John 4 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

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(Read all of John 4)
4:1 When 1 therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,

(1) This balance is to be kept in doing our duty, that neither by fear are we terrified from going forward, and neither by rashness procure or bring dangers upon ourselves.

4:5 2 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

(2) Christ, leaving the proud Pharisees, communicates the treasures of everlasting life with a poor sinful woman and stranger, refuting the gross errors of the Samaritans, and defending the true service of God, which was delivered to the Jews, but yet in such a way that he here calls both Samaritans and Jews back to himself, as one whom only all the fathers, and also all the ceremonies of the law, regarded, and had respect for.

4:6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with [his] journey, sat a thus on the well: [and] it was about the b sixth hour.

(a) Even as he was weary, or because he was weary.
(b) It was almost noon.

4:9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews c have no dealings with the Samaritans.

(c) There is no familiarity nor friendship between the Jews and the Samaritans.

4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest d the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee e living water.

(d) By this word "the" we are shown that Christ speaks of some excellent gift, that is to say, even about himself, whom his Father offered to this woman.
(e) This everlasting water, that is to say, the exceeding love of God, is called "living" or "of life", to make a difference between it and the water that should be drawn out of a well: and these metaphors are frequently used by the Jews.

4:20 3 Our fathers worshipped in this f mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

(3) All the religion of superstitious people stands for the most part upon two pillars, but very weak, that is to say, upon the perverted examples of the fathers, and a foolish opinion of outward things: and to refute such errors we have to turn to the word and nature of God.
(f) The name of this mountain is Gerizim, upon which Sanabaletta the Cuthite built a temple with the permission of Alexander of Macedonia, after the victory of Issica: and he made high priest there Manasses his son in law; Josephus, book 11.

4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in g spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

(g) This word "spirit" is to be taken here as it is set against that commandment which is called carnal in (Hebrews 7:16), as the commandment is considered in itself: and so he speaks of "truth" not as we set it against a lie, but as we take it in respect of the outward ceremonies of the law, which only shadowed that which Christ indeed performed.

4:24 God [is] a h Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

(h) By the word "spirit" he means the nature of the Godhead, and not the third person in the Trinity.

4:32 4 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

(4) We may have care of our bodies, but in such a way that we prefer willingly and freely the occasion which is offered us to enlarge the kingdom of God before all necessities of this life, whatever else they may be.

4:35 5 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

(5) When the spiritual corn is ripe, we must not linger, for so the children of this world would condemn us.

4:36 6 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

(6) The doctrine of the prophets was as it were a sowing time, and the doctrine of the gospel, as the harvest: and there is an excellent agreement between them both, and the ministers of them both.

4:37 And herein is that i saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.

(i) That proverb.

4:39 7 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

(7) The Samaritans most joyfully embrace that which the Jews most stubbornly rejected.

4:43 8 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into k Galilee.

(8) The despisers of Christ deprive themselves of his benefit: yet Christ prepares a place for himself.
(k) Into the towns and villages of Galilee, for he would not live in his country of Nazareth, because they despised him, and where (as the other evangelists write) the efficacy of his benefits was hindered because of their being incredibly stiffnecked.

4:46 9 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain l nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.

(9) Although Christ is absent in body, yet he works mightily in the believers by his word.
(l) Some of Herod's royal attendants, for though Herod was not a king, but a Tetrarch, yet he was a king in all respects (or at least the people called him a king) except that he lacked the title of king.

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