Monday, December 05, 2011

John 4:12-19

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But 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.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

Key Observation:
The woman thirsts for Living Water and confesses.

The woman is intrigued by Jesus’ offer of Living Water. She may be a bit defensive about her background as compared to the Jews, for she reminds Jesus that they both had Jacob as their father, and that he gave them the well. Jesus refuses to argue, rather pointing to the kind of water He is offering is better even than that from the well.

I find it remarkable the woman knows she thirsts for this water. Perhaps all her life she was looking for a better answer, something to complete her life. Now in the middle of a dreary task, drawing water, she finds an offer of water from which she would never thirst again. Does she understand Jesus is speaking metaphorically? I find her response remarkably quick, and I feel at some point along here she realizes this man is making a great spiritual point to her.

Later in this passage, Jesus teaches about the harvest which others have sowed and we are reaping. I think it is no accident that He teaches this subsequent to talking with the woman. This woman, I believe, was ripe spiritually and ready to pluck for harvest. For this we are told, Jesus “must needs go through Samaria”. I wonder why this story does not appear in the other gospels. Perhaps part of the reason was that the other writers were emphasizing Jesus’ offer as a king to Israel. But I think the other part of the reason has to do with the purpose of John: “These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in His name.” (John 20:31)

John, writing his gospel long after the others, has time to consider the whole purpose of the Messiah, and tends to remember and record the things that show Christ as the Savior of the world. Also, I cannot help but wonder if John was there with Jesus and some of the others were absent. This would account for John’s inclusion of the story.

Jesus reveals knowledge that He should not know; He knows that she has had five husbands and is living with someone now. She at once guesses the Jesus is a prophet. Is that not a mistake of today? Do not many tell us that Jesus was a grand fellow, and a good teacher, but they leave it at that? Jesus knows the heart of the woman, and replies to her that the Jews have the outer shell of true worship, that this is the truth which God has imparted to men.

The woman then, I think, brings up the name of the Christ, almost as if she were already willing to believe that Jesus was the Christ. “I that speak unto thee am He”. And she believes. God has come in the flesh to rescue the lost and save them for the eternal purposes of Himself. That is the gospel, and the news is not going ever to be better than that!
Behold the Saviour of Mankind

1. Behold the Saviour of mankind
Nailed to the shameful tree!
How vast the love that Him inclined
To bleed and die for thee!

2. Though far unequal our low praise
To Thy vast sufferings prove,
O Lamb of God, thus all our days,
Thus will we grieve and love.

3. Hark, how He groans! while nature shakes,
And earth's strong pillars bend;
The temple's veil in sunder breaks,
The solid marbles rend.

4. 'Tis done! the precious ransom's paid,
"Receive my soul," He cries!
See where He bows His sacred head!
He bows His head, and dies!

5. But soon He'll break death's envious chain,
And in full glory shine:
O Lamb of God! was ever pain,
Was ever love, like thine?

6. Thy loss our ruin did repair;
Death by death is slain;
Thou wilt at length exalt us where
Thou dost in glory reign.

Lyrics: Samuel Wesley, Sr.

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