Summary: Part two of the Samaritan woman moves from Living Water to Living Worship as Jesus reveals His true identity.
The Source of Living Water Revealed John 4:16-26
Living Water for sinners is not physical water but rather, it brings spiritual eternal life by the regenerating gift of God through the Lord Jesus, the Word and the Spirit so that we live eternally to the praise and Glory of our Great and Gracious God! In our last study in John we heard Jesus’ conversation with the nameless Samaritan woman at the well. In Verse 10, Jesus said: "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman could only conceive of this water on a physical level at this time, even though her response in verse 15 was, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water," shows that the Father is drawing her to the Truth even though she does not yet fully understand.
Jesus responds to her in an unsual way that examines her heart in a way that she did not expect in verse 16 (NAS): “He said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here." 17 The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You have correctly said, 'I have no husband'; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly." 19 The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.”
Jesus demonstrates that He is fully God and man
This might be a natural reaction if a STRANGER walked up to you and he knew all your immoral past. You’d probably say: “How did you know; I just met you?” The truth is that a mere man could not possibly know those things about her, but at this point she probably only saw Jesus as a gifted person, perhaps a prophet because of His knowledge of her, but certainly not the Messiah. But in Jesus’ response He demonstrates that He is fully God and fully man in His knowledge of the nameless woman.
She responds, changing the subject from her own immorality to a religious point of contention which separated the Jews and Samaritans for hundreds of years: “Which is the correct and genuine place of worship, Gerazim where the Samaritans worship or Jerusalem where the Jews worship?” She says in v.20: "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people (you Jews) say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."
Jesus answers her religious comment in three parts
Jesus answers the woman in three parts; 21(one) “Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” 22 (two) "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 (three) "But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
First of all, from verse 21: “An hour is coming”, after Jesus’ death, resurrection and exaltation, Gerazim and Jerusalem would be obsolete places of places of worship. Gerazim was where Moses blessed the children of Israel on two occasions, and the Samaritans believed that many other important events took place there during the time of the Patriarchs. It is interesting that while the woman and Jesus spoke, “Mount Gerazim may have been in full view from Jacob’s well; they may even have been able to see the temple’s ruins, perhaps turning to look at them when the woman mentioned the place.” (A. Kostenberger, “John”, p. 154) After the Jewish temple would be destroyed in 70A.D. neither of these places would be present as places of worship; instead the Holy Spirit would dwell in believers, making the physical place of worship irrelevant, but it would NOT mean that believers would not or should not gather for worship.
Jesus mentions that “you will worship the Father”, which was Jesus’ usual address for the God of Abraham of the Old Testament. Many times Jesus refers to God as “My Father”, emphasizing again the unique one-of-a-kind relationship that Jesus has with God. Jesus also taught us to address God in the same way, but THE FATHER is first and foremost the Father of the Only Begotten Son, Jesus. When Jesus said, “BELIEVE ME”, He was not denoting faith in Jesus, but emphatically and imperatively giving credence and acceptance to what he is stating as being absolutely true.