The beginning of this chapter is really a continuation from the last.
John 4:1: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,
The Pharisees were angry that John was baptizing and it wasn’t time for them to take hold of Christ.
John 4:2: (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)
It is important that Christ doesn’t baptize the masses. Just as he didn’t feed the 4000 and the 5000 with the loaves and fishes. The disciples did. He blessed it and gave to his disciples and they gave it to the people. We see this again in the millennium age when only the overcomers are able to go into the temple to commune with him and those overcomers go out to the people.
John 4:3: He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.
John 4:4: And he must needs go through Samaria.
Location is very important when trying to understand everything the Lord is trying to show us. Samaria is located north of Judaea and is part of the old Israel Kingdom. As you may know the kingdom split in two. The northern 10 tribes called Israel or Ephraim and the southern two forming Judah. The northern kingdom continued on until we get to 2 Kings 17. I encourage you to read this whole chapter but for the sake of brevity I will only insert a few verses.
2 Kings 17:5: Then the king of Assyria came up throughout all the land, and went up to Samaria, and besieged it three years. 2 Kings 17:6: In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
So if Israel wasn’t there then who is?
2 Kings 17:24: And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof.
So we have non-Israelites living here, but hold on:
2 Kings 17:25: And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that they feared not the LORD: therefore the LORD sent lions among them, which slew some of them. 2 Kings 17:26: Wherefore they spake to the king of Assyria, saying, The nations which thou hast removed, and placed in the cities of Samaria, know not the manner of the God of the land: therefore he hath sent lions among them, and, behold, they slay them, because they know not the manner of the God of the land. 2 Kings 17:27: Then the king of Assyria commanded, saying, Carry thither one of the priests whom ye brought from thence; and let them go and dwell there, and let him teach them the manner of the God of the land. 2 Kings 17:28: Then one of the priests whom they had carried away from Samaria came and dwelt in Bethel, and taught them how they should fear the LORD.
So we see how God always keeps a remnant. OK so this is all well and good, but how does this pertain to this passage? In the next few verses Christ is going to speak with a woman and this woman is going to symbolize Israel itself.
John 4:5: Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
Joseph you can remember had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh and was given a double portion in Israel.
John 4:6: Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. John 4:7: There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. John 4:8: (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) John 4:9: Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
Pulling from our knowledge gained from 2 Kings we can begin to understand why the Jews didn’t like the Samaritans. The Samaritans practiced their religion and this made the Jews jealous because they were God’s chosen people and He was their God.
John 4:10: Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
It is clear Christ knows her heart. He isn’t telling her that you should’ve asked me for water, he is saying that I know you want the Messiah.
John 4:11: The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
Natural enough question.
John 4:12: Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
She is thinking in the flesh be careful you don’t. What is God trying to show us here? Jacob’s physical seed is what gave us Christ. Just as here Jacob’s well is giving us (the physical) water. Christ is giving us the spiritual water.
Now don’t read over the fact that she said Jacob is their father. Meaning what? Meaning she is one of the twelve tribes. Note Christ did not correct her on this. “But, I thought we just read that those in Samaria are not of Israel.” Yes we did, but we also read that the king of Assyria brought back priests to teach.
OK do you want further proof? Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and intoanycity of the Samaritans enter ye not:
Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Jesus would not do something that he told his disciples not to do. Remember Matthew 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
OK so back to John:
John 4:13: Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:John 4:14: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. John 4:15: The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
She is still thinking in the physical. Drawing water was a lot of work back then and had to be done constantly. If some guy says he has some magic water I can have that would make life easier then…well is it any different today when a salesman says he can make you lose weight with a pill or has a new super cleaning tool that makes it a joy to clean?
John 4:16: Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. John 4:17: The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: John 4:18:For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
Here is where everyone turns off their brains and says the woman is a whore. Seldom does Christ bring up a person’s shortcomings so let’s focus on why Christ even brought it up.
Now focus: Christ didn’t make this stop just because he was tired and he didn’t bring up these five husbands for nothing. Remember I told you she represented Israel? Christ is bringing this up so that you will know he is teaching on a much deeper level. Five is the number of grace and surely when Christ is talking about giving the living water and everlasting life we are talking about grace, but there is more to it.
Who was Israel supposed to be married to? God. To God we are his bride and we are to be true to him. Israel was not true which is why God had them carried away by the Assyrians, but God took it a step further and divorced Israel
Jeremiah 3:8: And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
*note this is necessary as God was free to remarry the church. i.e. whomsoever will.
So if God was the first husband who are the others? Well when they left God they went to Assyria, making the third Babylon, the fourth Persia, fifth the Greeks and the man she is living with now, but is not her husband the Romans.
John 4:19: The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. John 4:20: Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
Why is she talking about his? Do you know what she is talking about? This is again talking about the split between Judah and Israel. Before the split there was one temple in Jerusalem and you had to go there to worship. After the split Jeroboam make another temple in the north. The problem being is he put in two golden calves for them to worship and set the whole thing up at a place of idolatry.
John 4:21: Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
Naturally, we don’t have to travel somewhere to talk or worship the Father.
John 4:22:Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
This is Israel at its core. Here is what Paul says:
Romans 10:1-3 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
See this woman, just as Israel is clueless about God and how to please him and I tell you it really isn’t any different today.
John 4:23:But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. John 4:24:Godisa Spirit: and they that worship him must worshiphimin spirit and in truth. John 4:25: The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
You see she is looking for the Messiah. She wants to know God. She has that zeal.
John 4:26: Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee amhe.John 4:27: And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
I would think by this time they knew better.
John 4:28: The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the me John 4:29: Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?John 4:30: Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
Here again we see that zeal. It is the same zeal we see out of any of God’s children. When they hear the truth. The real truth they are compelled to share it and Israel is the same way. We will continue this story in the next post as this one is getting long, but I pray you can see how this woman represents Israel. How they have that zeal for God, but always finds way to make their own way to him. Pray that you follow His way and are not making your own way else when the Messiah comes you might not recognize him when he speaks. For his sheep know his voice.