Today we are studying John 4:5-18.
More specifically, we will be looking at what Jesus was saying when he offered “Living Water” to the woman at the well.
When studying the Bible, it is good to not just read, but to think it through.
To ask questions, and find answers.
For instance today, Jesus offered this woman Living Water.
I want to learn more about that living water.
The questions I started asking were:
What is Living water?
How do I get it?
What benefit is it?
Or, what does it do?
So, we will be asking those questions and seeking the answers as we go.
Let’s ask God to open up our hearts and minds to learn what He has for us today.
I believe the Lord wants me to not just teach from His Word, but to teach others to study for themselves.
Like the old adage, “Give a man a fish, you feed him for today.
Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”
So, today, I want to teach you how to study.
How to Study: Read the Bible.
Here is the study tip of the day: “Read the Bible.”
Sounds funny doesn’t it?
But, it isn’t that funny.
Many people want to study, so they may, or may not, read the passage once.
They will open a commentary, or what someone has written about the passage.
Opening a commentary to see what someone who has studied has to say is a lot like going to hear a sermon.
It is good to take advantage of the gifts God has given to other members of the body of Christ.
He has given gifts to each member of the body so that we can all be built up in Christ.
I look at numerous commentaries after I study a passage to glean things I may have missed, or to see different ways of expressing the meaning of the passage.
Commentaries by men who truly believe the bible is God’s authoritative, inerrant, infallible Word are good references.
However, when studying a passage, opening a commentary, or reading the study notes at the bottom of the page is the last thing we do when we study a passage.
The first thing to do is to read the Bible.
Read the passage.
Read the passage in its context—what is before and after the passage.
Read the book in which the passage is located.
Read the passage a couple more times, in different translations.
I not only want to teach, but to model what I teach.
You cannot see what I do during the week, so, today, we will read the passage, in its context, in another translation.
Last week we read it in the New International Version.
Today we will read it in the English Standard Version.
He really is the Savior of the world!
Let’s dig into this passage a little more.
We saw last week, when we looked at verses 1-4, that Jesus left Judea to go to Galilee.
John 4:4 states “Jesus had to go through Samaria.”
We saw last week that there was another route, preferred by the Jews, that went around Samaria.
So, why does John write, “Jesus had to go through Samaria?”
Jesus had to go through Samaria because there were people there that needed to know him as their savior.
Did Jesus have a bad attitude?
Did he ‘have’ (downcast, begrudgingly) to go through Samaria?
Or, was his attitude positive, “I HAVE (excitedly) to go through Samaria!”?
I believe Jesus had a great attitude.
As we look at Jesus life and ministry, we see him carrying out his mission to seek and save the lost willingly!
He took joy in reaching out, in spite of the circumstances.
Jesus had to (excited, not begrduging) to through Samaria because he had a divine appointment with people who needed him as their savior!
Have you had your divine appointment?
Have you asked him for his eyes, his attitude for yourself?
Do you have to go to work?
Do you have to relate with your neighbors?
Or, do you get to because today may be the divine appointment for someone?
Well, Jesus had to go through Samaria on his way to Galilee.
He took the oppressively hot, dusty trail through Samaria.
Sychar is near Shechem.
Shechem was a significant location in Genesis.
When Abraham first came to the promised land he built an altar (Genesis 12:6).
In Genesis 33:18-19 is whereJacob came to this spot and bought some land.
In Genesis 35:1-4 is where Jacob told his family to all give up their idols and false Gods, and then buried them under the oak at Shechem.
Deuteronomy 11:29 and Deuteronomy 27:12 is where God commanded the Israelites to proclaim the blessings and cursings of God from the Mosaic Covenant.
And in Joshua 8:33 is when they followed those instructions.
In Joshua 24:25, it was at Shechem that Joshua, near the end of his life, reaffirmed the Mosaic Covenant with the people of Israel.
And in that context learn that Joseph’s bones were buried near there.
Shechem was also a special location being a City of Refuge.
That is a city to which someone who had been involved in an accident in which someone else died could flee, and not be put to death.
Sychar was only a few hundred yards from ancient Shechem.
600 yards southeast of the site of ancient Shechem (modern Balata), and 1000 yards south of Sychar
This well was not in any town.
Each town had wells, but this one was outside of both.
I love this verse because it shows Jesus’ true humanity.
Over the centuries, some have questioned whether Jesus was God, or man.
This passage shows that Jesus was both.
Jesus was God come in the flesh.
He was fully man, and as a man he was tired from his journey.
So, Jesus, being tired, sat down by the well.
Later in the passage, we see Jesus demonstrating His deity, as He tells what the woman has done.
Now, what happened when he was tired and sitting by the well?
The Jews actually hated, and thought of Samaritans as worse than Gentiles.
A gentile is anyone who is not a physical descendant of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Samaritans were a mixed race, being made up of Jews who had married Gentiles.
They were sinners!
Did Jesus hate this woman as Jews would have?
She was also someone who needed him as her savior.
God loves sinners.
And Jesus came to seek and save the lost.
He came not for the healthy, but for sinners.
I want to break this verse down a little bit.
To me, this verse is the key point of the passage.