Well, Well (Reflections on John 4:1-29)


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John 4:1-7 (KJV)  When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,  [2]  (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)  [3]  He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.  [4]  And he must needs go through Samaria.  [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.  [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.  [7]  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

Thus far in the Gospel of John, we have seen Jesus witness to John, Andrew, Peter, Philip, Nathaniel, and Nicodemus. The number of those following Jesus has increased dramatically. Wherever Jesus goes He commands “follow Me”, and people begin to follow Him. Yet one crowd still resists Christ, and that is the self-righteous crowd, the Pharisees.

Jesus never baptized anyone but commanded His disciples to do so. As the number of those baptized by Jesus surpasses that of John the Baptist the Pharisees begin to worry about Christ. Who was this young Upstart who ran people out of the Temple? The Man was rocking the boat, and they didn’t like it.

But Jesus knew their hearts. Jesus knew their thoughts (Matthew 12:25). Jesus is not just some new fad, an undocumented Rabbi. We learned in John 1 that Jesus is the Eternal Word of God. He is co-equal and co-eternal with God.

Proverbs 21:2 (KJV) the LORD pondereth the hearts.
Jeremiah 17:10 (KJV)I the LORD search the heart…

Jesus knew what was in the Pharisee heart. Jesus had a mission to fulfill from God His Father. Rather than stir a boiling pot Jesus …

must needs go through Samaria

The Spirit led Jesus away from Jerusalem and into the strangest of places. He led Jesus to Samaria.

Samaria Is A Fallen Place

John 4:5 (KJV) 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.

As non-Jewish people, we would just read this text and not think about it, but to the Jew what is happening is significant. The Jews hated the Samaritans, and the Samaritans hated the Jews. No self-respecting Jew – particularly a Pharisee – wanted to be found anywhere near Samaria or near a Samaritan. What caused this hatred?

After King Solomon died his son, Rehoboam, ruled in his place. Rehoboam, unlike Solomon, was not a wise king. He did not seem to care for his people. Rehoboam took pains to take care of his tribe (Judah) and the tribe of Levi (the Priests), but used the other ten tribes horribly. He was not fair in taxation, nor in meeting their needs. A delegation from the ten other tribes of Israel went to Jerusalem to discuss the matter with Rehoboam. Their leader was Jeroboam. Jeroboam told Rehoboam:

1 Kings 12:4 (KJV)  Thy father made our yoke grievous: now therefore make thou the grievous service of thy father, and his heavy yoke which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee.

The delegation asked for a lighter tax. What was Rehoboam’s answer?

1 Kings 12:14 (KJV) … My father made your yoke heavy, and I will add to your yoke: my father also chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.

This is not diplomacy, nor was the answer well received. The ten tribes of Israel decided to break away from Rehoboam and Jerusalem and to form their own nation. Their capital city would be Samaria. Thus the Samaritans were born.

The ten tribes became Northern Israel. Jeroboam reigned from Samaria. Rather than worship at the Temple (which was what God decreed) the Samarian government established its own places of worship. As Samaria and the ten tribes drifted farther away from God the Lord caused the Assyrian Empire under Sargon II and his successor Sennacherib to overthrow Samaria and it’s tribes. The Samaritan population was flooded with Assyrian immigrants who intermarried with the population. As a result, many of those called “Samaritan” was blended Jews and Gentiles. The Jews of Judah and Levi despised these rebels and were in turn despised by the Samaritans.

John 4:6 (KJV) 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. 

Though Samaritan and Jew were enemies, God still loved ALL of Israel. Jesus stopped to rest at a place called “Jacob’s Well”. This was an area that Jacob – the Father of Israel – purchased(see Genesis 33:18-20). It was here that Jacob rested after his encounter with his brother Esau, a brother that he had cheated and robbed of his birthright. Jacob expected Esau to destroy him and his family, but God caused Esau to forgive his brother. When Jacob and his family rested in Shechem he purchased this land, built a well on it, and built an altar to God which he called:

Elelohe-Israel, or
El Eloshe Israel

which means “to the Mighty God of Israel”. This was a well dedicated to God by the father of a united Israel. After Rehoboam’s failure and Jeroboam’s revolt, this area fell into the Samaritan territory. But it was a place where all of Israel should have come together under the love of God. Had Esau destroyed Jacob then neither Jew nor Samaritan would be alive today. Our God is gracious. It is here at this historic well and on this holy ground that Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman.

