John 4:1-26

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 6, 1995

Introduction

Jesus had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. There He met with Nicodemus (chapter 3)

After that, Jesus and His disciples went into the land of Judaea and were baptizing.

John the Baptist was confronted by the Jews, and they wondered how he felt about the fact that Jesus was attracting more followers than he was.

:1-26 The Woman at the Well

:1-3 Going North

:1 When therefore the Lord knew ...

Jesus has heard that the Pharisees were giving John a hard time about not having as many followers as Jesus.

:3 He left Judaea

Jesus leaves the southern part of Israel, where both He and John the Baptist were ministering, and heads to the northern part of Israel.

The reason Jesus left to go back north, was to end the controversy over the numbers that were coming to Him and John.

Lesson:

It's all about people, not fame

Jesus could have "gone for the jugular", ministry against ministry, and really have cleaned up.

The flow of the numbers was coming His way.

John was on the way out!

But Jesus is more concerned about the people involved in this whole situation, namely John the Baptist.

We live in a dog-eat-dog world.

If you're going to get ahead in business, then you have to crush the competition.

That's not Jesus' way of doing things.

:4-26 An appointment in Samaria

:4 He must needs go through Samaria

lit. - it was of a necessity that Jesus go through Samaria.

History Review:

On Wednesday night, we're studying about how the kingdom of Israel is going to divide into two countries.

During the reign of King Solomon's son, Rehoboam, the nation was divided.

The northern kingdom was ruled by a man named Jeroboam, and was known as Israel, or, Ephraim.

It's capital was the city of Samaria.

The southern kingdom was ruled by Rehoboam, and all it's kings were descendants of King David. It was known as Judah, named after the main tribe in it.

It's capital was Jerusalem.

Samaria

Because of increasing wickedness, the northern kingdom was eventually conquered by the Assyrians in 722 b.c.

The Assyrians took part of the people away and scattered them throughout their empire.

Then they took people from other conquered countries, and brought them into Israel.

The two groups intermarried, and formed a race that we call the Samaritans.

At first, the Assyrians didn't let any form of worship to Yahweh to continue.

When the wild animals started killing lots of people, they figured that Yahweh was mad.

They brought back some priests, and started a hybrid religion, kind of like Judaism, but kind of twisted.

These Samaritans were not well liked by the Jews.

They were considered traitors, half-breeds, and heretics.

A good Jewish person would do everything they could to avoid a Samaritan.

Which makes the parable of the good Samaritan kind of interesting.

Judaea

The southern kingdom, meanwhile continued on until 586 b.c., when it was eventually conquered by Babylon.

The Babylonians took most of the people captive to Babylon.

In Babylon, the Jews kept to themselves and did not intermarry with Gentiles.

After 70 years, the Jews were allowed to go back to their homeland and rebuild.

They settled mainly in the south, and the land became known as Judaea, after the tribe of Judah.

Galilee

When the northern kingdom fell to Assyria in 722 b.c., the Jews were all but gone from Galilee.

After the Jews from the south came back from Babylon, the north was still mostly a Gentile place.

About 200 years before Jesus, the Jews began to expand up in the north, and by Jesus' time, there was a large Jewish population in Galilee.

It was the region where Jesus did most of His ministry.

This all brings us to our point.

It would seem obvious that if Jesus was in the south, and had to go to the northern part, that He would have to pass through Samaria.

But the Jews didn't like the Samaritans, and usually avoided them at all costs.

And the Samaritans didn't like the Jews.

Once, when going through Samaria, none of the motels let Jesus stay there, because He was on His way to Jerusalem. (Luk.9:53)

It doesn't make sense for Jesus, a good Jewish boy, to have to go through Samaria.

We aren't sure exactly where Jesus was when He was in Judaea, but where ever it was, as a good Jew, He would usually take the long road home to avoid Samaria.

He didn't have to go through Samaria.

Except for the appointment He had inked into His daytimer.

Jesus was not one to show up late for an appointment.

Lesson:

Jesus makes appointments for all kinds

You may not feel exactly like the kind of person that Jesus would want to meet with.

But He does want an appointment with you.

You may feel like a dirty rotten sinner.

But Jesus wants an appointment with you.

How do you know He wants an appointment with you.

You'll feel your heart quicken, and wish this service was over so you could get out of here.

You'll know.

:5 Sychar

A small town about a mile from the city of Shechem.

