JOHN - Chapter 4 - SPIRIT AND TRUTH Print E-mail

JOHN – Chapter 4: 1-30 – Spirit and Truth

The Samarian Woman

Tuesday, March 7, 2017, the Year of our Lord


The last time I preached this chapter was December 2013.  While I was preaching, the Holy Spirit spoke that I was to go to Samaria.  Within three months we had a team going to Israel and the West Bank on a mission.  The Holy Spirit activated our church through the preaching of the Word.


My approach to this chapter is with a different message than I preached in 2013.

The Samarian woman was ordained to the rank of apostle.  Faith took hold of her heart and she received the truth.  Her soul aflame with divine fire, she brings a whole city to believe in Christ Jesus as their Messiah.


She shows herself to be wiser than Nicodemus, to whom the Lord gave a much lengthier explanation, but who still objected, how can these things be? (Jn. 3:9)


Sunday evening we are continuing our study on the Exactness of God and His truth, compared to the present spirit of “relativism over our nation’s government, many churches, schools, morals, ethics and business.  Relativism excuses exactness and truth in favor of a more global view.  Globalism demands one to say that given all the truth that is out there, how can one know the truth, for there are many truths.  Christianity believes in absolute truth of a Sovereign God!  In the social culture of relativism, as truth becomes relative, real truth is required to share its throne with any statement of belief which may have an element of truth to it.  Absolutism is the standard of the Lord, the sovereignty of His Word, and the choice of the leadership of the Holy Ghost, as opposed to the rationale of man.” (Paraphrased from C. R. Oliver-En Punto– comments are my own.)  Brother Oliver compares the Absolutism of God’s truth to the culture of Clintonism which said, “It’s according to what you mean by… (Supply the subject).”


We are watching this battle of Truth vs. relativism play out between the liberals and Christians in this nation. 


Jesus addressed this to the Samarian Woman in John, Chapter 4: 23-24: the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth


When Jesus became aware that the Pharisees had received word, that Jesus was winning and baptizing more disciples than John, He departed Judea and again withdrew Himself to Galilee.  Yet, Jesus was not baptizing the people, the disciples were baptizing them.


Where the Pharisees might tolerate John, who was the son of a priest, Jesus was just a carpenter and a Nazarene at that.  To avoid provoking their anger and envy, he removed himself from the area.


Jesus and John the Baptist hurled into the religious scene’s violent reproaches and their message could not be ignored.  The Temple message which was preached in Jesus’ day was a message that had been refined by the “Rabbis of Redefinition.”  The people were so deceived that a precious few could see the truth and come away from those teachings and traditions.


4: 5-6a:  Then He came to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  Jacob’s well was there.


To identify this chapter with the political and religious battle of our day, it is worthwhile to explain the origin of the Samaritans and how they got their name.


Omri, the sixth King of Israel bought the mountain Semeron from its owner and built a city which he named Samaria (1 Ki. 16: 23-25).  Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and did worse than all who were before him.  At first the Israelites not Samaritans, lived in this city.  Later when they sinned against God, they were chastised and taken captive by the Assyrians. (2 Ki. 17: 6-7).


After this God showed the barbarians that He had delivered the Jews into their hands, not because He was unable to defend His people, but because the Israelites had sinned.  At God’s command, lions attacked the Gentiles of Samaria devouring many.  When the Assyrian King learned of this, he sent for certain elders of the Jews in captivity and asked them what must be done to prevent further attacks by the lions.


The elders explained that the God of Israel watched over that place and would not allow anyone ignorant of His laws to dwell there.  Therefore, if the king was concerned about the settlers, he should send Jewish priests to teach them the laws of God, and thus the Lord would be appeased.


The King did as they suggested and sent a Hebrew priest to Samaria to teach the new inhabitants the laws of God (2 Ki. 17: 24-28).  However, the Samaritans did not accept all the divine books, but only the five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.  Neither did they at first completely renounce impiety; but later they did give up their idols and worshipped God alone.


