You Have the Words of Life Chapter 4

June 16, 2017

The almost final editing of my latest book, “You have the Words of Life” continues here on Online Ministry Training:

John Chapter 4

1 Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself didn’t baptize, but his disciples), 3 he left Judea, and departed into Galilee. 4 He needed to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being tired from his journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “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.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. So where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father, Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself, as did his children, and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I don’t get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. 22 You worship that which you don’t know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. 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. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes, he who is called Christ. When he has come, he will declare to us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.” 27 At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?” 28 So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. 31 In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” 33 The disciples therefore said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. 35 Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. 36 He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to 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 haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” 39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” 43 After the two days he went out from there and went into Galilee. 44 For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when he came into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did in Jerusalem at the feast, for they also went to the feast. 46 Jesus came therefore again to Cana of Galilee, where he made the water into wine. There was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to him, and begged him that he would come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Jesus therefore said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders, you will in no way believe.” 49 The nobleman said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way. Your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 As he was now going down, his servants met him and reported, saying “Your child lives!” 52 So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. They said therefore to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour, the fever left him.” 53 So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” He believed, as did his whole house. 54 This is again the second sign that Jesus did, having come out of Judea into Galilee.

John 4:23
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.

The Father is seeking people who will worship in spirit and truth. He is not seeking perfect people. He is seeking lost and broken people who will give their lives and love to Him. In the last chapter we talked about Nicodemus meeting Jesus. The Samaritan woman that Jesus meets in this chapter is at the opposite end of the spectrum. Nicodemus was a religious and political leader who was well respected in his community. The woman at the well, was a Samaritan. The Samaritans were considered outcasts by the established religious community. Beyond that, the woman was apparently an outcast within her own community. Drawing water was something that was usually done together by the women in the community. It would have been a way to make the work of drawing water a time for socializing and catching up with one another. But this Samaritan woman came by herself to draw water from the well. Let’s dig into this encounter:

John 4:7-10
7 A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 The Samaritan woman therefore said to him, “How is it that you, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “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 offering the Kingdom of God to this woman just like he did with Nicodemus. He has said to both of them (in very different ways because they were in very different situations) that God deals with people on the basis of grace. Our relationship with God is not about what we do, but on what God is willing to do for us. Jesus looks past people’s situations and brokenness and sees the beauty of their potential. He does not treat them according to the labels that society and even the religious community puts on them.

John 4:16-19
16 Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You said well, ‘I have no husband,’ 18 for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.

According to these verses, there are a lot of different labels that we could hang on this woman. Jesus doesn’t label her, He is saying that He knows about the life she is living and yet He is still offering her the hope of life, just as he had to Nicodemus.

John 4:23-24
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. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

In His encounter with Nicodemus, Jesus stressed the fact that everyone stands condemned before God (John 3:18). Nicodemus, a religious man, would have thought that his strict keeping of the law was enough and did not recognize his need for God’s grace. The woman at the well, however, was well aware that she was a sinner. And amazingly, Jesus didn’t talk to her about condemnation, He talked to her about worshipers. Why the different approach? Nicodemus needed to see himself as a sinner in order to understand grace. The Samaritan woman, who knew she was a sinner, needed to see herself as a person of worth and value. Even though she was considered an outcast by the established religious community, and was an outcast in her own community, the Father was inviting her into relationship with Him.

John 4:25-26
25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes, he who is called Christ. When he has come, he will declare to us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.”

The woman at the well gets it. She heads into town and becomes a very effective evangelist.

John 4:28-30
28 So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. 39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.”

This woman went from town outcast, to having a significant part in sparking a revival there. That’s a great picture of the life He is calling us all to live. His amazing grace says to each one of us, no matter how we might compare to Nicodemus or the Samaritan woman, “You matter to Me. I want you to be a worshiper.”

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About the Author ()

Child of the King, husband to Alice, father to Sarah and Douglas, grand father to Samuel, Avery, Stevie, Eloise, Reed, Madeline and Margaret, pastor to the Vineyard in Big Pine Key, sometime writer and blogger, jogger, kayaker and founder of the Jesus Moment Bible Institute and Seminary (onlinebibleinstitute.org).

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