John 4 [Clear Word]
6. A SOUL-WINNER PERSPECTIVE
1 When Jesus heard about the jealousy of John's disciples and the concern the Pharisees had over His rising popularity because His disciples were baptizing more people than John 2 (although Jesus Himself baptized no one), 3 He left Judea and headed north into Galilee. 4 On His way, He decided to travel through the province of Samaria. 5 On one especially hot day, He stopped at a well near the little town of Sychar, which was located on the land originally owned by Jacob who gave it to his son Joseph. 6 To this day the well is still known as Jacob's well. Jesus was tired and sat on the little stone wall around the well to rest. It was about noon when this took place. 7 As He sat there, a Samaritan woman came to the well for some water. Jesus said to her, "Would you let me have a drink after you draw your water? I'm very thirsty and I have no means of reaching down into the well to get a drink." 8 He was alone when this happened because His disciples had gone into town to buy some food. 9 The woman said, "Why do you, a Jew, ask me for a drink of water when the Jews would rather die from thirst than accept a drink from a Samaritan? And you're asking a woman, no less!" 10 Jesus answered, "If you knew who was asking you for a drink of water, you would be asking Him for a drink of living water." 11 The woman said, "You just told me that you had no way to get water because this well is too deep, so from which well around here are you going to get this special water? 12 Are you greater than our patriarch Jacob who gave us this well? It not only has good water, but it also has a special meaning for us because he, his family and his cattle drank from it." 13 Jesus answered, "The water from this well may be good water, but it's like all other water--after you drink it, you'll get thirsty again. 14 The water that I can give you is special. Once you drink it, you'll never be thirsty again. It will constantly bubble up inside of you like a fresh mountain spring, furnishing eternal life." 15 The woman said, "Sir, let me have some of that water so that I don't ever have to come back to this well to draw water again." 16 Jesus became more pointed in His conversation and said, "Go call your husband so I can offer this special water to both of you." 17 The woman replied, "I'm not married." Jesus said, "I know you're not. 18 You've been married five times, and the man you're living with now is not your husband. You told the truth." 19 The woman gasped, "How do you know all this? You must be a prophet! 20 If you think you're going to win me to Judaism, forget it. Our fathers have been worshiping God in their own way for centuries, but you Jews always say you have the true religion and that Jerusalem is the center of everything." 21 Jesus said, "Believe me, the time is rapidly coming when you won't be able to worship God either on this mountain or in Jerusalem. The Jews will then realize that people can worship God anywhere. 22 You don't understand what you believe or where to worship. You don't have to be in a particular place to worship God, nor should you blindly follow traditions. Yet it is true that salvation will come from Someone who is a Jew. 23 But the time is coming and is already here when people can worship God anywhere, because true worship is a matter of the heart. This is the kind of worship that God is looking for. 24 God is very much concerned about our spiritual lives and how honest and sincere we are, not about where we worship Him." 25 The woman said, "I don't understand everything you say, but I know that someday the Messiah will come and He'll tell us what's right." 26 Jesus said, "I am the Messiah." 27 Just then His disciples returned from town and were shocked to see Him talking with a woman, especially a Samaritan woman. Yet not one of them said anything, nor did they ask Him why He had talked to her. 28 The woman could sense that she wasn't welcome. Yet, thrilled because of her conversation with Jesus, she left her water bucket and ran back to town, telling everyone, 29 "Come and see a stranger who talks like a prophet. He told me everything I ever did. I think He's the Messiah!" 30 Their curiosity was aroused by what the woman told them, and large crowds came out to see Him. 31 While the woman was inviting people to come see, the disciples were urging Jesus to eat, saying, "Master, we know you're hungry. Please have something to eat." 32 He said to them, "I've been eating while you were gone, and you have no idea how good it tasted." 33 The disciples said to each other, "Do you think that someone brought Him something to eat while we were gone?" 34 Jesus, overhearing their conversation, said, "The food I'm talking about is the happiness that comes from doing God's will and accomplishing what He sent me to do. 35 When you talk about God's work, never say, 'Four months from now it'll be harvest time.' The spiritual harvest is always ripe. Just look around you and see how people are longing for the word of God, how they're reaching out for something to give them faith and hope. 36Those who help such people will be filled with heavenly joy when they see them give their hearts to God and receive the gift of eternal life. In the end, the sowers and the reapers will rejoice together over the harvest. 37 The saying is true that some do the sowing and some do the reaping. 38 You've already experienced the joy of reaping by inviting people to give their hearts to God. You were reaping the harvest from seed that John sowed, and you witnessed the fruit of his labor." 39 When the Samaritan woman told the townspeople about Jesus, many of them believed her and were eager to see the Man who knew everything the woman had done. 40 It seemed like the whole town came out to see Him and to talk with Him. They begged Him to stay with them. So He stayed with them almost two days. 41 Because of what He said, many believed that He was the Messiah. 42 Then the townspeople said to the Samaritan woman, "We believe He's the Messiah, not because of what you said about Him, but because we've heard Him ourselves. We now know why you were so excited. Without a doubt, He's the Savior of the world!" 43 After His stay in Samaria, Jesus continued on His way north to Galilee, heading for Nazareth, 44 even though He knew that a prophet receives more respect elsewhere than in his own hometown. 45 When He crossed the border into Galilee, people were glad to see Him, because many of them had seen the miracles He had done at the Passover in Jerusalem. 46 Then Jesus and His disciples decided to visit Cana where He had turned water into a special grape juice. Word spread to nearby Capernaum that He was in Cana, and a nobleman whose son was very sick heard about it. 47 He decided to go to see Jesus. When he got there, he begged Jesus to come to his house to heal his son who was on the verge of death. 48 Jesus said to the nobleman, "You're asking me to come to your house to heal your son, and if I do, then you'll believe that I'm the Son of God." 49 The nobleman answered, "Sir, you are very perceptive. Please forgive my doubting and heal my son! He's dying and needs you!" 50 Jesus said, "Go; your son is healed." The man believed Jesus and headed for home. 51 In full assurance that his son was healed, he delayed arriving home until the next morning. As he neared the house, his servants saw him and came running to tell him that his son was well. 52 He asked them what time the boy started feeling better. They said, "Yesterday at about one o'clock in the afternoon." 53 The man knew that this was the exact time when Jesus had told him that his son was healed. This convinced him beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was the Messiah. Then he told his family about Jesus and they all believed. 54 This was the second major miracle which Jesus had performed in Cana of Galilee since He began His ministry. This time, however, He had come up from Jerusalem instead of coming in from the wilderness.