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John 4

Jerry Zhang
Jerry Zhang

4 min read

In this chapter, I’ll mainly focus on the interaction between Jesus and the woman of Samaria. There are interesting nuggets of wisdom we can extract from this passage.

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

Jesus passes by Samaria and rests besides Jacob’s well. A woman from Samaria comes to draw water. Jesus asks her for a drink. She responded by asking why Jesus, a Jew, was talking to her, a Samaritan.

Historically, Samaritans and Jews hated each other. That’s why it’s both remarkable and surprising that Jesus is even saying a word to her.

Let’s extrapolate this to our present-day lives. Can you think of any two groups that hate each other?

Here are some examples:

  • Democrats and Republicans (the 2 major American political parties)
  • USA and North Korea
  • USA and Iran
  • Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr

The world will always war amongst itself because it is selfish and knows not of forgiveness.

But Jesus says to love your enemies. That’s how far the love of Jesus goes.

The first thing we can do is to be willing. Be willing to talk to someone you may hate, looking past history or convention. Be willing to forgive.

Living Water

If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.John 4:10

The Samaritan woman thinks this is preposterous. She’s looking at Jesus and see that Jesus has nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. How is it possible to get living water if you can’t even get normal water?

Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.John 4:13-14

Reading this verse reminded me of a scene in the Lion King when Scar tells the hyenas that if they stick with him, they will never go hungry again! Except that wasn’t true and ended quite badly. The hyenas ravaged the land so badly that there was no more food to be found.

Back to the Bible.

So this woman hears about this water and really wants it. She doesn’t want to have to draw water from the well everyday―it’s labor-intensive and hard work!

Also, to never be thirsty again equates to eternal satisfaction.

Jesus is offering her eternal life. Jesus offers that to us too.

The Future of Worship

Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.John 4:21

Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that worship is going to forever change. He is, of course, referring to after He dies on the cross to save humanity from their sin.

You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.John 4:22

The Jews (the Israelites) received the law through Moses. That’s why the Jews know what they worship. The Gentiles (non-Jews) didn’t receive the law so they do not know what they worship.

But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.John 4:23-24

But none of that will matter anymore because the future is worship is to seek the Father in spirit and truth. Regardless of whether or not there is the law, everyone will have Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Food and Harvest

My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.John 4:34

Jesus’s disciples urged him to eat. Jesus takes this opportunity to talk about food.

We all love food, right? Well, good food, anyway.

However, the reason living things eat is to receive satisfaction from hunger. That’s the bare definition of food, regardless of how it tastes.

Jesus is referring to a form of satisfaction in spirit, not satisfaction in flesh. By doing the work of God, we can fulfill our spiritual hunger.

Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.John 4:35-36

In order to grow food, one has to work the field for several months before harvest. This is true when it comes to producing food for the flesh.

Here, Jesus talks about food for the spirit, which is the gift of eternal life through believing in Jesus.

Thus, the harvest refers to all the people who have yet to believe Jesus and receive eternal life. Just like how Jesus called his fishermen disciples to be fishers of men, the harvest here is to harvest believers in Jesus.

The Samaritan Woman’s Testimony

Many Samaritans from that town believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.”John 4:39

Testimony is very powerful. It’s the sharing of your experience with others.

It doesn’t matter who the testimony comes from. Everybody has people they can uniquely influence.

I don’t know the role of this woman in this town. Perhaps she’s just an ordinary person. Or she might have some form of influence.

The point is, no matter who we are, we should share our testimony because we never know who it may reach.


Jerry Zhang

Programmer, YouTuber, and amateur musician. I like to write too!