had said, “Ye that have no money, come, buy bread, and eat” (Isa.55:1).
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. (KJV)
"My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." . . . “meat” in the Scripture means, not only flesh, but any kind of food. The Saviour simply states that to do the will of God is "food" to Him, bringing enjoyment and strength. It never wearied Him, but refreshed Him. It should do the same to us!
John 4:35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.(KJV)
"Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest?" . . . Harvest began about the middle of April in Palestine. The time when the Saviour spoke would then be about the middle of December. But the harvest of souls was already ripe.
"Lift up your eyes" . . . there is little doubt that Jesus pointed to the Samaritans who were flocking to see Him (verse 39).
John 4:36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. (KJV)
"He that reapeth receiveth wages" . . . The symbol is kept up by the Lord. The reaper in the harvest fields receives wages, and so shall those who reap the harvest of souls; not earthly pay in money, or fame, or position, but the happiness of doing the noblest work, and beyond, the crown of life shining with stars.
"He that reapeth" . . . he that gathers the harvest, or he who so preaches that souls are converted to Christ.
"Receiveth wages" . . . the laborer in the harvest receives his hire. Jesus says it shall be thus with those who labor in the ministry . . . He will not allow them to go unrewarded (Dan.12:3; Mat.19:28).
"Gathereth fruit unto life eternal" . . . means converting souls who shall inherit eternal life. The spiritual harvest is NOT temporary, like gathering grain, but shall result in eternal life in Heaven.
"That both he that soweth" . . . shall rejoice together! He that soweth: (1 Cor.3:5-9). He that "gathereth" (Rom.6:22).
John 4:37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. (KJV)
"One soweth, and another reapeth" . . . this was a common Jewish proverb (Lev.26:16; Isa.65:21-22; Mic.6:15), commonly referring to those who unjustly invaded the rights and possessions of other men; but also applies to those who, by the disposing providence of God, rightly inherit the fruit of other men's labors . . . for instance, the Jews inherited the land of Canaan; A land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not (Josh.24:13).
It is often that a patient pastor sows, and then the evangelist comes in and reaps. One soweth, then another succeeding him, may have eminent success. The seed, long buried, may spring up into an abundant harvest. We know not what shall happen, that is why we ALL must tell of Jesus, NOT just preachers and teachers. It is a command form Jesus to ALL His disciples! Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: (KJV) . . . Please do NOT disobey the Lord Jesus!
The wages Jesus offers are unlike ANY of worldly wages! The wages that He offers are the joy of working for Him and seeing the harvest of believers. These wages come to BOTH sower and harvester because both find joy in seeing new believers come into Christ's Kingdom. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (KJV)
John 4:38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. (KJV)
"I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour" . . . . “sent” is past tense, and refers to some event before the present incident. The disciples had baptized multitudes, “more disciples than John” (Jn.4:1); so many that John's disciples reported “all men come unto him” (Jn.3:26). They had baptized these, reaping the fruit of John the Baptist's labors. Jesus had sent them to reap that which they did not first labor for. The Old Testament prophets, John the Baptist, and Jesus Himself, had sown the seed, and by willingly and obediently bringing the Gospel, they had prepared (sowed) for the Lord a people with a "thirst." Then came the disciples and gathered the harvest into the Gospel church.
John 4:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. (KJV)
"And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman" . . . this woman was the first disciple of Christ in Samaria! She went and told her fellow citizens that the Messiah had come; and gave for proof, that He had told her the most secret things she had ever done, things that NO human could have known! (Jn.4:29). This is twice repeated, in verses 29 and 39, and means that this particular conversation had taken place, between our Lord and the Samaritan woman.
"That city" . . . was Sichem, or Sychar, but it was within the province of Samaria, from whence it is that they had the name of Samaritans as well as Sichemites.
"Many" . . . of them believed . . . because of the testimony of that woman. For He had told her such secrets of her life, as He could not have told her if He had not been the Messiah (God). Small things have great effects when God's time of working is right.
John 4:40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. (KJV)
"So when the Samaritans were come" . . . they insisted that He should stay with them for a while. This was indeed a strange invitation for a Samaritan village to give to a Jew, and it was also strange for a Jewish teacher to accept the invitation.
"He abode there two days" . . . we are not told that He performed any miracles there, for it seems that this was not necessary. These were a teachable people, and they accepted Him on the evidence of His own Truths. Miracles were only to establish the doctrines of Christianity, where the Gospel was first preached. When a person BELIEVES God (1 Jn.5:10-12), and accept Christ Jesus as Saviour and Lord (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12), miracles are NOT needed. Where the doctrine is believed, NO miracle is necessary, because belief IS a miracle! The Samaritans believed, so no miracle was done among them; because it was NOT necessary.
John 4:41 And many more believed because of his own word; (KJV)
"And many more believed because of his own word" . . . this makes two groups of "many" (verses 39 and 41). This made a large group! We do not know how many lived in Sychar, but maybe more than the average preacher reaches in a lifetime. These two groups saw and heard for themselves.
John 4:42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. (KJV)
"We have heard him ourselves" . . . on seeing and hearing our Lord Jesus, the faith of those who had already believed because of the woman's testimony, was now completely sure. And many others believed who had not heard the woman speak.
"This is indeed the Christ" . . . the promised Messiah. To the woman, Jesus had said that He was the Christ. Now, by His teachings, months before Peter's confession, the Samaritans proclaim Him to be the Christ, the Saviour, not of Jews only, or Jews and Samaritans, but of the world.
