By Robert Guenther
We are going to consider the Gospel of John chapter 4:1-9. The chapter starts out by telling us that the Pharisees were trying to cause a division between the Lord and John the Baptist concerning baptism. We can conclude that they did not succeed. Next we find that the Lord needed to move on because He had an appointment to meet a woman of Samaria at Jacob's well.
Verse 1 states: "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples that John." John the Baptist was not in competition with Christ to see who could baptize the most disciples. In fact our next verse explains that Christ's ministry was not involved with water baptism.
Verse 2 states: "(Though Jesus Himself baptized not, but the disciples)," This verse would indicate that he left this work of baptism up to the disciples. It seems that the enemy is still trying to cause divisions with the question about baptisms.
Verse 3 reads: "He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee." This city is often referred to as "Galilee of the Gentiles" and was despised by the Pharisees. One of the reasons the Lord went to this city was to provoke Israel to jealousy. Another reason as we read in our next verse was that He needed to go to Galilee. He also had an appointment to go to a city named Sychar.
Verse 4: "And He must needs go through Samaria." This went slightly out of His way and He did not take the shortest route to Galilee.
Verse 5: "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." As we quote the next verse we find that there is a well called Jacob's well and this is where an important meeting would take place.
Verse 6: "Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore,being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour." We know that the Lord always made Himself available to do the Father's business, so while He was resting, He was also waiting for this woman to arrive to draw water.
Verse 7, 8: "There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, 'Give me to drink,' (For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)" This woman seems surprised that the Lord was asking for water from her.
Verse 9: "Then saith the woman of Samaria unto Him, 'How is it that Thou being a Jew, asketh drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? (for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans')".
In our next issue we will find that the Lord has a different kind of water in mind.