On Wednesday night, we read that the people brought Rehoboam to Shechem, and made him king there.

The town is now called 'Askar.

It's about 30 miles north of Jerusalem, and about 6 miles SE of Samaria

:5 Jacob gave to his son Joseph

We're told that Jacob bought a piece of land near Shechem from the descendants of Hamor:

Genesis 33:19-AV And he bought a parcel of a field, where he had spread his tent, at the hand of the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, for an hundred pieces of money.

When Joseph was buried, he was buried in Shechem, and this land had been given to Joseph.

Joshua 24:32-AV And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for an hundred pieces of silver: and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

:6 Jacob's well was there

Maundrell, who visited it in 1697, said that it was 105 feet deep, and had in it fifteen feet of water. But travelers have thrown stones into it to sound its depth, until at present it is only 66 feet deep, and has no water in it except in very wet winters.

It is seven and half feet in diameter, and is walled with masonry to a depth of about ten feet, below which it is cut through the solid rock.

It lies 400 yards nearly due south from Joseph's tomb.

As the neighborhood abounds in springs, the well would hardly have been dug save by one who wished to be independent of his neighbors--as Jacob did.

:6 being wearied with his journey

wearied - (kopiao) 1) to grow weary, tired, exhausted (with toil or burdens or grief)

"Now wait a minute," you say. "I thought you told us that Jesus was God in the flesh. How could He get tired?"

Correct.

He was fully God.

But He was also fully man.

And as a man, He experienced all the kinds of things you and I do.

He got hungry. He got thirsty. He got tired.

He experienced temptation.

Lesson:

Jesus understands you

Have you ever talked to a person about your problems, and had them act as if they understood all about you, but you know deep down inside, that they don't have a clue?

More than anyone else, Jesus really understands you.

Hebrews 4:15-16 NAS For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as [we are, yet] without sin. 16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need.

Illustrations:

President Ford

When former president Gerald Ford visited Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma several years ago, he had breakfast with some student leaders. As one of the students stepped out of an elevator, her heel caught on the carpet and she crashed into Ford. She repeatedly apologized as he helped her to her feet, but the former president smiled sympathetically. "Don't worry, young lady," he said. "I understand perfectly."

The Painting of the Storm

Joseph Mallord Turner, English painter, invited Charles Kingsley to his studio to see a picture of a storm at sea. In rapt admiration, Kingsley exclaimed, "It's wonderful! It's so realistic! How did you do it?"

The artist replied, "I went to the coast of Holland and engaged a fisherman to take me out to sea in the next storm. Entering his boat as a storm was brewing, I asked him to bind me to the mast. Then he steered his boat into the teeth of the storm.

"The storm raged with such fury that at times I longed to be in the bottom of the boat where the waves would blow over me. I could not, however. I was bound to the mast. Not only did I see the storm in its raging fury, I felt it! It blew into me, as it were, until I became a part of it. After this terrible ordeal, I returned to my studio and painted the picture."

And because Jesus knows just what we're going through:

Hebrews 2:18 NAS For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.

:6 the sixth hour

If we were keeping time in Jewish time, it would be noon.

But we believe that in his writing, John is using Roman time, which means it is 6:00 p.m., the usual time to go and draw water.

:7 a woman of Samaria

Jesus' appointment shows up.

Note: She's a woman. She's a Samaritan.

:7 Give me to drink

Jesus asks her for help.

He's drawing her in.

:8 to buy meat

Jesus had apparently sent the boys into town to pick up some burgers at MacDonald's.

:9 How is it that thou ...

She is blown away with the fact that Jesus has even paid attention to her.

:10 the gift of God

What is "the gift of God"? (Greek - dorea)

1. It very well could be referring to Jesus Himself (many Bible teachers teach this).

John 3:16-AV For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

2. I believe Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit.

Several places in the New Testament, it is called "a gift".

Acts 2:38-AV Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift (dorea) of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 10:45-AV And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift (dorea) of the Holy Ghost.

Luke 11:13-AV If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

:10 who it is that saith to thee

After all, who is it talking to her?

It's Jesus, the Messiah! The Son of God!

And in relation to the Holy Spirit, Jesus is the one who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.

John 1:33-AV And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

:10 living water

Living water can refer to running water like a spring or well supplied by springs.

Jacob's Well was filled by water from rains percolating through, a sort of cistern.

It was good water, but not equal to a real spring which was always preferred.