John 4:7 (KJV) There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

Jesus Loves To Save The Fallen

That Jesus – an obvious Jew by His dress and deportment – would speak to a Samaritan was shocking to this woman. She asks …

John 4:9 (KJV) …. 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.

To her, this is like a member of the Ku Klux Klan asking an African American woman for a glass of iced tea. This woman has never been approached civilly by a Jew, and I suspect that she herself has never been civil to a Jew. This is how racism works. Rather than accept all people as precious because all people are made by God in His image

Acts 17:26 (KJV) {God}hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, …

racism looks backward to perceived injustices and unfairness that humans – ALL HUMANS – have made. We cannot look at any color of people from any nation and not look backward and see injustices perpetrated. Every human of every color need only honestly think just a few moments before we realize we have “all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). There is “none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10). We have all failed one another, and have all failed our God.

But Jesus loves us.
He loves the Samaritan and the Jew.
He loves the Red, the Yellow, the Black, the White.
Jesus loves the sinner but wants to save them from their sin.
He loves you and me enough to approach us in our wrong,
And to draw us to His right.

Jesus replied to her in

John 4:10 (KJV) …. 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.

This intrigued the woman. Jesus had no means by which He could draw water from Jacob’s well. If He didn’t even have a bucket, how was He going to give her Living Water? Jesus told her:

John 4:13-14 (KJV) … Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  [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.

Jacob’s well was a great blessing, but Jesus’ well is better. Those who drank from Jacob’s well – whether Jew or Samaritan – would be thirsty again. But those who drank from the well of Christ would never thirst. Jesus would satisfy those who put their trust in Him. The woman had to have this water. She said:

John 4:15 (KJV) … Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

This woman – like many people today – think that Jesus is offering convenience. Come to Jesus and get everlasting life … but no difference in your life now. Listen, Beloved – Jesus did not come to save us IN our sins, but to save us FROM our sins. He came to change our posture in life. Jesus illustrates this next. We read:

John 4:16-18 (KJV)  Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.  [17]  The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:  [18]  For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

This woman was in heterosexual sin. She was sleeping around. Jesus does not give living water to a person drowning in sin. Those who come to Jesus REPENT of their sin, no matter what it might be.

Nicodemus repented of his self-righteousness.
Zacchaeus repented of his thefts.
Peter repented of his selfishness.
This woman will repent of her sexual sin.

Jesus changes our want to’s to God’s want to’s. He transfers us from the Kingdom of Darkness and into His Kingdom of Light:

Colossians 1:12-14 (KJV)  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:  [13]  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:  [14]  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

Sins are not only forgiven, but their power is removed in Christ. He changes our posture in righteousness. Not only this, but God changes our posture in worship. The woman told Jesus …

John 4:20 (KJV)  Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.  

The Samaritans worshiped not in the Temple, but in the mountains of Samaria. The Jews told them they needed to worship in the Temple. Jesus corrected both Jew as well as Samaritan when He said:

John 4:21-23 (KJV) Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.  [22]  Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.  [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.

It is not the place that makes worship of God special – it is that we worship Him in spirit and in truth. God seeks those who will worship Him not just in the mountains, nor in the local Church building, but wherever they are.

Our lives should be filled with worship for the Lord if we are saved of Him. Every action we take in life should be to glorify our Creator and Savior. We are to live for Him!

John 4:24 (KJV)  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Jesus said, “God is a Spirit”. He is like the wind. He is everywhere. There is no place I can go to escape Him. The Psalmist said to God:

Psalms 139:7-14 (KJV)  Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?  [8]  If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.  [9]  If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;  [10]  Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.  [11]  If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.  [12]  Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.  [13]  For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.  [14]  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

Every moment of every day we should worship the Lord. Jesus came to save us from our sins. Jesus came to enable us to worship God as He wants to be worshiped. Jesus came as the Messiah. We close with:

John 4:25-29 (KJV)  The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he comes, he will tell us all things.  [26]  Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.  …  [28]  The woman then left her water-pot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,  [29]  Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

When Peter was called to follow Jesus, he left his fishing boat.
WhenMatthewwas called to follow Jesus, he left his tax tables.
When Andrew was called to follow Jesus, he left John the Baptist.
When Nathaniel was called to follow Jesus, he left his fig tree.
And when this woman was called to follow Jesus, she left her water-pot.

They all left that which was GOOD to follow Him that is BEST. Are YOU following Jesus or religion? Are you worshiping God in spirit and in truth, or just going through the motions? Choose Him Who gives living water and eternal life. Choose to follow Christ.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
This entry was posted in Faithfulness of God, Following Disciples, Following Jesus, John, Sermons Preached and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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