What does John 4:26 mean?
ESV: Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
NIV: Then Jesus declared, 'I, the one speaking to you--I am he.'
NASB: Jesus *said to her, 'I am He, the One speaking to you.'
CSB: Jesus told her, "I, the one speaking to you, am he."
NLT: Then Jesus told her, 'I AM the Messiah!'
KJV: Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
Verse Commentary:
The Gospel of John includes seven instances where Jesus refers to Himself using the expression "I AM," connecting Himself to some spiritual idea. This is not usually thought of as one of those, since Jesus simply acknowledges Himself as the Messiah. In some conversations, Jesus' use of the phrase "I AM" is very deliberate, and is a claim to divinity. For instance, in John 8:58, Jesus uses this expression in reference to Himself. The local religious leaders respond in shock, realizing that Jesus is claiming to be God (John 8:59), having used the same title that God used to describe Himself to Moses (Exodus 3:13–15).

What John records about the conversation with the Samaritan woman is clearly a summary, not a detailed transcript. Judging by the woman's comments about Jesus' knowledge (John 4:29), and her reaction in the next few verses, there are more words spoken between them than are written here.

This statement by Jesus is the exclamation point on a brilliant conversation. As he did with Nicodemus, Jesus moved directly to the need of the person He was speaking with. After making her acknowledge her need and her sin, He provided her with what He had previously promised: the water of eternal life. This, of course, was Christ Himself (John 7:37–38).
Verse Context:
John 4:5–26 describes one of the most famous moments in Jesus' earthly ministry. Here, He converses with a Samaritan woman. This particular woman is not only an ''unclean'' Samaritan, but an outcast among her own people. She attempts to avoid Jesus' teachings, giving flippant and sarcastic answers. Despite that, and despite knowing all about her sin, Jesus encourages her with the love of God. This breaks through her hard heart; as a result, many others are brought to meet Christ. The disciples are also taught a valuable lesson about the purpose of their mission.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman who is drawing water from a well. Jesus both confronts her about her sin, and comforts her with the truth of the gospel. In particular, He explains that even though He knows her sins, He still seeks after her, and those like her. The woman returns to town, eventually bringing many people to meet Jesus. The disciples, meanwhile, have to be reminded of the purpose of their mission. Jesus also heals the son of a government official in a way that demonstrates the importance of trusting faith, rather than reliance on spectacle.
Chapter Context:
John chapter 4 continues the use of contrast. Jesus goes from conversing with an educated, powerful, prestigious man to talking to an outcast, unlearned, self-conscious woman. The combination of this passage, along with Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus, makes an important spiritual point. The gospel is for all people, in all places, and all times. Christ can reach each person exactly where he or she needs to be reached.
Book Summary:
The gospel of John was written by the disciple John, decades later than the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The author assumes that a reader is already familiar with the content of these other works. So, John presents a different perspective, with a greater emphasis on meaning. John uses seven miracles—which he calls “signs”—in order to prove that Jesus is, in fact, God incarnate. Some of the most well-known verses in all of the Bible are found here. None is more famous than the one-sentence summary of the gospel found in John 3:16.
Accessed 4/17/2024 11:36:27 PM
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