- Jesus Makes Room for John in Judea (4:1-3)
- The Woman at the Well: Christian Satisfaction and Worship (4:4-30)
- Service to the Father’s Will & It’s Connection with Satisfaction (4:31-38)
- “Two Days” in Samaria: The Period of Gentile Blessing (4:39-42)
- A Third Day in Cana – the Restoration of Israel (4:43-54)
Jesus Makes Room for John in Judea (4:1-3)
There are a number of possible reasons why the Lord did not baptise personally. First, by refraining from baptizing Himself, the Lord headed off any occasion for the Pharisees to stir up rivalry between His disciples and John's. Secondly, the disciples viewed the Lord (and baptized to Him) as the Messiah of Israel; but Jesus knew from the beginning that He must suffer and die as the Son of man (broader title). True Christian baptism would be after the ascension, and "unto" His death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3-4; Col. 2:12). This could be another reason why the Lord refrained from baptizing personally. Thirdly, and admittedly less likely, it could be that Jesus wanted to avoid a hierarchy of those who were baptized. It would be natural for those who were baptized by Jesus personally to think more highly of themselves than those baptized by Peter, for example. Baptism is about the person we are baptized to, not about the actual baptizer.
The Woman at the Well: Christian Satisfaction and Worship (4:4-30)
- The greatest heavenly blessing – the indwelling Spirit of God (Eph. 1:13), which is the power to enjoy eternal life.
- The greatest heavenly privilege – worshipping the Father in spirit and truth.
A Thirsty Sinner and a Thirsty Savior Meet (vv.4-8)
- 1st Objection: The Racial Divide Between Jew and Gentile (vv.9-10)… “I’m too far away from God.”
- 2nd Objection: Doubting The Greatness of Our Lord (vv.11-14)… “God isn’t able to save me.”
- 3rd Objection: Living Water Can’t Solve My Real-World Problems (vv.15-19)… “My problems are too big for a spiritual solution.”
- 4th Objection: We Have Our Own System of “Worship” (vv.20-24)… “There are many religions, who’s to say your religion is right?”
- 5th objection: Nothing but a Person Can Satisfy My Needs (vv.25-30)… “If only God would speak to me personally, then I would believe.”
1st Objection: The Racial Divide Between Jew and Gentile (vv.9-10)
2nd Objection: Doubting the Greatness of Our Lord (vv.11-14)
3rd Objection: Living Water Can’t Solve My Real-World Problems (vv.15-19)
- A Jew (v.9) – initially views Him with disdain
- A prophet (v.19) – knows He has touched her conscience
- The Messiah (v.29) – knows Him as the object of prophecy
- The Savior of the world (v.42) – knows Him as Savior.
4th Objection: We Have Our Own System of “Worship” (vv.20-24)
- A change in the place of worship (v.21a)
- A change in the relationship with the Person they worshiped (v.21b)
- A change in the character of worship (vv.22-23a)
- A change in the attitude of the worshipper (v.23b)
- A change in the place of worship (v.21a). In Christianity, worship is no longer at a geographical place. Both the Jews and the Samaritans worshipped in physical places, and the Christian’s place of worship is not a building or a congregation, but the very presence of God, the heavenly sanctuary (Hebrews 8-10), “within the veil”. We come into His presence by simple faith. This is where we worship. God had been looking forward to this “hour” of Christian worship since the beginning of time! (See note on eight “hours” in John’s Gospel). This would put the Jewish-Samaritan dispute to rest.
Within the holiest of all,Cleansed by His precious blood,Before the throne we prostrate fall,And worship Thee, O God.
- A change in the relationship with the Person they worshiped (v.21b). Jews and even Samaritans worshipped Jehovah. Now it would be God as Father… the character of God coming forth to His children in love and grace. In Christ, we have been made to share all the relationships that Christ has, including knowing God as our Father.
- A change in the character of worship (vv.22-23a). The Samaritans’ worship was unintelligent. They had some mixture of idolatry and worshiping Jehovah. But the Jews at least knew they worshipped a moral lawgiver, although this was still a very limited revelation of God. Salvation was “of the Jews”, in that the Messiah was promised to them (Luke 2:30). The “hour” of Christian worship had almost arrived (see note on eight “hours” in John’s Gospel). The new character of worship would be “in spirit” (spiritual) and “in truth” (according to the revelation of God). Jews worshipped with their hands (not in spirit) but they did have limited truth. The Samaritans had neither.
