What does John 4:28 mean?
ESV: So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people,
NIV: Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people,
NASB: So the woman left her waterpot and went into the city, and *said to the people,
CSB: Then the woman left her water jar, went into town, and told the people,
NLT: The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone,
KJV: The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
Verse Commentary:
The woman had come to the well specifically to draw water. This was not a minor chore in that era, since there was no such thing as indoor plumbing. Her eagerness to tell others about Jesus was obviously boiling over. Leaving her water jar not only meant she'd forgotten her chore, but she'd left a valuable piece of her own property behind. Whether she intended all the time to come back and get it, we don't know.

According to this verse, the woman told more than one person about her experience. In the Greek, the term is anthrōpois, which literally means, "human beings," including both men and women. Interestingly, whatever social awkwardness she might have had over her past sins seems to be overcome. Instead, in the next verse, she uses her past as a reason for people to listen to Jesus: he knows all those things I've done!

That, in fact, might have been one reason for some of the men to come and speak to Jesus. A woman with her reputation (John 4:16–18) might have had "connections" with men who'd rather keep such things quiet (John 4:39).
Verse Context:
John 4:27–45 is an object lesson for the disciples. Jesus has just finished a conversation with a Samaritan woman, while the disciples were in town buying food. As it turns out, this supposedly unclean woman will soon bring back many people to meet Christ, while the disciples have brought no one. Jesus explains that some work to plant spiritual seeds, while others might be the ones collecting the harvest. Both are valuable and we should be ready for opportunities in either case.
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 8:37:04 PM
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