We are told that Jesus “must go through Samaria.” Samaria was the capital of the northern Kingdom when they split after Solomon. Having been conquered by Assyria they were spread out throughout the Kingdom to inter-mingle and inter-marry with other people groups. When they return and the southern kingdom returned from Babylonian captivity. They tried to intermingle with their southern brothers but were rejected. The high priest son, married a Samaritan woman and when asked to separate from her he chose to go to the north where he proceeded by approval of Alexander the great no less, to build a temple to worship the Lord on Mt. Gerizim. Rather than traveling to Jerusalem, for those who wanted to follow God, they could stay in the northern kingdom and worship there.
John 4: 17-20
“I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband—18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”
As I mentioned last week, Jesus wasn’t being mean pointing out her sin, simply revealing to her what was blocking her from receiving the fullness God offers for her.
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?”
You and I might ask, when will Jesus return? Will the United States endure? What are the lotto number for the power ball?
Jesus is using his insight to help clear away the things blocking her from the Kingdom and instead of dealing with her own heart she is looking to justify herself and ignore her own sin.
How often people do this or they have sin issues that they place on others because of the evil in their hearts, so they don’t have to accept the responsibility for their own sin.
When the Lord points stuff out, it is never to hurt us but only to draw us nearer. Don’t run from the conviction of the Holy Spirit, embrace it, change and watch the blessings of the Lord pour out.
Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
This is an excellent example of how to deflect when people want to change the subject rather than dealing with the truth. Jesus says it is not about where you worship but how….don’t get caught up in politics but instead honor God. Jesus is keeping to the focus saying it is not about where you worship but instead how?
Worshiping in spirit and in truth is simple….it is simply loving God with all of your heart, mind, soul, and strength….let everything within you praise the Lord!
Pretty simple right….it is a life long journey but the great thing is the Lord accepts worshipping him the best you can….drawing closer to God causes you to desire to worship Him and set all other things aside.
As a side note, we see three must in John…
– you must be born again,
– the son of man must be lifted up
– those who worship the Lord must worship Him in Spirit and in truth
With the directive of worshipping God in spirit and truth, she grasps the concept that this is the messiah’s call to people
The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”
The actual translation is “I am…..the one speaking to you” the “I am” phrase is to reflect God’s name as was spoken to Moses in Exodus….Jesus was proclaiming himself to be God, messiah, and Lord!
Guess what….she got it!
Just then his disciples came back. They were shocked to find him talking to a woman, but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?” or “Why are you talking to her?” 28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, 29 “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” 30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
The disciples were perplexed….their holy, miracle working, Jewish, rabbi/godly messiah was talking to a women, not just a woman, but one of ill-repute, and on top of that a Samaritan a half-jew if you will, a detestable person…she was brash, unmoved by what others thought, strong in her own way, and great at marketing….
Look what happened!
-she left her work (water pot)
-she was honest (John summarizes what she said but I’ll bet she told the people much more than that) it convinced the people to come and see
– she changed a whole village
-Jesus knew her personality, gifts, skills, talents, and heart and entrusted her to rich a whole village
Nicodemus heard the words of life, quietly received it, went on his way meditatively….she receives the words of life and has to tell everyone what she heard
Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But Jesus replied, “I have a kind of food you know nothing about.”
33 “Did someone bring him food while we were gone?” the disciples asked each other.
The disciples already forgot about Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness or had not heard about it yet. When Jesus was being tempted by Satan in the wilderness, after 40 days of no food Satan tells him to turn stones into bread. Jesus response he quoted Deuteronomy 8:3
‘People do not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4
Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. 35 You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. 36 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 You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. 38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”
This was harvesttime, the grain all around was ready for picking. Jesus is telling them sometimes you will be the planter, sometimes the harvester but all work together because the harvest is ready, so we should always be ready to plant or harvest. It is interesting that he points out as well that the harvest does take time it is not always instantaneous. But we all must remember, each one of us are harvesters and we must be about the Father’s business.
Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” 40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, 41 long enough for many more to hear his message and believe. 42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world.”
Samaritans were hated and despised by the Jews and the reverse was true as well. This woman was hated and despised by her own people. The disciples would have been told their whole lives about how the Samaritans were less valuable, less honorable, were not Jews and were not much better than animals but Jesus saw a woman and a people God loved and the disciples had to grow and changed to stop their prejudice to get over their fear of being with others who were not like them to look at people through Jesus’ eyes. They stayed in this Jewish-forsaken village for two more days being with the people because they were the harvest, they were people God loved and this was as much for the disciples as it was for the Samaritans
But Jesus will push them further….we must start seeing people and things through Jesus eyes rather than our own points of prejudice…John 3:16 tells us God loves the whole world even types of people you don’t like…it is not always skin color or ethnicity, sometimes it is their financial status, position, neighborhood, or simply the way they, look at life….were are called to love especially our brothers and sisters in Christ that are different than us…pride is one of the sins God hates the most it…it is what made Lucifer fall
At the end of the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee. 44 He himself had said that a prophet is not honored in his own hometown. 45 Yet the Galileans welcomed him, for they had been in Jerusalem at the Passover celebration and had seen everything he did there.
Nazareth were Jesus was raised was in Galilee, Jesus was not expecting to be welcomed in his home area but because of all he did they were glad to see him….for now
John 4:46-51 (NKJV)
So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
49 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!”
50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!”
Jesus is now back in Cana about 4 hours away from Capernaum where the nobleman was from.
The title, nobleman, makes him and Edomite, a relative of King Herod and a descendant of Esau Isaac’s other son. Jacob and Esau were brothers, twins to Isaac and Rebecca. Esau rejected his birthright and did not value his heritage in relationship to God. He would have been considered a Gentile. Jacob is the Father of nation of Israel. Throughout Israel’s history they have been at odds and many times at war with the Edomites.
Jesus was comparing the belief of the Jews to this Edomite….the Jews came and greeted Jesus because they saw all that he did. The Edomite was there because he believed, as did the Centurion for his slave and the Syro-Phoenician woman for her daughter.
There is a point where we just need to choose to believe despite what is going on or what we may have seen or heard or how we feel. We must just choose to believe. The nobleman went his way even taking a day before he got home
Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.
54 This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.
Jesus reached an Edomite family, enemies of the Jews, oppressors of the Jews. What better way to change your enemies into friends than to introduce them to Jesus. We are called to love all people but there are some we don’t like…perhaps the ones we don’t like are the ones God is especially pointing out to us to reach with the Gospel, helping them to turn from unacceptable or enemies in our eyes, to brothers and sisters in Christ and perhaps the brothers and sisters in Christ we don’t like we need to lay down our lives and find ways to love them
I believe God is wanting to do miracles in our church, region, state and nation but those miracles may be blocked by our looking for signs and not for Jesus and him in every person