John Chapter 4
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Matthew Henry's John Chapter 4 Bible commentary...
Christ's departure into Galilee. (1-3) His discourse with the Samaritan woman. (4-26) The effects of Christ's conversation with the woman of Samaria. (27-42) Christ heals the nobleman's son. (43-54)1-3 Jesus applied himself more to preaching, which was the more excellent, #1Co 1:17|, than to baptism. He would put honour upon his disciples, by employing them to baptize. He teaches us that the benefit of sacraments depends not on the hand that administers them.
4-26 There was great hatred between the Samaritans and the Jews. Christ's road from Judea to Galilee lay through Samaria. We should not go into places of temptation but when we needs must; and then must not dwell in them, but hasten through them. We have here our Lord Jesus under the common fatigue of travellers. Thus we see that he was truly a man. Toil came in with sin; therefore Christ, having made himself a curse for us, submitted to it. Also, he was a poor man, and went all his journeys on foot. Being wearied, he sat thus on the well; he had no couch to rest upon. He sat thus, as people wearied with travelling sit. Surely, we ought readily to submit to be like the Son of God in such things as these. Christ asked a woman for water. She was surprised because he did not show the anger of his own nation against the Samaritans. Moderate men of all sides are men wondered at. Christ took the occasion to teach her Divine things: he converted this woman, by showing her ignorance and sinfulness, and her need of a Saviour. By this living water is meant the Spirit. Under this comparison the blessing of the Messiah had been promised in the Old Testament. The graces of the Spirit, and his comforts, satisfy the thirsting soul, that knows its own nature and necessity. What Jesus spake figuratively, she took literally. Christ shows that the water of Jacob's well yielded a very short satisfaction. Of whatever waters of comfort we drink, we shall thirst again. But whoever partakes of the Spirit of grace, and the comforts of the gospel, shall never want that which will abundantly satisfy his soul. Carnal hearts look no higher than carnal ends. Give it me, saith she, not that I may have everlasting life, which Christ proposed, but that I come not hither to draw. The carnal mind is very ingenious in shifting off convictions, and keeping them from fastening. But how closely our Lord Jesus brings home the conviction to her conscience! He severely reproved her present state of life. The woman acknowledged Christ to be a prophet. The power of his word in searching the heart, and convincing the conscience of secret things, is a proof of Divine authority. It should cool our contests, to think that the things we are striving about are passing away. The object of worship will continue still the same, God, as a Father; but an end shall be put to all differences about the place of worship. Reason teaches us to consult decency and convenience in the places of our worship; but religion gives no preference to one place above another, in respect of holiness and approval with God. The Jews were certainly in the right. Those who by the Scriptures have obtained some knowledge of God, know whom they worship. The word of salvation was of the Jews. It came to other nations through them. Christ justly preferred the Jewish worship before the Samaritan, yet here he speaks of the former as soon to be done away. God was about to be revealed as the Father of all believers in every nation. The spirit or the soul of man, as influenced by the Holy Spirit, must worship God, and have communion with him. Spiritual affections, as shown in fervent prayers, supplications, and thanksgivings, form the worship of an upright heart, in which God delights and is glorified. The woman was disposed to leave the matter undecided, till the coming of the Messiah. But Christ told her, I that speak to thee, am He. She was an alien and a hostile Samaritan, merely speaking to her was thought to disgrace our Lord Jesus. Yet to this woman did our Lord reveal himself more fully than as yet he had done to any of his disciples. No past sins can bar our acceptance with him, if we humble ourselves before him, believing in him as the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
27-42 The disciples wondered that Christ talked thus with a Samaritan. Yet they knew it was for some good reason, and for some good end. Thus when particular difficulties occur in the word and providence of God, it is good to satisfy ourselves that all is well that Jesus Christ says and does. Two things affected the woman. The extent of his knowledge. Christ knows all the thoughts, words, and actions, of all the children of men. And the power of his word. He told her secret sins with power. She fastened upon that part of Christ's discourse, many would think she would have been most shy of repeating; but the knowledge of Christ, into which we are led by conviction of sin, is most likely to be sound and saving. They came to him: those who would know Christ, must meet him where he records his name. Our Master has left us an example, that we may learn to do the will of God as he did; with diligence, as those that make a business of it; with delight and pleasure in it. Christ compares his work to harvest-work. The harvest is appointed and looked for before it comes; so was the gospel. Harvest-time is busy time; all must be then at work. Harvest-time is a short time, and harvest-work must be done then, or not at all; so the time of the gospel is a season, which if once past, cannot be recalled. God sometimes uses very weak and unlikely instruments for beginning and carrying on a good work. Our Saviour, by teaching one poor woman, spread knowledge to a whole town. Blessed are those who are not offended at Christ. Those taught of God, are truly desirous to learn more. It adds much to the praise of our love to Christ and his word, if it conquers prejudices. Their faith grew. In the matter of it: they believed him to be the Saviour, not only of the Jews but of the world. In the certainty of it: we know that this is indeed the Christ. And in the ground of it, for we have heard him ourselves.
