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John chapter 4

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4And he must needs go through Samaria. 5Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 6Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. 7There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. 8(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) 9Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, 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. 10Jesus answered and said unto her, 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. 11The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? 12Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? 13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14But 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. 15The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: 18For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 19The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. 20Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23But 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. 24God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 25The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. 26Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
27And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? 28The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, 29Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? 30Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. 31In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. 32But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 33Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? 34Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 35Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. 36And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. 37And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. 38I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours. 39And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did. 40So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. 41And many more believed because of his own word; 42And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

What does John chapter 4 mean?

The Gospel of John frequently uses contrast as a teaching tool. In chapter 2, there is a strong contrast between the joyous, secretive miracle at the wedding and the angry, ostentatious cleansing of the temple. Chapter three presents another contrast, moving from the loud, public, confrontational temple incident to a quiet, private, instructional conversation with Nicodemus.

Chapter 4 once again presents meaningful contrasts. Nicodemus was a man of power and prestige, well educated, and one who sought out Jesus of his own free will. The Samaritan woman of chapter 4 is poor, outcast even among the outcast Samaritans, and not expecting to meet the Lord at all. Nicodemus needed to be reminded that his knowledge was incomplete (John 3:9–10). The Samaritan woman needed to be confronted with her sin (John 4:17–18), but also lifted up and given value (John 4:23). These contrasts help demonstrate how the gospel of Jesus Christ is not only for all people, in all times, but that it will reach each person wherever they are, spiritually speaking.

The first major portion of the chapter is Jesus' conversation with the Samaritan woman. Their back-and-forth banter reveals Christ's mastery of personal evangelism. This passage is also an excellent example of the principle of ipsissima vox, or "the very voice" of Scripture. Almost certainly, this conversation involved more words and more time than are recorded here. Rather than a verbatim transcript, John reports the substance of the conversation, probably as related to him by Jesus at some later time.

While Christ's remark about the woman's immoral lifestyle might seem blunt (John 4:17–18), notice how the woman immediately tries to change the subject (John 4:19–20). Jesus knows exactly what she needs to understand: that the Savior knows what she has done, and who she is, and seeks her anyway (John 4:23–24). This is the great message of His conversation at the well, and the primary application we can take from it.

When the woman goes into town, Jesus tries to get His disciples to understand the purpose of their mission. Imagine their embarrassment when they realize that they, the disciples of Christ, went into town as a group and brought no one back to meet the Lord. Meanwhile, a single, immoral, female Samaritan had not only told others, she'd brought them to see Jesus face-to-face.

This chapter presents a very practical foreshadowing of a command given by Jesus elsewhere in the Scriptures. At this point, Jesus has traveled from Jerusalem (chapters 2 and 3), through Judea and into Samaria (in chapter 4). The Samaritans respond to Jesus by proclaiming Him "the Savior of the world." At His ascension, Jesus will declare His disciples to be His witnesses "in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Just as He had done, He called His followers to do.

Chapter 4 also includes the second of seven "signs" recorded in the gospel of John (John 4:46–54). While this miracle is more open than that at the wedding, it is still relatively low-key. Later miracles will become more public, more spectacular, and invite more hostility from the local religious leaders. Part of the lesson in Christ's healing of the official's son is the difference between belief based on miracles, and belief rooted in trusting faith. Jesus essentially forces the man to demonstrate actual trust, which is validated soon afterward.
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