John 4:25-42

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 22, 2009


Operation Christmas Child – two more days…

Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision

A few weeks ago we started to look at Jesus’ trip through Samaria.

Even though most good Jewish people did everything they could to avoid Samaria, John records that Jesus

 (John 4:4 NKJV) …needed to go through Samaria.

Jesus had an appointment with a certain Samaritan woman.

Show Gospel of John clip.

:25-26 The Messiah

:25 The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When He comes, He will tell us all things."

:25 Messiah – “anointed” (the Hebrew word); the Greek form is “Christ

This is the Jewish word for “Savior”, the One who would one day deliver Israel from all its enemies. The Messiah was “anointed” because all kings and priests were initiated with oil being poured on them. The Messiah would be “anointed” because the Spirit of God would be on Him.

The Samaritans, even though their religion had twisted many of the scriptures, they still held to the belief that one day the Messiah would come.

He will tellanaggello – to announce, make known; to report

:26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."

He is saying literally, “I AM, the one who is speaking to you”

:26 I amego eimi

This is the Greek form of God’s name, Yahweh. We get this from:

(Exo 3:14 NKJV) And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
In the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the phrase “I AM” is ego eimi.

Jesus is not just acknowledging that He is the Messiah, He is letting her know that He is the “I AM”, Yahweh, God in flesh.

This phrase (ego eimi) is found throughout the Gospel of John, and you don’t often see it in the English because the translators tend to “help” by adding extra words. Here are some of the more interesting occurrences:

(John 8:58-59 NKJV) Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." {59} Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
The Jews knew what He was saying. They picked up rocks because they thought He was committing blasphemy, claiming to be God. But is it blasphemy when you actually ARE God?
(John 8:24 NKJV) "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins."
The words in italics are added by the translators to help with the sense of the passage. Sometimes the added words take away the impact of what Jesus was saying.

If you do not believe that Jesus is God, you will die in your sins.

I have to confess to you I didn’t do well this week. We got a call from someone saying he had a “Bible question”. It turned out that he wanted to argue over whether or not Jesus was God. After about thirty seconds I could tell he really didn’t have a question, he was out to show me that I was wrong. My mind froze up. I ended up telling him I wasn’t wired for debating, excused myself, and hung up. This was one of the verses I was trying to find while he was pounding me with questions. I have to laugh to think I didn’t even think of John 1:1.

(John 8:28 NKJV) Then Jesus said to them, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things.
Putting Him on the cross will show just who He is.
(John 18:4-6 NKJV) Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" {5} They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them. {6} Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground.
Jesus was trying to make sure that He was the only one arrested in the Garden. But the impact of Him just saying those words, ego eimi, put the guards on the ground. What a powerful God we serve!

Jesus is not only the Messiah, He is also the great “I AM”.

:27-30 The Woman’s Witness

:27 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why are You talking with her?"

:27 a woman – they weren’t just marveling that He was talking to this particular woman, but that He was talking to any woman.

Before Jesus came along, women were generally considered second-class people, even among Jews.

Jews felt it was simply indecent for a man to be talking for a long time with a woman.  They felt it was even worse if a man talked to a woman in the streets.
“do not multiply discourse with a woman, with his wife they say, much less with his neighbor's wife: hence the wise men say, at whatsoever time a man multiplies discourse with a woman, he is the cause of evil to himself, and ceases from the words of the law, and at last shall go down into hell.”(Gill)
 “let not a man talk with a woman in the streets, even with his wife; and there is no need to say with another man's wife.” (Gill)
And wives, you think your husbands don't talk to you enough!

A husband, looking through the newspaper, came upon a study that said women use more words than men. Excited to prove to his wife his long-held contention that women in general, and his wife in particular, talked too much, he showed her the study results. The report stated: “Men use about 15,000 words per day, but women use 30,000.” His wife thought awhile, then finally she said to her husband, “It’s because we have to repeat everything we say.” The husband said, “What?”

The Rabbis said that one of the six things that was the absolutely worst thing a rabbi could do (and Jesus was looked at as a rabbi):
“let him not talk with a woman in the street, though she is his wife, or his sister, or his daughter.”