- A change in the attitude of the worshipper (v.23b). True worshippers are sought by the Father. We cannot worship from a framework of human efforts. We must bow before sovereign grace. There is a longing in the Father’s heart for intelligent, spiritual worship. He wants His creatures to refresh His heart with thoughts of His Son. The Son is seeking sinners, and the Father is seeking worshipers.
5th objection: Nothing but a Person Can Satisfy My Needs (vv.25-30)
Service to the Father’s Will & It’s Connection with Satisfaction (4:31-38)
- Physical wine (ch.2) – spiritual and lasting joy
- Physical wind (ch.3) – the Spirit of God
- Physical water (ch.4, 7) – spiritual satisfaction and refreshment
- Physical food (ch.4) – His own satisfaction
- Physical harvest (ch.4) – a harvest of souls
- Physical handicap (ch.5) – man’s total depravity
- Physical bread (ch.6) – Christ as food for our souls
- Physical light (ch.8) – Christ as the Light of the world
- Physical blindness (ch.9) – man’s spiritual blindness
- Physical door (ch.10) – Christ as a spiritual door
- Physical shepherd (ch.10) – a spiritual shepherd
- Physical wheat (ch.12) – Christ’s death & resurrection
- Physical washing (ch.13) – moral cleansing
- Physical vine (ch.15) – Christ as the true vine (energy)
The Example of Christ’s Service (vv.31-34)
Exhortations for Christian Service (vv.35-38)
“Two Days” in Samaria: The Period of Gentile Blessing (4:39-42)
Four Things That Characterize the Present Period (vv.39-42)
A Third Day in Cana – the Restoration of Israel (4:43-54)
- Rejected in Jerusalem (John 2:13-25). A picture of the Lord’s rejection by Israel at His first coming.
- Two days in Samaria (vv.39-42). A picture of the Church period. There is no miracle or signs given, just the Word of God working in power. The result is tremendous blessing and a vast harvest of Gentile souls.
- A third day in Galilee (vv.43-54). A picture of God taking up with a faithful remnant of the Jews in a coming day. The nobleman (the remnant) has faith, while the nation refuses to believe without signs and wonders (v.48). The Lord rewards his faith with a miracle (the healing of his son) which is a picture of the restoration of Israel as a nation in the Millennium.
The Lord Returns to Galilee (vv.43-46a)
The Nobleman’s Faith in the Invisible Word of God (vv.46b-50)
Faith rewarded by the visible restoration of his son (vv.51-54)
- ...how then are we to understand the sixth hour in John 19:14, and John 4:6, etc.? Clearly in the same way throughout his Gospel, which looks on Jewish things as closed. Hence in John 1:39 the tenth hour would mean from the same hour of the morning as we count. In John 4:6 it was the usual time for women to draw water, as the seventh hour (52) would be the same time as with us of the preceding evening or possibly morning. So in John 18:28 it was early morn when the mockery of our Lord’s trial went on; and no reason forbids Pilate’s judging at our 6 a.m. (John 19:14). The actual crucifixion began, after all mockeries and preparations were done (including perhaps the trial of the two robbers) at the 3rd Jewish hour, as Mark (Mark 15:25) alone specifies, i.e. our 9 o’clock a.m. of Friday; the supernatural darkness at the 6th Jewish hour, at our 12 or noon; and the Lord died at the 9th Jewish hour and time, or our 3 p.m. Pliny (H. Nat. ii. 77), Plut. (Quaest. Rom. 84), A. Gell. (Noct. Att. iii. 2), Censor (dde Die Nat. xxiii.), and Macrob. (Saturn i. 3) clearly prove that the Romans computed the civil day as we do from midnight, and as John did. So Dr. Townson argues for a similar reckoning in Asia Minor. Revelation 1:10 shows a kindred departure from Jewish phraseology. – Kelly, W. Bible Treasury Volume N4, p. 110. July 1902.
- Next, what this gift of God was is revealed, that is, the present enjoyment, by the power of the Holy Ghost, of eternal life in heaven. Darby, J.N. On the Gospel of John. Collected Writings, Vol. 33.