After the Jews returned from captivity, they were always suspicious of the newcomers, considering them to be Assyrian by race, and called them Samaritans.  But the Samaritans reckoned themselves descendants of Abraham and Jacob; for Abraham was from Chaldea, as were they; and Jacob they considered to be their own because they possessed his well.  To the Jews, the Samaritans were an abomination, as were all Gentiles.


When the Jews wished to revile Jesus, they said to him, “You are a Samaritan and have a devil.  (Jn. 8:48).   


From all this we learn that the rejection of the Jews began long ago.   When the Jews sinned against God, the Gentiles (Samaritans) took possession of their land.  What the patriarchs acquired through faith in Christ, their descendants lost through impiety.  So it is nothing new that Gentiles have now entered into the kingdom of heaven in their place.


However, as the Christian Church sins against God by coming into agreement with the relativism of the Kosmos, we too are being chastened by the Assyrians.


The mass exodus of Muslims from Assyria could only be happening by the hand of God either for judgment on the nations; or for redemption of the Assyrians.


6b-11: It was just about noon, and Jesus weary from His journey set down by the spring called Jacob’s well.  A Samaritan woman came to draw water.  Jesus said to her, Give me to drink. (For His disciples had gone into town to buy food.)  “What!” replied the woman, “You are a Jew asking a drink of me, a Samaritan woman?” (The Jews refused to have any dealings with the Samaritans.) Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that said to you, Give Me to drink; you would have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water.  “Sir,” said the woman, “how can you reach down to the living water?  This well is very deep.  Besides, you don’t have anything to draw with. 


The Lord calls the gift of the Holy Spirit living water because it cleanses and refreshes those who receive it.  It is not still, like the water in ponds and wells, but living and continuously gushing upwards.  For the grace of the Holy Spirit makes the soul constantly alive and life giving.  The woman now addresses Jesus as Sir.


12-15:  Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?  Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.  The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come here to draw.


She claims the noble lineage of the Jews with Jacob as her ancestor.  “If you can give such water as You claim, truly You would be greater than Jacob who gave us this water.  Are you greater than our father Jacob?” 


Jesus says the water I give becomes a spring continuously abounding.  Saints do not merely lay up the gifts of grace we receive from God.  Rather having desired and accepted these gifts, we give them away and thus increase them.


This is what the Lord implies here.  “I, too, give water to the thirsty, but what I give does not remain the same in quantity.  Instead, it increases to overflowing and becomes a spring.  The Lord gave Paul a small amount of water, namely the teaching given by Ananias (Acts 9:17); but Paul increased it, and it became a fountain pouring out torrents of preaching that flowed from Jerusalem…until Illyricum (Ro. 15-19).


Without doubting, she accepts Christ’s words and begs, Give me this water.  Already she esteems the Lord more highly than Jacob and his well, and says, “If you have such water, give it to me…”


16-22: Jesus said to her, Go tell your husband, and come here.  I don’t have a husband,” answered the woman.  Jesus said to her, You have well said, I have no husband; for you have had five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; in that you said truth.  Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.  Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.  Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.  You worship you know not what; we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews.


She does not flee from him in shame.  She marvels at Him.  She perceives he is a prophet.  She then questions the Lord about divine doctrines and not about worldly things.  Jesus knows her capacity to understand spiritual things.  He reveals to her a loftier teaching than He had disclosed to either Nicodemus or Nathaniel.  The time is coming when God will be worshipped neither here nor in Jerusalem.  You are trying to prove the worship of the Samaritans is superior to that of the Jews.  But I say to you that neither one is the best; there will be another way, superior to both.  Nonetheless, the worship of the Jews is holier than the Samaritans.  For you worship you know not what, we, the Jews, know what we worship.


The Samaritans thought that God was limited to one location, their holy mountain.  This is why the lions were attacking them.


God’s truth was revealed to the world through the Jews.  The Jews were the first to know God and reject idols.  Even many erroneous doctrines (such as the Samaritan notions about the worship of God) are merely distortions of Jewish teaching.  The Lord’s advent, which was from the Jews, is our salvation.  For Jesus Christ who came from the Jews according to the flesh---is SALVATION.