Now I understand the importance of not doing things that would lead to temptation or doing things that might leave you open to false accusation.

But Jesus didn’t take those concerns to the point where He didn’t talk to women at all.

:27 marveledthaumazo – to wonder, wonder at, marvel

fromtheaomai – to behold, look upon, view attentively, contemplate

It blew their mind that Jesus was talking to a woman.

But no one had the courage to ask what was going on…


A friend to the friendless

Do you know what a “reject” looks like?  A person whom society “rejects” and declares “strange”?
It might be a homeless person who hasn’t bathed in months.
It might be the nerd at work that people don’t include in the Friday lunch plans.
It might be the person that gets everybody mad at them because they’re just not very nice.
Norma McCorvey had a rough life. She was raped as a teen-ager, sold drugs, dropped out of high school and married briefly when she was 16.  In the early 1970’s, she was pregnant again, and a couple of lawyers took her as their test case to overturn the Texas state law that prohibited abortion.
She was the anonymous “Jane Roe” in the famous landmark case “Roe v. Wade”, the case that opened the doors to abortion in our nation.
The first time that Flip Benham met Norma, it was at a book-signing.  He shouted at her that she was “responsible for the deaths of over 33 million children”.  Six months later Flip opened the national headquarters of Operation Rescue next door to an abortion clinic where McCorvey was working at the time.
McCorvey initially resisted any contact, but eventually started to talk to Benham during her smoking breaks. During one friendly conversation, Norma goaded Flip, “What you need is to go to a good Beach Boys concert.” Flip answered, “Miss Norma, I haven’t been to a Beach Boys concert since 1976.”
Norma later reported that it was this simple, kind little response that shook her to the core and that, quite suddenly, Benham became human to her. She later accepted an invitation to visit their church and within a year, Flip baptized her and she went from being pro-choice to pro-life, which she is today.
What do you feel like when a “reject” comes up to talk to you?
Do you try to find excuses to go away?
The person we may feel the most uncomfortable around, might be the very person Jesus has an appointment with.

:28 The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men,

:29 "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"

:30 Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

Remember the reason she came out to the well in the first place?  It was to fill her pot up with water.  And then she met a man who talked to her about “living water”…

(John 4:13-14 NKJV)  Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, {14} "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."

We talked about how people try to fill their lives with all sorts of things, things that don’t satisfy.
We talked last week about how she has tried to fill her life with men – having been married five times.
And Jesus offered her something that would fill that inner thirst, that inner emptiness.

:28 leftaphiemi – to send away; of a husband divorcing his wife; to let go

You might even translate this, “she divorced her waterpot”

It might be that she simply doesn’t want to take the time to lug the waterpot back to town.

It could be that the focus of her life is no more on waterpots.

Perhaps her “thirst” has been quenched.
She is now finished with “divorcing” men, and has now “divorced” herself from her waterpot.

:28  said to the men

You might say that her “waterpot” was always being filled with “men”.  And these are the very people she goes back to in order to tell them that she has changed.  If anyone will see she’s changed, it’s them.

What was her life's problems wrapped up with?

Men (married to five, currently living with a man...)

Who would know best what her life's problems were?


So who does she go back and tell?


Who pays attention to this woman and her story?



Public salvation

I hear a lot of people say that your relationship with God is kind of a private thing.
In other words, they don't want you telling others about Jesus all the time.
But if you had just discovered a cure for the AIDS virus, and it was so simple that anybody could cure themselves.  And worst of all, all your family and friends were dying of AIDS, wouldn't you want to tell a few people about it?
Jesus said that our faith in Him HAD to be public:
(Mat 10:32-33 NKJV)  "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. {33} "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.

:31-34 Spiritual Food

:31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat."

:32 But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know."

foodbrosis – that which is eaten, food, ailment

:33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?"

The disciples had left Jesus alone by the well in order to go into the city and buy some food. But now that they’ve come back with their food, Jesus doesn’t seem to be very hungry any more.

:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

(Circle these words in your Bibles)

:34 to do – literally, “that I do”

:34 willthelema – what one wishes to be done; choice, desire, pleasure

:34 to finishteleioo – to make perfect, complete; to accomplish; Literally, “that I finish”

We’ve talked about spiritual “drink”, the living water that God has for us, how He is able to fill that “God-shaped-hole” inside of each of us.

Now we’re going to talk about spiritual “food”.

The kinds of things that sustain us, that keep us going.


Spiritual Food

Thanksgiving is a time when we know what it means to be “full”, to be “satisfied”.
'Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
But I just couldn't sleep.
I tried counting backwards,
I tried counting sheep
The leftovers beckoned
The dark meat and white,
But I fought the temptation with all of my might.
Tossing and turning with anticipation,
The thought of a snack became infatuation!
So I raced to the kitchen,
Flung open the door,
And gazed at the fridge full of goodies galore.
I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
Pickles and carrots, beans and tomatoes.
I felt myself swelling so plump and so round,
Till all of a sudden, I rose off the ground!!
I crashed through the ceiling, floated into the sky
With a mouthful of pudding and a handful of pie,
But I managed to yell
as I soared past the trees ...
Finding spiritual food will also bring a sense of “satisfaction”.
Jesus didn’t feel like eating any of the food the fellows brought back from town because He had a sense of “satisfaction” from what had just happened.
Jesus gives us several qualities of what “spiritual food” is all about:
1. Find out what pleases God.
What is His will?

It starts by believing in Jesus.

(John 6:28-29 NKJV)  Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" {29} Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

It will include the things in the Bible like …

(Eph 6:5-6 NKJV)  Bondservants, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart, as to Christ; {6} not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart,

(1 Th 4:3 NKJV)  For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality;

(1 Th 5:16-18 NKJV)  Rejoice always, {17} pray without ceasing, {18} in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

These are things that are God’s will for all of us, for all believers.

It will include a specific plan for your life.

For Jesus, He said that He was satisfied when HE did God’s will for Him and when HE finished the work.  He knew what God had specifically for Him.

(Jer 29:11 NASB)  'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.

(Eph 2:10 NLT)  For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so that we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

The more you walk with God and yield yourself to God, the more you discover, step by step, the things that God wants specifically for your life.

(Rom 12:1-2 NLT)  And so, dear Christian friends, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? {2} Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.

The more we learn to walk with God, the more we find out what His specific will is for our life.

2. Do what pleases God.
(James 1:22 NKJV)  But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.

We are only fooling ourselves if we think that all we need to do is learn a lot of Bible verses.

God’s Word is of no value to us unless we do it.

Jesus said that His food was when HE did the will of God.


At age 35 I bought running shoes and began enjoying the smooth rhythms of long-distance running. Soon I was competing in 10K races every month or so, and then a marathon once a year. By then I was subscribing to and reading three running magazines! Then I pulled a muscle and couldn’t run for a couple of months. Those magazines were still all over the house, but I never opened one. The moment I resumed running, though, I started reading again.

That’s when I realized that my reading was an extension of something I was a part of. I was reading for companionship and affirmation of the experience of running. I learned a few things along the way, but mostly it was to deepen my world of running. If I wasn’t running, there was nothing to deepen.

The parallel with reading Scripture is striking. If I’m not living in active response to the living God, reading about his creation/salvation/holiness won’t hold my interest for long. The most important question isn’t “What does this mean,” but “What can I obey?” Simple obedience will open up our lives to a text more quickly than any number of Bible studies, dictionaries, and concordances.

Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book (William B. Eerdmans, 2006), pp. 70-71; paraphrased in the September 18 entry of Men of Integrity (September/October 2009)

3. Finish what you start.
God’s will for Jesus included the cross

At times He was tempted, perhaps even reluctant to follow God’s will to the end.  In the garden He prayed,

(Luke 22:42 NKJV)  …"Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."

Yet Jesus kept true to God’s will.  It was on the cross …

(John 19:30 NKJV) So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

This is the same word that Jesus used in our passage, to “finish” God’s will.

Sometimes we start things that we’re not supposed to finish.
But sometimes we’re tempted to quit things that we should finish.
When we first took our first trip to Russia, I was a bit reluctant.

