John 4:1-3 Jesus left Judea and returned to Galilee after hearing that the Pharisees had heard His disciples were baptizing more than John’s disciples most likely to avoid conflict.
John 4:4-6 Around 12:00pm (Jewish time) or 6:00pm (Roman time), Jesus rested on His journey from Judea back to Galilee at Jacob’s well in Samaria (Shechem), a city where the Jews were half-bred, despised by the true Jews. The immoral Samaritan woman comes at a time when no one else would be at the well.
John 4:7-15 The woman was shocked that a Jew would dare to even speak to a Samaritan. Jesus did better than that. He said you could ask Me for water, and I would gladly give it to you, a special kind of living water (Holy Spirit dwelling within a believer ) where you would never be thirsty again and have to keep coming to this well. Jesus was speaking spiritual water unto Eternal Life. The woman was thinking physical water.
Notes: Jesus took the initiative in speaking to a Samaritan woman—an astonishing break with culture and tradition, showing his desire to save the lost. Jesus used the woman’s need for physical water to sustain life in this arid region in order to serve as an object lesson for her need for spiritual transformation.
Notes: A person’s deepest spiritual longing to know God personally will, amazingly, be satisfied forever.
John 4:16-19 Jesus tested the woman by asking her to bring her husband. The woman was honest about her situation, and this was asked by Jesus to show the woman that He was not some ordinary Jew, for He knew about her life. Jesus moves from the gift of living water to the Himself, the Giver of the water.
John 4:20-26 The Samaritans kept to themselves and did not follow the rules of the Jews in Jerusalem. The woman wanted to know exactly the proper physical place to worship God. Jesus said that an hour is coming (Right after Jesus’ death), true worshippers will worship anywhere because your body becomes the temple of God and the Spirit lives within you. The Father is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit (proper heart attitude) and truth (consistent with the revealed Scripture and centered on the “Word made flesh” who ultimately revealed his Father ). The woman perceiving Jesus’ spiritual wisdom brought to her mind that prophecy that a Messiah was promised who will come and explain all things. Jesus says, “I am He”.
Notes: The Samaritans had their own version of the Pentateuch (The first five books of the Old Testament), their own temple on Mount Gerizim (see 4:20), and their own rendering of Israelite history.
John 4:27-38 The woman went back into her town to tell everyone she believes the Messiah is here. The townspeople came to see for themselves. Jesus is now attempting to open His disciple’s eyes about what His mission is all about, and that the will of His Father is to save those who are lost. Those that work to help gather souls for Heaven are producing fruit for Eternal Life. Jesus said this as the Samaritans approached (The harvest) and instructed His disciples to reap what others worked (sowed) to prepare their hearts for salvation. Those workers who sowed are all the OT writers and prophets. Jesus’ followers are the beneficiaries of their work and will bring in the harvest.
Notes: In the physical realm, there is a period of time between sowing and harvesting. But in the spiritual realm, Jesus’ coming has already ushered in the end-time harvest in which sowing and reaping coincide, so that the “crop” of believers is now being gathered into God’s kingdom. The immediate reference may be to the approaching Samaritans who are going to believe in Jesus. Jesus is also attempting to train His disciples to use their spiritual eyes about what is going on in the spiritual realm and not just the physical realm.
John 4:39-43 It is amazing to note that the first recorded gathering of true believers of Jesus were not pious religious Jews, but forsaken, half-breeds that were despised and not welcomed into the community of Jewish worship.
John 4:44-54 Jesus is now back in Cana of Galilee where the wedding took place from His journey back from Jerusalem for the Passover. An official who heard about this man Jesus and the things He did in Jerusalem asked Jesus to come and heal is son. Jesus, knowing the man’s heart, knew he was only after the healing of His son, not for what Jesus could really provide. Jesus, because of His great love and compassion, healed the man’s son anyway. When the official worked out in his mind the time his son recovered was the same time Jesus gave His word of healing, he believed and His entire household in who Jesus claimed to be. This was Jesus’ second sign He performed in Galilee.