Lesson 20


The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

4:15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I don't get thirsty, neither come all the way here to draw."

4:16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here."

4:17 The woman answered, "I have no husband."

Jesus said to her, "You said well, 'I have no husband,' 4:18 for you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband. This you have said truly."

4:19 The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 4:20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship."

4:21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, will you worship the Father. 4:22 You worship that which you don't know. We worship that which we know; for salvation is from the Jews. 4:23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. 4:24 God is a Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."

4:25 The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah comes," (he who is called Christ). "When he has come, he will declare to us all things."

4:26 Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."


 Today's Lesson

Jesus has spoken to this Samaritan woman who came to the well in the middle of the day. He was tired and thirsty. He asks her for a drink of water and she questions why a Jewish man would ask such a thing of a Samaritan woman. His response was that if she had known who He was she could have asked Him and He would have given her living water that would quench all her thirst and give her eternal life.

 

Her response, though she still does not understand completely, seems sincere. Give me this water so that I might never be thirsty again and so I will not have to come all this way to haul water again. When Nicodemus responded to Him in an earthly way, Jesus' answer to Him was sharp, almost biting. "Are you the teacher of Israel, and don't understand these things?" To this woman, Jesus' answer is almost kind and deferential. "Go, call your husband, and come here."

 

Her response was one of shame. "I have no husband." Jesus' answer to her is not unkind, though He plainly expresses that He knows all about her situation. You have spoken truly. You have had five husbands and the man you live with now is not even your husband. How odd she must have felt for her history to come so readily from the lips of this stranger. Indeed, to her He must have seemed a prophet.

 

Whether she seeks to deflect his prophetic gifts away from her or whether this is the first answer she has always wanted to know from a prophet, Jesus treats her next question with equal dignity and grace. If you are a prophet, and know all of my life, tell me this: who is right in worship, the Jews who worship in Jerusalem or the Samaritans who worship here?

 

Jesus again surprises her, not with a pat answer of Jewish superiority. His answer is; a new day is come. Neither Jew nor Samaritan is relevant now. The hour is come when God seeks only true worshippers, wherever they may be found. God is Spirit and "those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." Here is a Jew who not only speaks with her, but offers her hope as well. Far from condemning her, Jesus says that God can be worshipped right here, right now. It's not what you are (nationality) or where you are (geography) but who you worship and how you are worshipping.

 

You can almost hear the whispered anticipation, the excitement in her voice. I know that the Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will tell us everything. Her response is almost a question ... almost a plea.

 

And, to this simple country woman, this sinful woman of a hated neighbor, Jesus gives His purest answer to a profound question. "I who speak to you am he." In effect, "I am the Messiah." Many have believed the signs that He has done. But, Jesus did not give Himself to them, for He knew what was in a man. And yet, He gives Himself completely to this stranger after a brief conversation.

 

Such are the ways of our Lord. In the most unlikely places He will place His greatest revelations. So, we must always be watchful. Where will He choose to reveal Himself today?

 

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