Peter Barnes: The Son of Man and the Samaritan Woman, John 4:1-9 (Sunday 26 July 2020
Evening Service, 6.00 p.m.)
The conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman is surely one of the most memorable conversations in human history.
1. Jesus is wary of encouraging what could be unhelpful.
– 4:1-4. The Samaritans were an ethnically and spiritually mixed group which emerged in the aftermath of the Assyrian destruction of the ten northern tribes of Israel in 722 B.C. (2 Kings 17:23-30). About 400 B.C. the Samaritans built their own temple on Mount Gerizim.
– why did Jesus not baptize people but leave that task to His disciples, including Judas? 1 Cor.1:10-17 might help. Judas baptized and Jesus did not, so that people would not trust in the water administered by man rather than the shed blood of the God-man.
2. Jesus is truly man.
– 4:1. J. C. Ryle sees this as a divine knowing, but it could simply mean that Jesus found out in a natural way.
– 4:6-7. Genesis 24:11 – the Samaritan woman was isolated.
– Mark 4:38. Not only was Jesus tired by the well, but He was thirsty, so He asked the woman for a drink. J. B. Phillips adds a ‘please’ to the text, but John is only telling us Jesus’ request. Note John 19:28.
– 3:13. To this Samaritan woman, He would have looked just like a tired and thirsty Jew. J. C. Ryle calls Jesus is ‘an Almighty Saviour’ and ‘a most feeling Friend’.
3. Jesus seeks to save the lost.
– 4:7-9. Rabbi Eliezer: ‘He that eats the bread of the Samaritans is like to one that eats the flesh of swine.’ The disciples did not believe that (4:8). Note later – John 8:48. In reality, But 4:42 is the reality.
– J. C. Ryle speaks of a ‘spirit of courteous and friendly aggression’.