23-24: The hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeks such to worship Him.  God is spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth.


Jesus is stating, We Jews have a form of worship superior to yours’, never-the-less, the worship of the Jews will also come to an end.  Not only will the places of worship change, but the manner of worship as well.  This change is at the very door, and now is.  The only way we can approach the LORD in worship is in Spirit and Truth, because God is Spirit.   This can only be experienced through the virtue of being born from above.  This is the supernatural essence of Christian life.  The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Truth.  We must worship the Lord in the Baptism and Presence of His Holy Spirit through Whom truth is imparted.  There is no separation of the two.  God is Spirit.  Therefore men must worship Him in spirit by which alone we can commune with Him. 


The quest for Truth will always lead us to Jesus Christ.  


25-27: The woman said to him, I know that the Messiah comes, Who is called Christ: when He comes, He will tell us all things.  Jesus said to her, I that speak unto you am He.  And upon this came His disciples, and marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no man said, What seek you? Or, why are you talking with her?


How did the woman know that the Messiah comes, Who is called Christ?  The Messiah is called the anointed one in the Old Testament.  How did the woman know that the Messiah comes, Who is called Christ?  From the writing of Moses, they knew the various prophecies concerning Christ (Christos-the anointed one), which tell that He is the Son of God.


For example when God said at the creation, Let us make man, the Father was speaking to the Son.  When the three Angels visited Abraham, it was the Son Who spoke with Abraham in the tent.  When Jacob prophesied, a ruler shall not fail from Judah until there comes the things store up for Him, and He is the expectation of the nations, he was referring to the Son.  When Moses stated, “The Lord your God shall raise up to you a Prophet of your brethren, like me, Him shall you hear, he was speaking about the Son.


Faith entered her and the Lord reveals Himself to her.  But why this woman, and not the Jews who repeatedly demanded, “Tell us if you are the Christ”?    He said nothing to the Jews because the purpose of their questions was not in faith and to learn, but to make charges against Him. 


The Lord reveals Himself to this woman because she is honest and questions Him with a sincere intent; she desired simply to know the truth.  Hearing His words, she at once believed, and led other into the net of faith. 


When the disciples returned, the Lord did not reveal his conversation to the woman. 


28-30:  The woman then left her water pot, and went her way into the city.  She said to the men, Come, see a man, who told me all things that ever I did; Is not this the Christ?  Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him.


From this divinely appointed meeting came the founding and extension of a church which sprang from the woman of Samaria.  We must believe the Lord knew the heart of this woman that within her was the seed of faith, a heart in who would receive and believe that He is the Christ.  This meeting was prearranged and predetermined by Him.  Accident! Chance! No!  The name of that woman was written in the Book of life from the foundation of the world (Rev. 17:8b)


  The “needs be” of divine, pre-determined counsel which brought the Redeemer there, brought her there also.  The Church in Samaria is a trophy of Spirit and Truth received by faith.  


We cannot speak of such occurrences as “accidents” without virtually dethroning Deity, or usurping the sovereignty of His own world from the hands of the Supreme.  If we deny God’s hand in the minute events of daily life, we must eliminate His overruling power in the rise and fall of nations.  The most trifling minute occurrences have frequently involved the destinies of nations, and the blessing or curses of unborn generations.


Jesus’ revelation to her of His Kingdom stands as absolute in a playground of religious relativism. 


Man proposes, but God disposes.  He who wheels the planets in their courses, marks the sparrow’s fall.  He who by His word spoken through His prophet destroyed Babylon  overthrew Pharaoh in the Red Sea;  raised up the princely Cyrus to be the deliverer of His people; and conducted the steps of the Woman of Samaria that day, at the noontime hour to Sychar’s well.



Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

I entered into the labors of Noontime At Sychar by: John Ross MacDuff – sermon by: Carolyn Sissom;  The Holy Gospel According to John by Blessed Theophylact;  C. R. Oliver, En Punto.

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