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Summary: It is our duty to reach out to those who have need for what we have recieved.

John 4:1-9

4 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.

4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.

Reaching Out

4:1-3. In Greek these verses are one long sentence, introducing the reader to a second long interview by Jesus. The words, When the Lord learned of this (v. 3), are actually the first phrase in Greek in verse 1. The sudden prominence of Jesus, evidenced by the growth of His followers, caused the Pharisees to take special notice of Him. Since Jesus was working on God’s schedule, He knew how His ministry would end. Until that appointed time, He must live carefully, so He withdrew from the conflict until His "hour" (7:6,8,30; 8:20; cf. 12:23; 13:1; 17:1). He left Judea (cf. 3:22) and went back... to Galilee.

This second interview is another illustration of the fact that "He knew what was in a man" (2:25). The Samaritan woman contrasts sharply with Nicodemus. He was seeking; she was indifferent. He was a respected ruler; she was an outcast. He was serious; she was jokey. He was a Jew; she was a despised Samaritan. He was (presumably) moral; she was immoral. He was orthodox; she was unorthodox (contrary to accepted belief). He was learned in religious matters; she was ignorant. Yet in spite of all the differences between this "churchman" and this woman of the world, they both needed to be born again. Both had needs only Christ could meet.

4:4. He had to go through Samaria. This was the shortest route from Judea to Galilee but not the only way. The other route was through Perea, east of the Jordan River In Jesus’ day the Jews, because of their hatred for the Samaritans, normally took the eastern route in order to avoid Samaria. But Jesus chose the route through Samaria in order to reach the despised people of that region. As the Savior of the world He seeks out and saves the despised and outcasts (cf. Luke 19:10).

4:5-6. The village of Sychar was near Shechem. Most identify the site with modern Akar but others point to Tell-Balatah. Sychar was between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim. A well near Sychar today may be the same as Jacob’s well. The plot of ground which Jacob gave to Joseph is mentioned in Gen 48:21-22. Jacob had purchased it years earlier (Gen 33:18-20). Jesus, tired from walking, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour, which according to Roman time reckoning would have been 6 P.M. (See comments on John 1:39 John 19:14.) Jesus being truly human, experienced thirst, weariness, pain, and hunger. Of course He also possesses all the attributes of Deity (omniscience, omnipotence, etc.).

4:7-8. With His disciples in the city buying food, Jesus did a surprising thing: He spoke to a Samaritan woman, whom He had never met. She was of the region of Samaria, not the town of Samaria. The woman was shocked to hear a Jewish man ask for a drink from her. The normal prejudices of the day prohibited public conversation between men and women, between Jews and Samaritans, and especially between strangers. A Jewish Rabbi would rather go thirsty than violate these proprieties.

4:9. Surprised and curious, the woman could not understand how He would dare ask her for a drink, since Jews did not associate with Samaritans. The NIV margin gives an alternate translation to the Greek sentence with the word

Synchrontai ("associate" or "use together"): the Jews "do not use dishes Samaritans have used." This rendering may well be correct. A Rabbinic law of A.D. 66 stated that Samaritan women were considered as continually menstruating and thus unclean. Therefore a Jew who drank from a Samaritan woman’s vessel would become ceremonially unclean.

WHENEVER WE CONNECT TO WHAT WE’VE BEEN CREATED TO DO, THERE WILL ALWAYS BE SUCCESS. WE ARE CALLED TO PREACH, CHOSEN TO LEAD, BUT CREATED TO PRAISE. THE CHURCH WAS CREATED TO BE THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND ITS HEARTBEAT IS EVANGELISM. JOHN 3:16

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