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"Where do you get that living water?"
Third Sunday in Lent
A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah
John 4:5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
The Whitened Harvest
John 4:27 Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"
The Savior of the World
John 4:39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I ever did."
[John 4:9] Upset by the northern kingdom's defection to Egypt in 722 B.C., Sargon destroyed Samaria, the capital, carried her inhabitants to Assyria, and replaced them with foreigners who integrated with the remnant (2 Kin. 17:6, 24; 18:10). In time, the monotheism of Israel became dominant, but a mixture of religious and racial intermarriage produced a people who became known as the Samaritans. When the southern kingdom returned from the captivity, the first signs of schism were evident in their refusal to accept assistance from Samaria for rebuilding the temple (Ezra 4). Sanballat, who was then governor of Samaria, built a temple on Mount Gerizim ("this mountain," v. 20) to rival that in Jerusalem. To add to the ongoing mutual animosity, John Hyrcanus destroyed the temple in Samaria in 128 B.C. The words "have no dealings with" (sunchraomia, Gk.) probably refer here to the sharing of vessels for food or drink. The disciples' purchasing of food seems to indicate some commercial "dealings." The comment may have reference to Jesus' request, which is equivalent to the sharing of vessels.
[John 4:10] The significance of Jesus' offer as Provider is grounded in the O.T., where Yahweh is referred to as the fountain of living waters (Jer. 2:13; 17:13). In 7:37-39 the living water is identified as the Holy Spirit, whose presence results in all the blessings of eternal life, an endless supply indeed.
[John 4:22] The promised Messiah, the Savior of all mankind, comes into the world as a member of the line of David and of the tribe of Judah.
[John 4:23] The true worship of God will be afforded by Christ's death (His hour) since it removes the barrier imposed by sin.
[John 4:25] This word "Messiah" means "the Anointed One." For the disciples it was easy to call Jesus the "Messiah," but the evidence points to a substantial lapse of time before they came to an adequate understanding of the term. The title "Messiah," or the Greek Christos, connects Christ with the O.T. prophecy of a coming Prophet (Deut. 18:15-18), Priest (Ps. 110:4), and King (2 Sam. 7:12, 13). For a fuller discussion of the Messiah, cf. Matt. 1:1, note. Notice the progression of Jesus' revelation of Himself and the woman's growing comprehension of who He is.
[John 4:24] The emphasis lies on Spirit as God's essence. He is free from the limitations of time and space. No idols and no images need assist us in worship. True worshipers worship in spirit and truth. Truth is the ultimate reality, which only God can fully know.
[John 4:29] The Samaritans expect a Messiah because there are prophecies about Him in the Pentateuch. Since the Samaritans reject the rest of the O.T., their notion about Him is inadequate and flawed, but to the Samaritan woman Jesus discloses the truth of His messiahship. Other Samaritans come to believe through her witness and confession, in agreement with John's thesis (20:31), "This is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world" (v. 42).
[John 4: 35] Using the analogy of the grain harvest, Jesus points to the soul harvest which is ready (the Samaritans, coming from the city, may have been in sight), but the disciples are still seemingly unaware of this more important harvest.
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