Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Cor. 15:58


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

John 4 (day 352)

Blogging through the Book of


Chapter 4

(John 4:1-3) Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did).  So he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

This begs the question, "Why?" Why did Jesus leave Judea and go to Galilee? Basically, he knew the Pharisees were beginning to plot against him, and he knew his time hadn't come. He knew that when the ball began rolling to kill him, it wouldn't take long. He didn't have a long time (just a 3 year ministry), so he had to leave to make sure others heard his message, believed, and spread his word after he died.

As he and his disciples walked, they went through Samaria-- the black sheep of the region. The Jewish people thought the Samaritans unclean because they were a mixed race: Jew and Gentile. Most Jewish people walked the long way around to avoid going through the 'contaminated' place, but not Jesus. He had a purpose; he didn't care if the people where 'unclean'-- He uses ALL.

 (John 4:4-8)  He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” He was alone at the time because his disciples had gone into the village to buy some food.

The disciples couldn't leave Jesus for two little minutes before he started talking to the 'unclean' Samaritan woman. There were several things not culturally accepted about what Jesus did:

1. He, a Jew, talked to a Samaritan, an unclean 'mutt-race'.

2. He, a man, talked to  her, a woman, in public.

3. He, the perfect Son of God, talked to her, an imperfect, man-lovin' sinner.

But, do you know what? Jesus didn't care about 'Socially acceptable' norms. He cared about her as a person; not a woman, not a sinner. Because he thought of her as a soul, not a sex, he saw her as someone worthy to spread his word-- someone worthy to talk to-- one of his creations.

(John 4:9-12)The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
 “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water? And besides, do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well? How can you offer better water than he and his sons and his animals enjoyed?”

(I'm sorry for the type change.... that's what happens when you copy and paste...)

Once again, Jesus told someone about 'living water' and 'being born again'. Just like Nicodemus in Chapter 3, the Samaritan woman had no idea what he was talking about. She saw the physical side of it. If this man had some 'magic' to make her not have to come to the well ever again and be subject to taunts and ridicule, then she was all for it!

And then Jesus threw her for a loop--

(John 4:13-16)Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
 “Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
“Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.

Oh! Can you see that woman's face?! I bet her eyes were wide and her face turned a tomato red!
(John 4:17-18) “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

Oh, Snap! The woman loved her men, but she wasn't a liar. Jesus never once judged her. We should take a page from him!

When Jesus told her that, she believed him to be a prophet. That's when she changed the conversation from her to a question that had plagued the Samaritans for years...
(John 4:19-20)“Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet.  So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”

The Samaritan woman had the same question we all basically have: how and where should I worship? There are more Christian denominations than I can name, and they all have their own doctrine or traditions. The same could be said for the Jews and Samaritans here-- they each believed in God and claimed Jacob to be their ancestor, but they had different ideas on how  and where to worship-- it was another reason for the divide between them.

But we wouldn't know about that.... would we?.....

(John 4:21-22)Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews.

All 'Salvation comes through the Jews' means that the Messiah would be Jewish. It didn't mean that the Gentiles would never be saved.

(John 4:23-24) But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Jesus told her that it didn't matter where they worshipped God, all that mattered was to worship him in spirit and in truth. God is looking for people to worship him in that way. It doesn't matter if you are in a temple, a church, a store, out in the middle of a field, in your car, at your work--- anywhere. You can worship God wherever you are.

(John 4:25-26)The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
 Then Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah!”

This is the first person out side of his inner circle that he told he was the Messiah! This sinner, this woman, had that privilege. Can you imagine the feelings going through her mind?

(John 4:27)Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?”

When the disciples came back, they were flabbergasted so see 'JESUS' talking to a woman, but they were all too nervous to ask him why he was doing it.

(John 4:28-30)The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him.

This sinful woman became a missionary, telling others about Jesus. When she came to the city, she had to be convincing because, as a sinful woman, no one would have believed her if she hadn't of been. They would have thought she'd gone crazy. So, they all went out to see him for themselves.

(John 4:31-38)Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
“Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true.  I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

Here again, Jesus is talking about things someone didn't understand. This is the 3rd time in these 2 chapters. He'd telling them that his nourishment came from God.

Jesus told them that the field (people) were ripe (to believe in the Messiah) and the harvesters (the disciples) were ready. It was time to go after souls full force!

(John 4:39-42) Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!”  When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days,  long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”

The people of the village believed in Jesus, not just because the woman told them, but because they saw him for themselves.

*If the woman hadn't told them (if she had of been shy and let her sins control her future), they would have never known Jesus.

*We don't have the luxury those people have to physically see Jesus. We have to believe through faith.

*In any case, Jesus proved in this encounter that he came to save the WORLD, not just the: good, the Jews, or the 'worthy'.

(John 4:43-51) At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee. He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown.  Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there.
As he traveled through Galilee, he came to Cana, where he had turned the water into wine. There was a government official in nearby Capernaum whose son was very sick. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged Jesus to come to Capernaum to heal his son, who was about to die.
Jesus asked, “Will you never believe in me unless you see miraculous signs and wonders?”
The official pleaded, “Lord, please come now before my little boy dies.”
 Then Jesus told him, “Go back home. Your son will live!” And the man believed what Jesus said and started home.
 While the man was on his way, some of his servants met him with the news that his son was alive and well.  He asked them when the boy had begun to get better, and they replied, “Yesterday afternoon at one o’clock his fever suddenly disappeared!” Then the father realized that that was the very time Jesus had told him, “Your son will live.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus.This was the second miraculous sign Jesus did in Galilee after coming from Judea.

The man here believed and asked. We might not see Jesus physically, but through prayer, we can do the same thing. We have to pray and ask for what we want-- but also accept that the answer might not be what we want.

In this chapter, we have seen Jesus open up his ministry to the Gentiles. He used 'sinners' and a woman to spread his message. From that we can gather that Jesus doesn't care who or what you are, he loves you for YOU. You have a great job to do for Jesus. Can you be like the Samaritan woman? Can you put your personal feelings aside to tell others about Jesus?

Imperfectly Yours,


Other posts in the 'Blogging Through the Book of John' series:
Chapter 3
Chapter 2
Chapter 1

Linked with: Women Living Well Wednesday

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