A Blogged Bible Study entry.
Do you know what I love about Jesus’ life on earth? He was unpredictable. From the stories shared in the four gospels it is clear His disciples never seemed to know what Jesus would say or do next.
As we enter our fourth week of study we come to the fourth chapter of John. And, as always, there’s too much to talk about. Narrowing this down to one thought which “jumps out” is hard!!! No complaints, Carl, just stating the facts. Well, this week the unpredictability of our Savior jumped out at me.
Many of us know of the animosity between the Jews and the Samaritans* during Jesus’ day. For a Jewish man to speak to a Samaritan woman would have been considered inappropriate (think Parable of the Good Samaritan here). And if that woman was not of the highest repute, well, that would have been scandalous, to say the least.
That’s exactly what Jesus does. He scandalously speaks to a SAMARITAN woman who is living with a man to whom she is not married. And He tells her who He is! That’s really huge. HUGE.
Then Jesus, having become wearied to the point of exhaustion by reason of His journey, was sitting thus at the spring. The hour was about the sixth. (noon) There comes a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus says to her, Give me a drink, for His disciples had gone off into the city in order that they might buy food in the market place. The Samaritan woman then says to Him, How is it that you being a Jew, Are asking a drink from me, being a woman of Samaria, for Jews do not associate with Samaritans?
So you see, she was surprised He spoke with her. Moving on…
Answered Jesus and said to her, If you knew the gratuitous gift of God, and who it is who is saying to you, Give me to drink, you would in that case have asked Him and He would have given to you water which is alive…Everyone who keeps on drinking this water (from the well) will thirst again. But whoever takes a drink of the water which I shall give him, shall positively not thirst, no, never, but the water which I shall give him shall become in him a spring of water gushing up into life eternal.
Now she did not understand what He was saying to her yet. She asks for this living water so she won’t ever thirst again, but Jesus moves on to tell her about herself. He has introduced Himself and now He is putting a mirror up to her. He confronts her sin.
The woman says to Him, Sir, give me this water in order that I may not continually be thirsty and keep on coming here to be drawing. He says to her, Be going on your way. Call your husband at once and come here. The woman answered and said, I do not have a husband. Jesus says to her , You aptly said, I do not have a husband. This truly you have said. The woman says to Him, Sir, as I am carefully observing you, I am coming to the place where I see that you are a prophet.
“OK,” she thinks to herself, “this dude is different. He knows about me.” I imagine this was uncomfortable for her because she changes the subject. She moves on to a point of conflict between her people (the Samaritans) and His people (the Jews). Where are they to worship?** Jesus explains the dispute, a bit, basically saying the Jews have it right. Jerusalem is where the Lord has set His memorial name forever (Hosea 12:5; Psalm 102; Luke 24:46-47; Zech. 8:3; Jer. 3:17; Rev. 3:12; 21:2). Then He moves on to the point about worshipping God in spirit and truth.
But there comes an hour and it is now, when the genuine worshippers shall worship the Father in a spiritual sphere, and in the sphere of truth. For indeed, the Father is seeking such as these who worship Him. God as to His nature is spirit, and for those who are worshipping, it is necessary in the nature of the case to be worshipping in a spiritual sphere, and in the sphere of truth.
WOW. She realizes she is speaking to Someone who knows His stuff. It seems to remind her of something she had learned.
The woman says to Him, I know positively that Messiah comes, the One who is commonly called Christ. Whenever that One comes, He will make known to us all things.
Yeah, she’s gettin’ it! Then…He reveals Himself to her…completely. He tells her exactly who He is.
Jesus says to her, I am He, the one speaking to you.
Whoa! Very cool. Complete revelation. He tells her, a seemingly insignificant person, a samaritan woman, a gentile of questionable reputation, at a well needing water to drink — He tells her HE is the source of all she will ever need. He is the One sent from the Father, who will reveal all things.
Scandalous. A gratuitious* gift. Giving living waters to whomever will ask.
He is the free gift of everlasting life through the living waters gushing up in this gentile woman…Me! 😉
Have you asked Him for the water which brings life?
* gratuitous – given, unearned, without recompense; not involving a return benefit; costing nothing; free. Another word for “grace.” 😉
For today’s study I used: The New Testament – An Expanded Translation by Kenneth S. Wuest “Neither a paraphrase nor an interpretation, this unique translation — based on the earliest and most accurate Greek texts — brings new meaning to the language and message of the New Testament for today’s readers…Kenneth S. Wuest was professor of New Testament Greek at Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois, until his death in 1962. His other works include the four-volume Word Studies in the Greek New Testament.”
* Notes on the Samaritans for further study…
Taken from the NET Bible/Study Dictionary/Smith:
Such were the Samaritans of our Lord’s day; a people distinct from the Jews, though lying in the very midst of the Jews; a people preserving their identity, though seven centuries had rolled away since they had been brought from Assyria by Esar-haddon, and though they had abandoned their polytheism for a sort of ultra Mosaicism; a people who, though their limits had gradually contracted and the rallying-place of their religion on Mount Gerizim had been destroyed one hundred and sixty years before by John Hyrcanus (B.C. 130), and though Samaria (the city) had been again and again destroyed, still preserved their nationality still worshipped from Shechem and their impoverished settlements toward their sacred hill, still retained their peculiar religion, and could not coalesce with the Jews.
Taken from the NET Bible/Study Dictionary/Eerdman’s Bible Dictionary:
the name given to the new and mixed inhabitants whom Esarhaddon (B.C. 677), the king of Assyria, brought from Babylon and other places and settled in the cities of Samaria, instead of the original inhabitants whom Sargon (B.C. 721) had removed into captivity (2 Kings 17:24; comp. Ezra 4:2, 9, 10). These strangers amalgamated with the Jews still remaining in the land, and gradually abandoned their old idolatry and adopted partly the Jewish religion. **After the return from the Captivity, the Jews in Jerusalem refused to allow them to take part with them in rebuilding the temple, and hence sprang up an open enmity between them. They erected a rival temple on Mount Gerizim, which was, however, destroyed by a Jewish king (B.C. 130). They then built another at Shechem. The bitter enmity between the Jews and Samaritans continued in the time of our Lord: the Jews had “no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9; comp. Luke 9:52, 53). Our Lord was in contempt called “a Samaritan”. Many of the Samaritans early embraced the gospel (John 4:5-42; Acts 8:25; 9:31; 15:3). Of these Samaritans there still remains a small population of about one hundred and sixty, who all reside in Shechem, where they carefully observe the religious customs of their fathers. They are the “smallest and oldest sect in the world.”