John Chapter 4
Jesus went to Samaria:
(Read John 4:1-4)
The story of the conversion of the Samaritan woman and the healing of the nobleman’s son are described in this chapter. The story of Nicodemus shows that good people are in need of God's grace and salvation. Also, the story of the Samaritan woman shows that none of us are beyond the reach of God's grace. Christ is the master soul winner. Jesus helped this woman to see her need for salvation despite her sin and shame. His compelling compassion drove him to Samaria. Jesus came to save all sinners despite their background. The woman was shocked that a Jewish man would speak openly to a Samaritan woman. Jesus was willing to confront racism and cross all human barriers to reach out to one who was in need of salvation. He did not come to condemn the world but to save sinners. Unlike the moral Nicodemus, the woman of Samaria was a pagan, ill reputed, despised, and a confused person. She was from a mixed race and Jews had no dealing with Samaritans. They worshiped Jehovah God along with heathen gods. They believed only the first five books of the Old Testament. Jews hated them because they were not full-blooded Jews. But Jesus saw the value of their souls and crossed all manmade barriers to save them. He made contact with the woman to share the good news of salvation. Are we willing to cross all man-made barriers to share the gospel of grace with others?
Jesus gives Living Water:
(Read John 4:5-19)
Jesus' conversation was designed to help the woman get saved. The gospel is for real people living in everyday situations. Jesus met the woman who came to draw water from the well in the noonday. He was tired and weary due to the long journey. Jesus was human and he experienced hunger and tiredness like all of us while on earth. Here Jesus took the initiative to make contact with the woman who was broken and powerless in the society. He said to the woman "Give me a drink”. This request surprised her because Jews refused to have any relationship with Samaritans. No Jewish rabbi ever spoke to a woman in public. Jesus knew her spiritual need and sought to win her soul. Jesus' request won her confidence and she desired for the living water. Jesus offered to her the living water and said, “One who drinks the water I give will never thirst”. She failed to understand the spiritual meaning of living water. She was going to the broken cisterns to quench her thirst all her life (Jeremiah 2:13). She said, "Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this well?" (John 4:12). He explained to her that he was not speaking of spring water that may quench her thirst. Jesus said to her “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again but whoever drinks of the water I give will never be thirty” (John 4:13, 14). The woman wanted the living water Jesus was offering. She was ready for salvation, but her heart should be prepared for that. By nature, we all resist God's grace like this woman did. We want to do something to get saved. Jesus told her to call her husband. She said I don’t have a husband. In fact, she had five husbands and she was not married to the man she was living with now. There can be no conversion without conviction of sin and repentance. The gospel is good news to only those who know bad news that they are sinners. Repentance is more than feeling sorry for sin, it is turning from our sin to God. She admitted her sin and acknowledged that Jesus is a prophet. The Bible says that there is none who seek God. Christ is seeking sinners. People need to understand that without being made righteous they are lost in their sins. Every time we sin, we are storing up God's wrath (Romans 2:4-6). How blessed to pray "God be merciful to me, a sinner"! (Luke 18:13).
What is True Worship:
(Read John 4:20-29)
By nature we don't appreciate grace and look for ways to avoid the gospel. The woman tried to change the subject by talking about worship and the Messiah. Jesus asked the woman to believe Him because he is the Messiah. Belief means persuaded. Believing in Christ determines our eternal destiny. When we believe Jesus, we receive life through the Holy Spirit. Belief is a matter of human will and it is a choice. It is sad that many people refuse to believe Christ because of pride. The woman wanted to shift the discussion from her sin to religion and worship. Jesus understood her spiritual poverty and explained to her about true worship. We can substitute God and religion. By nature, we are allergic to God's grace and want to do something to earn salvation. We look for ways to avoid Jesus. Samaritans worshiped on Mount Gerizim and Jews on Mount Zion. Jesus promised that the time is coming for true worshipers to worship in spirit and truth (John 4:24). Jesus was referring to His crucifixion and his resurrection. Worship rises from our spirit when controlled by the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. It is the missing jewel in the church today. Archbishop William Temple defines worship as the "Quickening of conscious by His holiness, nourishment of mind by His truth, purifying of our imagination by His beauty, opening of our heart to His love and submission of our will to His purpose". Worship is an attitude of reverence and submission to God. It is ascribing the worthiness of God. God is not indifferent toward the object and the manner of worship. The end of witnessing is worship of God. Worship is the highest exercise of the human soul and the chief occupation of the church. It is a constant activity in heaven. Only the saved, separated, Spirit filled and prepared people can worship God. Our worship must be sincere and truthful. The New Testament worship is spiritual in nature and Christ centered. The believers are a holy priesthood to offer sacrifice of praise continually to God (Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 2:9). Jesus cared about her and pursued her even when she was resistant. This gave her hope and confidence in Christ. She left her water pot, went to her village, and introduced Jesus to others. Her understanding grew about Jesus from a Jew to a prophet and to Messiah. Only the gospel can bring spiritual transformation in life (2 Corinthians 5:14).
Jesus is the Savior of the world:
(Read John 4:30-44)
God's great love pursued us even when we were resistant to his grace. Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman were in need of salvation. The living water is sweet only to those who know the bitter taste of their sinfulness. Understanding is never a requirement for salvation but faith in Christ. To know Christ one must desire to do His will (John 7:17). The Samaritan woman became the witness of Christ. She rushed to her village and told people about Jesus who saved her. They came to see Jesus and requested Him to stay with them. Jesus stayed with them for two days. Many believed in Him and acknowledged that Jesus is the Savior of the world. Here we see how the testimony of an unnamed woman could impact the whole village. Personal testimony is one of the effective methods of witnessing. Let us not be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When the disciples returned, they saw their Master speaking to a Samaritan woman. They wanted Him to eat. Christ replied that His food is to do the will of the Father who sent him. Jesus reminded them of the urgency of witnessing. He said "you know the saying, there are four months between planting and harvesting. Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the field, they are ready for harvest” (John 4:35). The seeds were already sown. Philip saw that the Samaritans were ready to get saved and preached the gospel. He reaped the harvest that was already ready and there was great joy (Acts 8:5-8). We are entrusted with the gospel to share with others. In the spiritual harvest one sows and another reaps. We are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). We are engaged in a rescue mission. Souls are perishing, time is short and opportunity will be lost. We are co-laborers with God and others. Sometimes we may have the privilege of harvesting what others have planted. No single person can take credit for the harvest. Pray for opportunities to tell others about Jesus. May God give us a passion for souls to share the gospel of grace. Pray that God may enable us to lead many people to the saving grace of God.
Jesus Heals an Official's Son:
(Read John 4:45-54)
The healing of official's son happened when Jesus went to Cana in Galilee. This Roman official came from Capernaum and requested Jesus to come down and heal his son. He believed that Jesus had power over death. He thought that Jesus had to come to Capernaum to heal his son. Jesus said to him "Go your way, your son lives". The official believed Jesus and went home. While on his way he met his servants with the good news that his son is healed. The healing was instantaneous and his whole family believed in Jesus. Faith means act upon God's promises. This was the second miracle Jesus did in Cana. Thus Jesus proved that He is the all-powerful God and nothing is impossible to him. The greatest of all miracles is a sinner becoming a saint by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. Have you responded to God's great love by believing in Jesus Christ? Just as the Samaritan woman shares with others what Jesus had done for you.