What does John 4:5 mean?
ESV: So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
NIV: So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
NASB: So He *came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph;
CSB: so he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar near the property that Jacob had given his son Joseph.
NLT: Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
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.
Verse Commentary:
Genesis 33:18–20 explains how Jacob acquired this piece of land. After being reunited with his estranged brother Esau, Jacob looks for a plot of land to build a settlement. He finds one and buys it from the sons of Hamor. Jacob was renamed "Israel" by God, and became the patriarch of both the Jewish and Samaritan people (Genesis 32:28). Later, in Genesis 48:21–22, Israel (Jacob) would give this piece of land to his son, Joseph (Joshua 24:32).

For Jesus to be here was unusual. Samaritans were half-Jewish and half-Gentile. So, they were reviled by most Jews. This not only meant avoiding them, but refusing to have any contact with them (John 4:9). Jesus, however, is here on a divine mission (John 4:4). His upcoming conversation with the woman at the well will not only provide valuable spiritual teachings, it will begin the process of spreading the gospel to the entire world (John 4:42).
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 4/16/2024 12:34:07 PM
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