"The Savior of the world" . . . not of the Jews only, but of the Samaritans, and of the whole Gentile world. "Saviour of the world" . . . only here and in: 1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. (KJV)
These particular Samaritans believed that Jesus was the Saviour of Gentiles as well as Jews. They were not like the other Samaritans that would not receive Him (Lk.9:51-56). Receiving Jesus will make a change in ANY life, ANY community, or ANY nation.
John 4:43 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. (KJV)
"Went into Galilee" … Christ had been on His way to Galilee (Jn.4:3). After 2 days with the Samaritans He resumed His journey into Galilee.
John 4:44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. (KJV)
Jesus Himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in his own country (Mat.13:57; Mk.6:4; Lk.4:24). He went into Galilee, not to Nazareth. Jesus spoke of Galilee in general, a country where He lived for the most part, and did the greatest number of His miracles, and made the most converts.
John 4:45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. (KJV)
He did not go to Nazareth, but to other parts of Galilee. The Galilaeans received him hospitably; and this they did because of those miracles they had seen done by Him at the Passover feast, where Christ had been (Jn.2:1-25).
John 4:46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. (KJV)
Our Saviour, coming into Galilee, went to Cana, the place where He turned water into wine (Jn.2:1-25). There he did a second miracle, not upon any one of Cana, but upon the son of one who was at Capernaum, which was a city in the tribe of Naphtali, upon the shore of the Jordan River. This person is described to be a nobleman; whether by the blood of Herod, that was tetrarch of Galilee, or some principal servant of Herod, it is not said.
John 4:47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. (KJV)
"Besought him that he would come down, and heal his son" . . . some things to consider: #1. The nobleman already has “faith as a grain of mustard seed” in Jesus (Mat.17:20); #2. That faith moved him to seek the help of Jesus; #3. He comes in person, instead of sending servants; #4. He really did think that Jesus could heal his son, BUT . . . he did not understand that it could be done unless Jesus came to where his son was; #5. He thought it would be too late if the son died before Jesus came. His faith was not perfect . . . like many, if not most of us!
Naaman the Syrian also thought that Elisha must come down and lay his hand upon him that he be healed (2 Ki.5:1-17). The nobleman's son, it seems, was dying
John 4:48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. (KJV)
"Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe" . . . the nobleman who was in great distress, had some faith, caused only by the fame of the “signs and wonders” that Jesus did. His faith was still imperfect. He is the type of a class whose belief depended on outward signs, like so many today!
John 4:49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. (KJV)
"Sir, come down ere my child die" . . . he did not think our Lord could cure his son without being present. It seems here that he felt hurt, because our Lord did not come at his first plea. It is very difficult for a proud man, or a man in high office, to humble himself, or to treat God with proper respect. The spirit of this nobleman seems to be much like that of Naaman the Syrian (2 Ki.5:11).
John 4:50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. (KJV)
"Go thy way; thy son liveth" . . . IF the Lord Jesus had gone with him, as he wanted, his unbelief would not have been fully removed. He would have still thought that our Lord's power could not reach from Cana to Capernaum. In order to destroy his unbelief all at once, and bring him into the fullness of faith of Jesus' supreme power, Christ Jesus cures him, being seemingly absent, by that energy through which he fills both the heavens and the earth.
Our precious Lord did what this man asked of him . . . BUT . . . not in the way in that he thought it should be done! Sound familiar? God will save all to the uttermost, all who call upon Him, but not in the way in which they may desire. Eternal life is the free gift of God, and He has a perfect right to give it as he pleases; and he always gives his gifts in that way in which His glory is best promoted, and our eternal interest secured.
See our article on Describing God, and God's omnipotence:http://www.hisservants.org/describing_god_h_s.htm
"The man believed the word" . . . the way in which Jesus spoke, and the assurance which He gave, convinced the nobleman that He could heal him there as well as to go to Capernaum to do it. This is an instance of the power of Jesus to convince the mind, to soothe doubts, to confirm faith, and to meet our desires. He blesses NOT always in the way that we ask, but He does grant us our main wish. The father wished his son healed by Jesus going down to Capernaum. Jesus healed him, but not in the way in which he asked it to be done. God will hear our prayers and grant our requests, but so often NOT in the precise way in which we ask it. It is always His decision to judge the best way of doing us good.
Go thy way: (Mat.8:13; Mk.7:29-30; Lk.17:14).
John 4:51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. (KJV)
The nobleman's servants that met him to bring the good news of his son's recovery, knew nothing of the words that had been spoken between Christ and their master. They simply came to tell their master what they knew he would want to hear . . . "Thy son liveth."
John 4:52 Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. (KJV)
The nobleman inquires at what precise time did his son begin to get well. They tell him it was about the seventh hour (at 1:00 PM). This boy was healed the very hour Jesus said that he would live (verse 53). The miracle appeared in the suddenness of the recovery, and also it was without the application of any means.
John 4:53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. (KJV)
The circumstance of the time when his son recovered agreed perfectly with the very hour when Christ had said unto him, Thy son liveth. This was a mighty confirmation to him, and he was beholden to Christ for His cure, now believing that Christ was NO ordinary man, and much more than a prophet. He believed that Jesus was the Son of God. This brought his faith to a higher degree: #1. he first believed the report of Jesus, #2. he gave credit to the word that he spoke, #3. he now believed completely, and not he alone, but his whole family became Christians. Such other instances we have, concerning Lydia (Acts 16:14-15), the jailer (Acts 4:34) and Crispus (Acts 18:8).
John 4:54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee. (KJV)
His turning water into wine (Jn.2:1-25) was the first, this was the second, but not the last. Matthew 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. (KJV)
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