Wednesday 17 January 2024

John Chapter 4 verses 4-30:

Turning to this well-known story, first looking at the

Bible reading; and then the deeper teaching.


Jesus was travelling to Galilee and was taking the shortest route, which meant passing through Samaria. This way was usually not taken by Jews, as Jews and Samaritans were not fond of each other, meaning the Jews faced defilement if attacked.

Jesus and His Apostles stopped in the village of Sychar to rest as He was tired, which revealed the human side of Him. Some people in John's day were denying that Jesus was truly human. He only "seemed" to be human, they said. Others were denying that Jesus was "divine". John makes it clear that Jesus was truly man and divine- God come in the flesh. He grew tired; he wept; and he was thirsty, as we are.

The Apostles left Jesus to go and find food, so He sat near a well which Jacob had given to His son, known as Jacob’s well. Women would go in the morning and evening to draw water, but one immoral woman went at noon when it was really hot.  She did so to avoid meeting other women. Jesus tok the initiative and spoke to her, and asked her to get Him a drink of water.  He ignored culture and tradition.

The woman was astonished at her, a Samaritan woman, at being asked by a Jew. Jesus told her if she knew who He was, He would have given her living water. The woman was puzzled as Jesus had no means of drawing or being given water. She would have had in mind living water as being  spring fresh water, whereas Jesus was meaning the gift of the Holy Spirit, which would give eternal life. 

The conversation went on to talk of her husband, and her stating that she had no husband. She was startled when Jesus pointed out the man she was living was not her husband, and she had had five husbands before. She was obviously worried about the sinful state Jesus reminded her of.


Jesus was indicating that people living together, was not marriage. A marriage requires some form of official sanction and public ceremony, in which man and woman commit to the obligation of marriage.Sexual relationships outside marriage were then considered wrong.


The mountain where they were was Mount Gerizim, a sacred place where Samaritans had built a Temple, but Jesus was saying neither there nor Jerusalem, which Samaritans despised, be necessary for worship as people could worship wherever they were.

But Jesus also stated the fact that the Jewish nation had a special place in God’s plan and salvation which was from Jews, for all of the Old Testament was from Jewish people, and Jesus Himself came from Jews.

The woman decided Jesus was a prophet, but referred to her people worshipping on the mountain, and not as Jews in Jerusalem. Jesus told her salvation came from the Jews, and in future worship will be true to God from wherever one is, and will be in spirit and truth.

God has a wonderful kind of existence that is not confined to one place, and having created the world, has dominion over all.


This story offers a lesson in evangelicalism as good as anywhere else in the Bible; the teacher is the Lord Himself. He and His Apostles had reached a part of their journey across the country at the hottest part of the day, and He was tired. Left alone whilst the Apostles sought food, He approached the Samaritan woman, a double act in offending tradition and culture, and seeks a favour. 

This is often a wise approach, for a lot of people feel someone needs them, and are ready to make friends.  This gives Jesus the opportunity of speaking further, in which He reveals who He is. The principal purpose of Jesus is to preach the gospel, that above all else, for that is what God sent Him to do. 

He the Saviour of the world, yet is prepared to speak with a woman of immoral character, who is also from a people at great enmity with Jews, something a Rabbi would never even consider thinking of doing. But, the woman went out and told people who she had met, and how well He had spoken to her, and many of the people turned to follow Jesus. You may never know how much good comes from telling an ordinary man, or more so a woman, about your faith and/or Church.

I met a lady, an ordinary wife and mother, and invited her to attend Church, which she did. She had I found, a captivating personality and soon other mothers came with children. Unfortunately her husband, who worked away from home on a North Sea oil rig found out she was attending Church, and gave an ultimatum, Church or him, so because of fear of losing her children we lost her. This was not in my experience an unusual case.

 I cannot understand why it happens,  as Muslim men are more intent on attending their places of worship than the women. It has to accepted, the |Muslim faith has a more moral base practised than we do.

The Church of today is more interested in getting non-believing parents to have their children baptised and confirmed.  It was once suggested parents who had children out of marriage, should bring them to Church to be baptised, when they got married at the same time. What a mindless suggestion.( I imagine the one who thought of that even got a promotion however). 


Jesus did not prioritise baptism, he made it clear He was here to preach the gospel, and when the Church does the same, we may see the Church growing rather than falling apart as it is doing. Baptism does not need to be neglected, but in the mind of Jesus, preaching was more important and necessary.

Any person with even half a brain, knows you don’t pour clean water in a cup with dirty water in. But that is figuratively what the Church is doing now. Contrary to what Church leaders may think, the majority of people in the country do have moral beliefs, and it is offensive to them to hear leaders of the Church calling for traditional marriage to be abandoned, and they are not able to understand any purpose in coming; even clergy who still believe in Scripture are leaving, and brilliant men are amongst them. Women Ministers appear to be either more liberal, or prefer to hold the position.

We lose valuable opportunities in holding Summer and Christmas Fairs, in which we have a collection of stalls offering goods, but we don’t  offer details of the Church services,  We have Church magazines with details of what has been happening, which pleases members, but I cannot understand how or why we don’t include a bible teaching page, and urge people to attend. In other words, have an external outlook as well.

Politicians make sure we know how wonderful their Party is, and all it will do (mostly overstated) It must be successful or they wouldn’t bother. 


Let it be taken from this reading the lesson Jesus showed us, of speaking out for our Church and faith; may the leaders be moral like Jesus; and members make known the services are for all, who will be welcome.

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