43-54 The father was a nobleman, yet the son was sick. Honours and titles are no security from sickness and death. The greatest men must go themselves to God, must become beggars. The nobleman did not stop from his request till he prevailed. But at first he discovered the weakness of his faith in the power of Christ. It is hard to persuade ourselves that distance of time and place, are no hinderance to the knowledge, mercy, and power of our Lord Jesus. Christ gave an answer of peace. Christ's saying that the soul lives, makes it alive. The father went his way, which showed the sincerity of his faith. Being satisfied, he did not hurry home that night, but returned as one easy in his own mind. His servants met him with the news of the child's recovery. Good news will meet those that hope in God's word. Diligent comparing the works of Jesus with his word, will confirm our faith. And the bringing the cure to the family brought salvation to it. Thus an experience of the power of one word of Christ, may settle the authority of Christ in the soul. The whole family believed likewise. The miracle made Jesus dear to them. The knowledge of Christ still spreads through families, and men find health and salvation to their souls.
David's John Chapter 4 comment on 5/15/2013, 9:54am...
How does this Samaritan woman who admits of no dealing between her people and Jewish (sic Judean) people know and believe the Jewish expectation about the coming of messiah and his powers?
I think it's more a case of a Samaritan Jewess knowing the expectations all too well but that the author forgets that she isn't supposed to know about this particular Messiah (Jesus) yet because the mission has barely got started!
I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Christians would understand this to mean 'Christ the Messiah' and therein lies the mistake, whereas in fact it is an innocent if redundant tautology; 'Messiah(Greek) the Messiah(Hebrew) which doesn't need to be spoken at all if the woman only knows of the expectation. If on the other hand she had in fact got wind of the claim earlier than most she would more likely have spoken of 'the Nazerene Messiah'.
Ijeoma's John Chapter 4 comment on 3/21/2013, 11:22am...
In john 4 verse 24,no one can worship God well carnally but rather in spirit and in truth.if you are living in fornication,adultery,lies, murder and all sorts of corruption you cannot serve God well.
Ed's John Chapter 4 comment about verse 25 on 2/27/2013, 12:59pm...
It is interesting that the Samaritan woman who admits of no dealing between her people and Jewish people knows and believes the Jewish expectation about the coming of messiah and his powers.
Jay's John Chapter 4 comment on 2/15/2013, 4:00pm...
On how to get saved:
1. You make a statement that a person must accept Jesus Christ in baptism to be saved in order to go to heaven;
2. If this is a reference that water baptism is part of a personís being born again then I must state that the scriptures do not support this belief;
3. In the church age (age of grace), water baptism is never connected to salvation;
4. The apostle Paul (apostle to gentiles) says in 1 Corinthians 1:17 that Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect;
5. So you can determine that water baptism is not part of the gospel message which is the death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4), Jesus baptized no one (John 4:2);
6. When a person accepts Jesus Christ as his/her saviour, at that moment they are baptized (filled) in with the holy spirit (ghost);
7. The word baptism means to be immerse (not sprinkled or water poured over the head) and is called believerís baptism, because it represents the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Romans 6:1-6), which is what happens to a person spiritually at the time we receive Jesus Christ as our savior;
8. Born again believers get baptized because they are saved, not to get saved;
9. Christians are baptized in water as act of public display of their faith they received from him (Hebrews 12:2),and they are making an open commitment to serve and obey Jesus according to the scriptures.
Emmanuel's John Chapter 4 comment about verse 18 on 1/17/2013, 7:00am...
The woman had committed fornication with 5 people and therefore spiritually she was married to them without the woman having got married to the men in the court of Law or traditionally. Due to her fornication, she was not paired with the rightful man God had prepared for her. She had committed fornication with the man with whom she was staying with, thatís why she said she did not have a husband but Jesus mentioned that she should go and fetch the her husband whom she stayed with.
Frenz's John Chapter 4 comment on 1/17/2013, 3:13am...
I would like to focus on verses 23 and 24; Saying But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Precisely God is looking for a true worshipper in this scenario, who will worship him in Spirit and Truth. So many people believed and worship God, Praising God but they don't know if whom they are worshipping. Here God stated that we must have the qualifications that God wants to see. Verse 24; God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. It is true that God is Spirit that is a fact 1+1=11. Being Spirit, He doesn't have a body, doesn't have a blood, a bone, even flesh meaning God is invisible, we cannot see him but we can feel him. Being He is the TRUTH this is the power of God to forgive on our sins, to save us from our sins without accepting the process of God for salvation then we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God which John 3:5 stated. Unless a man is born of water & of Spirit he cannot enter into God's Kingdom. Because our destiny actually is for damnation in hell, once you died you are already judged (Hebrews 9:27). And there is NO MORE HOPE for salvation to our SOUL, because we are all BORN SINNERS according to (Psalms 55:1, Romans 3: 10,23) and the wages of sins is death. We will all die in flesh and some of will all die Spiritually in hell if they donít repent. The only remedy is to accept Jesus Christ in Baptism bacause this is His command before ascending in heaven that he commanded his disciples to baptize all nation in his name (Acts 2:38-39). That is the reason that God seeketh a TRUE WORSHIPPER WHO WILL WORSHIP HIM WITHOUT SEEING ANYTHING because God is Spirit. God bless you all. Jesus loves us!
Elder M. Dube's John Chapter 4 comment on 12/19/2012, 7:55am...
1. The woman came into contact with the seventh man! Her life became complete because she had met a man of completeness. All other men who met this woman could not quench her thirst;
2. The word of God whenever it is preached, must tell us what we are for real. We repent because we have been told what we are. We tell other people about the Jesus who tells us who we are. If the word does not awaken within us that, then it goes without doing anything... God help us!
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