John 4:1-26 Jesus, The Lover Of Souls

by | May 1, 2024 | John, New Testament

Vs. 1-3 Jesus was now gathering a following.
The religious rulers had challenged John previously and Jesus recently.
Jesus leaves the southern region of Israel seemingly to avoid premature conflict with the religious rulers in Jerusalem. He had much ministry to do in the Galilee region.

V. 4 Most religious Jews would avoid traveling through Samaria. It was considered religiously unclean.
The Samaritans were a mixed race of Jews/Assyrians.
The Samaritans had an altered version of the Torah, and built their own Temple on Mt. Gerazim.
The secular minded Jews would travel thru Samaria, but the religious ones went out of their way to avoid it.
They would travel twice as far on a harder and hotter road to avoid Samaria.

Vs. 5, 6 John the Gospel writer records the humanity of Jesus. He was weary.
Jacob’s well can be visited today. It is an authentic and well known historical site.
The sixth hour is 12 noon. The heat of the day.

Vs. 7-9 Jesus was tired and thirsty.
He also wanted to strike up a conversation with this woman.
Remember, Jesus needed to be there.

This woman knew the normal racial prejudice that Jews had against Samaritans.
Also, the Jewish leaders considered it absolutely forbidden for a Jewish man to speak to a Samaritan woman.
By tradition, a Jewish rabbi wouldn’t even speak to his wife in public.
The disciples were surprised that Jesus was talking with this woman.

This woman had three cultural strikes against her, according to Jewish culture.

  • She was a Samaritan, whom the Jews hated more than even Gentiles.
  • She was a woman.
  • She had a history of divorce and presumed promiscuity.

Most Jews in that day would have needed to avoid Samaria, and this woman.
However, Jesus needed to be there to talk with her. Jesus cared about her and her people.

The end of verse 9 seems to be a comment made by the Gospel writer.
He was filling in cultural information that some readers might not have known about.

V. 10 Jesus re-directed her cultural question towards a spiritual conversation..
He caused her to think and ask about the things of God
If you knew what God wanted to freely give to you…
If you knew who it was that you were talking to…
If you asked you could have living water…
Living water- Physically speaking, this describes a spring fed water source.
Fresh water bubbling up out of the ground.
This is contrasted with other kinds of water supplies, such as cisterns or wells.
Living water was much preferred.

Vs. 11, 12 Jacob’s well is mentioned in Genesis 35. It is about 150 deep.
The woman shifted the conversation away from herself and seems to have challenged Jesus.
Instead of feeling that she needed to answer, she sidesteps Jesus’ offer, and challenges Him.
Perhaps she is sincere; perhaps she is posturing, or maybe a bit of both.

Vs. 13, 14 Man tries to satisfy his deepest needs to the temporal things of this world.
This woman sought and then rejected or was rejected in many relationships.

Proverbs 27:20 Hell and Destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.
Ecclesiastes 6:7 All the labor of man is for his mouth, and yet the soul is not satisfied.

Soul satisfaction can be found in drinking in of a life with Jesus.
The one who drink in of Jesus can know that he never needs to look anywhere else to quench the thirst of his soul.

Spurgeon- “What does a thirsty man do to get rid of his thirst? He drinks. Perhaps there is no better representation of faith in all the Word of God than that. To drink is to receive-to take in the refreshing draught-and that is all. A man’s face may be unwashed, but yet he can drink; he may be a very unworthy character, but yet a draught of water will remove his thirst. Drinking is such a remarkably easy thing, it is even more simple than eating.”

V. 15 The woman is still thinking about physical water and physical thirst.
But Jesus has clearly gone beyond speaking of physical water and physical thirst.
A fountain of water inside of you. Clearly not physical water.
Springing up into everlasting life. Clearly not physical water.

The woman asks Jesus for something that will make her life easier and will satisfy her creature needs.
Many people are OK with Jesus if He can make their life a little easier.

V. 16 Culturally speaking, this would have made the situation less “improper”, but Jesus was making a deeper point in asking her to get her husband.

Vs. 17, 18 Jesus wants to give this woman eternal life, but she must first recognize her sin.
That can be intimidating and freeing at the same time.
Incidentally, the normal time for drawing water was early in the morning when it was cool.
This woman was probably a social outcast in town, and she probably tried to avoid the other women.
This made the scenario all the more awkward with Jesus talking to “this” woman.

Vs. 19, 20 This woman now realizes that Jesus has seen through her.
He has offered her that which can fully satisfy her.
She now asks where to find this living water; how could she get it?

Vs. 21, 22 Jesus knew that she didn’t need to get the externals right regarding a relationship with God. She needed to get her heart right and enter into eternal life.
It was not about location, but about an internal change through faith in Jesus.

Vs. 23, 24 The moment in human history had come when Messiah had finally arrived.
What Jesus would bring would supersede Temple worship.
Instead of worshipping at a Temple, each human who came to Jesus in faith would be a temple.

That was the plan of God the Father; He was and is still seeking people who will worship Him.
Spirit- To be concerned with inner spiritual realities, and not external trappings.
Truth- To worship God according to the truth that He has revealed about Himself.

Vs. 25, 26 The Samaritans were looking for the Messiah.
“I who speak to you am He.”- Literally, “I AM, who speaks to you”.

When Moses asked God (the burning bush incident) what His name was, God responded. “I AM”.