Is this what Jesus is talking about?

Or does He mean something else?

I believe Jesus is kind of drawing the woman in closer and closer.

Kind of like getting the hook set in the mouth of a fish.

:11 thou hast nothing to draw with

That's why Jesus asked her for a drink.

:11 the well is deep

Remember, it's around 100 feet deep, at least.

:11 from whence ... that living water?

She thinks Jesus is talking about getting water from some sort of a spring or something.

:12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob ...?

Well, yes in fact.

:13 Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again

If you get a drink from Jacob's well, sooner or later you're going to get thirsty again and want some more.

That's the way it is in the physical world.

You're always going to want more.

Nothing in the physical world seems to give a sense of real satisfaction, more than for a moment.

Lesson:

There's lots of ways to quench a thirst.

We all have a deep thirst inside of us.

And there's lots of ways to quench it.

Adventure sports - thrill seeking, hang gliding, etc.

Drugs

Alcohol

Sex

Marriage

Friendships

Family - having kids

The Bible says ...

Proverbs 27:20-AV Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied.

How can we ever quench a thirst like that?

:14 shall never thirst

Now that's some kind of thirst quencher!

Note:

Jesus is talking about spiritual thirst.

He doesn't mean that you'll never drink real water again.

He doesn't mean that you'll never have physical needs anymore.

The thirst Jesus is talking about is deeper than the physical.

It's that deep dissatisfaction that you feel inside of yourself.

It's a gnawing, empty feeling that we often try to fill up with physical things.

If you drink what He has to offer you, the spiritual thirst will be satisfied.

Illustration:

From a former Lesbian:

Thank you for your recent radio program, "Hope for the Homosexual." which aired in April. I am a former lesbian. After many years in the gay community, I joined a Christian women's Bible study, where I met happy, healthy, normal Christian women who treated me with respect. I'd never had my emotional needs met before. My mother had rejected me and the lesbian community was always looking for "lovers." Being around real Christians was the most healing experience I've had. I haven't listened to "Focus on the Family" broadcasts regularly, but after today, I intend to never miss it again!

-- Focus on the Family Magazine, August, 1994, p. 16.

Malcolm Muggeridge, famous journalist who found Jesus:

I may, I suppose, regard myself, or pass for being, a relatively successful man. People occasionally stare at me in the streets -- that's fame. I can fairly easily earn enough to qualify for admission to the higher slopes of the Internal Revenue -- that's success. Furnished with money and little fame even the elderly, if they care to, may partake of trendy diversions -- that's pleasure. It might happen once in a while that something I said or wrote was sufficiently heeded for me to persuade myself that it represented a serious impact on our time -- that's fulfillment. Yet I say to you and I beg you to believe me. Multiply these tiny triumphs by a million, add them all together, and they are nothingless than nothing; a positive impediment measured against one draught of that living water Christ offers to the spiritually thirsty, irrespective of who or what they are.

-- Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus Rediscovered, p. 61.

:14 in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life

Aha! Jesus isn't just talking about well water, but about spiritual things!.

Living Water is another term used to describe the Holy Spirit.

John 7:37-39 AV In the last day, that great [day] of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet [given]; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

Lesson:

Drink the Living Waters!

It's very, very simple.

1. Be thirsty.

2. Come to Jesus.

3. Drink - believe.

:15 neither come hither to draw

She still hasn't caught on yet.

She's thinking that Jesus has some kind of miracle water for a physical thirst.

So Jesus, as a fisherman, throws out another line, with another hook in it.

:16 Go, call thy husband

Jesus changes His tactic.

Sounds like a pretty innocent request, doesn't it?

She's probably saying to herself, "Here's another one of those male-chauvinists who won't be bothered to talk to a woman..."

But that's not it at all.

Jesus is drawing her out.

:17 I have no husband

She thinks about it.

She's feeling kind of awkward about now.

A little uneasy.

:17 thou hast said well

Give the little lady a prize!

:18 five husbands ... not thy husband

Jesus is talking to her about her thirst.

This woman has had a thirst in the area of relationships.

She's been just looking for the right man to really make her happy.

And she has found that every time she drinks from the well, she thirsts again.

If Jesus were talking to you, what would He be pointing out right now?

By the way, how did Jesus know all this about her?

He may be fully man, but He's also fully God.

He knows more about her than she does.

:19 I perceive that thou are a prophet

A slight understatement.

:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain

I think this is kind of the turning point for this woman.

She's beginning to realize that Jesus is talking about spiritual things.

So she wants to clear up one of the major, fundamental differences between the Jews and the Samaritans.

The Samaritans believed that worship should be done on Mount Gerizim (within viewing distance of Sychar), while the Jews believed worship should be done in Jerusalem.

Samaritan worship:

During the time of Nehemiah, one of the priests, named Manasseh, was married to the Persian governor over Samaria, Sanballat.

When Nehemiah kicked him out of the priesthood for not giving up his pagan wife, Sanballat built a temple for him on Mount Gerizim, and set up another priesthood under him.

Eventually, this temple was destroyed by John Hyrcanus B.C. 129.

The Samaritans kept up this worship on this mountain and a handful do it still.

The Samaritans taught several perversions to the Scriptures:

(1) Paradise was on the summit of Mt. Gerizim

(2) Adam was formed of the dust of Gerizim

(3) On Gerizim Adam reared his first altar

(4) Seth here reared his first altar

(5) Gerizim was the Ararat on which the Ark rested, and the only spot which the flood did not overflow; and therefore the only place which escaped the defilement of dead bodies

(6) on it Noah reared his altar

(7) here Abraham attempted to offer Isaac

(8) here he met Melchizedek

(9) here was the real Bethel, where Jacob slept and saw his ladder vision

These are all incredibly bad corruptions to the truth.

Yet the people perpetuated it because their fathers did so.

It's kind of like what I see going on in some of the cults.

They have the most incredible lies.

Yet everybody swallows it hook, line, and sinker.

They've been doing it for years!

:20 ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place

She means that the Jews say that Jerusalem is the place to worship.

Jesus is a Jew. She's telling Him what His viewpoint is.

:22 ye worship ye know not what

As do people in the cults.

What they're worshipping isn't in line with the truth at all.

The Samaritan religion was bogus.

:22 we know what we worship

The Jews at least had their doctrine correct.

:22 salvation is from the Jews

The Messiah would come from the Jews.

In fact, He was standing there, right in front of her!

:23 worship the Father in spirit and truth

More on this in a minute ...

:23 the Father seeketh such to worship him.

zhteo - to seek in order to find (present, active, indicative)

It's a constant search that God is on.

Lessons:

Worship is more than on Sundays

God is constantly looking for worshippers, not just on Sundays.

If you're a worshipper, then you're what God's looking for.

He's got His eye on you.

Don't feel like you're not important.

:24 God is a Spirit

This is part of God's nature.

He does not have a body like the Mormon church likes to teach.

Because God is by nature a Spirit, then worship of Him must take place with our spirit.

:24 worship him in spirit and in truth

worship - (proskuneo) - to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence.

It is a word that talks of adoration, praise, awe, reverence.

It is not the word used for the temple service, like sacrifices and such, which were also called worship (latreuo - to perform sacred services...).

Jesus is not talking about worship in the sense of rituals, but in the sense of adoration.

spirit - that inner part of us.

Since God is a Spirit, then He must be worshipped with our own human spirit.

Worship is something that takes place inside of you, not outside of you.

It is not limited to a location, such as worshipping in Jerusalem, or in the YMCA.

It is not based on your outward actions, like singing, lifting your hands, etc.

It is based on whether or not your inner person is in a state of adoration and reverence before God.

truth - is truth ...

This was a woman who had been immersed in a culture that was based on lies.

If you're going to worship God, it's got to be completely truthful.

What you believe about God has to be the truth.

It's got to be based on the real Scriptures, and not some goofball's perversion of them.

What you think about yourself has to be the truth.

You can't be trying to pretend to be something you're not.

You can't fool God.

Lesson:

Be a true worshipper.

1. Worship - it's all about adoration, not rituals.

2. Spirit - it's all about what happens inside you, not outside.

3. Truth - Are you grounded in God's truth? Is your relationship with God based on the Scriptures?

:26 I that speak unto thee am he

Is it any clearer that Jesus is claiming to be the Messiah?

Yet there are people who will still try and claim that Jesus never claimed to be the Messiah.

They'll say stuff like, "It was Paul who made up the part about Jesus being the Messiah and God and stuff..."

Here's Jesus' own words.

What are you going to do with Jesus?

Are you going to keep drinking from water that just makes you thirsty again?

Do you want to finally get down to doing the right thing?