I didn’t have my passport.  I couldn’t imagine being that far from home.  And without my family.

When we left for Russia, it was a LONG flight.  Way too long.  I was way too nervous.

When we got to Russia and boarded the train to Kirov, it was a LONG train ride.  Sleeping in a bouncing train car with people I hardly knew … not my idea of fun.

Being out on the streets of Kirov handing out invitations to our concerts, not in my comfort zone.

Being asked to do a message without any preparation, without any notice, way out of my comfort zone.

Playing on a strange stage, crazy wild stage lighting, not real excited about the music we played … not fun.

But seeing God at work and kids coming to Christ … I got hooked.  I wanted to go back.  Again and again.

It was on that first trip that Drew took his first trip to Russia.  Now he’s there full time.
It was on that first trip that Caleb took his first mission trip.  Now he’s in Hungary full time.
It was on that first trip that we met one of the musicians, Alexi, and this year we are going to help Alexi plant his own church in the town next to Kirov.
I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to quit.  I’m really glad I didn’t.
It’s important to finish what you start.
For Jesus, this trip to Samaria was one of the things God had for Him.
And He’s still not finished.  He’s going to stay around for a couple more days.

Are you experiencing true “satisfaction”?  Find God’s will.  Do it.  Finish it.

God wants us to endure.

(2 Tim 2:3 NKJV)  You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

(2 Tim 2:10 NKJV)  Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect…

(2 Tim 2:12 NKJV)  If we endure, We shall also reign with Him…

:35-38 White Harvest

:35 "Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!

:35 four months

From Wikipedia: “Wheat normally requires between 110 and 130 days between planting and harvest”.

In other words, it takes four months from planting to harvest.

We could adopt a farmer’s attitude when it comes to evangelism and think that if we are planting seeds, that we ought to be patient because sometimes it takes awhile for the seed to grow and for the person to make a decision to follow Jesus.
But sometimes God’s harvest doesn’t take any time at all.
This woman found Jesus and believed right then and there. She has then taken the harvest, sown seeds with the men of the city, and now they too are ready to believe.

:35 looktheaomai – to behold, look upon, view attentively, contemplate

A word related to “marveled” in verse 27. They had been “marveling” at Jesus talking to the woman. What they really needed to “marvel” at was the the harvest in front of them.

:35 white for harvest – a wheat field turns from green to white when it reaches harvest time.

Jesus isn’t talking about the wheat fields around the city.  He’s talking about the people coming out of the city.

If the disciples would look up and see the people coming out of the city, they would realize that the city is already ready for a harvest.

:36 "And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.

(John 4:36 NLT) The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!

:37 "For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.'

:38 "I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."

Who sowed the seeds that led to this harvest?

The prophets – even though the Samaritans had a twisted religion, it had a kernel of truth in it.

The woman – She has now gone into the city and sown seeds.

We’ll see even the seeds that Jesus has sown bearing fruit in a few years when Philip the evangelist goes to Samaria and a HUGE revival breaks out (Acts 8).

:39-42 Samaritan Harvest

:39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all that I ever did."

:40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.

:41 And many more believed because of His own word.

:42 Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

Play “Samaritans Believe” video clip

This is our goal, not for people to believe in Jesus because of what we say, but for them to come to Him and find out for themselves.


Harvest Lessons

Look (:35)
Lift up your eyes…
Back in my college days when I was a part of Campus Crusade for Christ, I was taught to go up to the top of the Humanities Building at CSUF and just sit and watch the people.
Chuck Smith and his wife Kay used to go down to the Huntington Beach pier and just watch the hippies.
Drive through the town.  Stop and have coffee at Starbucks.
Walk your block.
Share (:29)
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say, “Come and see”
You don’t even have to have all the answers.
You might be a person who only plants seeds.
You might even have the joy of bringing someone to Christ.
Jesus (:42)
Our goal is not to have people follow us.
Our goal is not to “fix” everyone around us.
Our goal is to have people follow Jesus.
We want people to say, “we ourselves have heard Him …”