The Gospel of John for Youth
Commentary by Pastor Ron
John Chapter 4
(Words in red in the
Scriptures are the words of Jesus)
"Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making
and baptizing more disciples than John"
The Holy Spirit of God knows everything about us. When
Jesus was on earth, He LISTENED to that Spirit and because of Him, KNEW that the
Pharisees ("Separated Ones") had heard that many were coming to Jesus.
John had been very popular but now they were going to Jesus and trusting in Him.
"(although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were),"
Jesus was not baptizing people (dipping them in water).
His disciples (students) were doing it, and many were coming to them, for the
people wanted to be forgiven for the bad things they had done. Baptism is a way
of saying, "I'm sorry and I want Jesus to forgive me."
"He left Judea and went away again into Galilee."
Jesus walked north from the Roman area of Judea and went
to the area around the Sea of Galilee. His disciples (students) would have been
with Him. Many of them were FROM Galilee.
"And He had to pass through Samaria."
There were two ways to get to Galilee, and on this trip,
they walked north through the area called "Samaria." This was a place
where the people had become a mixture. The Samaritans were partly Jewish and
part Gentile, both in who their parents were and also in what they believed
"So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph;"
Jesus came near the town of Sychar which was a small
village located near a small plot of ground that Jacob (Abraham's grandson) had
given to his son Joseph, hundreds of years before.
"and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was
sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour."
Jesus stopped at a well, about 1/2 mile from where Sychar
was located at that time. (We were at the well last year - a Church has been
built on top of it and the well is now in the basement.) Notice that Jesus, the
Son of God, had become a man, and just like the rest of us, He got tired.
Verse 7. "There came a woman of Samaria
to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give
Me a drink.’"
A woman of that place (a Samaritan woman) came to the well
at that moment, and Jesus asked her for a drink of water. The well was very
deep, Jesus was tired, and He needed help.
"For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food."
The well was very deep and Jesus’ disciples (students)
had gone to buy food. There was no one except the Samaritan woman to help Him.
"Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew,
ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?’ (For Jews have no dealings
Have you ever been with people that ignored you? That’s
the way it was between the Jews and Samaritans (the Jews ignored the
Samaritans), and she was wondering why He (Jesus) was speaking to her.
Verse 10. "Jesus answered and said to
you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’
you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’''
The real issue here was not whether Jesus was thirsty. The
real need was in this woman. Jesus is God’s Gift to all of us, and He can
satisfy us (all who ask Him) deep inside, with something He calls "living
water." He wants to satisfy your soul.
"She said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep;
where then do You get that living water?’"
The Samaritan asked Jesus the Son of God, where this
"living water" would come from? We often do not understand how God
does things, but that is not important. What is needed is that we should ASK.
"You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and
drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?''
The greatest person this woman of Samaria could think of
was Jacob, grandson of Abraham, who owned this very well, hundreds of years
before. If Jesus could give "living water" to her, she thought, then
He would be greater than Jacob.
Verse 13. "Jesus answered and said to
who drinks of this water will thirst again;’"
Each time after we take a drink, we will soon be thirsty
again. After we breathe, we need to breathe again. We eat, and then we get
hungry. Things of this world only satisfy us for a little time.
Verse 14. "but
whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the
water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to
Jesus will satisfy you deep inside. He is like a fine,
pure water that refreshes your soul, and once you have received Him, that deep
need you have will be satisfied – forever.
"The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor
come all the way here to draw.’"
The woman of Samaria was tired. The well was one half mile
from her village of Sychar. The water was heavy and she wanted this living
water, so she didn’t have to go for water anymore. But Jesus was talking about
something much better than the water we drink.
Verse 16. "He said to her, ‘Go,
call your husband and come here.’"
Jesus did not respond directly to her statement, but
instead told her to go back to her village and bring her husband to Him.
Verse 17. "The woman answered and said,
‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You
have correctly said, ‘I have no husband.’"
She confessed that she did not have a husband. Jesus
already knew that, and it was good that she answered Him honestly. We need to be
honest when we speak to our Lord.
Verse 18. "for
you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband;
this you have said truly."
The woman of Samaria previously had five husbands,
probably one at a time, and the man she was now living with was not her husband.
Verse 19. "The woman
said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.’
Jesus had looked right inside of her and had told her
things about herself that no ordinary person could possibly know. She said to
Him, "Sir ("Lord"), I think you are a "prophet" (a
spokesman for God).
‘Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is
the place where men ought to worship."
If he was a prophet, she thought, now was the time to ask
Him religious questions. The Samaritans worshipped at Mount Gerizim and the Jews
had their Temple in Jerusalem. Who was right, she wondered? She would ask this
Man she thought was a prophet.
Verse 21. "Jesus said to her, ‘Woman,
believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem
will you worship the Father.’"
Jesus would not be taken by her into an argument about
religious beliefs. But he did tell her that special places of worship are only
temporary. We need more than buildings or mountains – we need to love
(worship) the Lord.
Verse 22. "You
worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the
The Samaritans were not correct in their religious beliefs
but they thought their religion was better than the religion of the Jews. Jesus
told her "No; that isn’t true."
Verse 23. "But
an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father
in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers."
There’s something MORE than religion in the world. It’s
not how correct you are in religion – it’s WHO you worship. God the Father,
through Jesus Christ, is actively seeking you in love, that you might learn to
love God in spirit and in truth.
Verse 24. "God
is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
God is "spirit", which really means that He is
outside all our attempts to be good people without Him. We must give Him our
hearts, our lives – everything, in Jesus Name, and then God will receive our
love, as we will receive His.
"The woman said to Him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called
Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.’"
The woman of Samaria had heard that the
"Messiah" ("Christ", Anointed One, Special One of God) would
leave eternity and come to earth. She had also heard that He would help us to
understand everything we would ever need to know.
Verse 26. "Jesus said to her, ‘I
who speak to you, am He.’"
This is so plain. The One you have waited for, all your
life, is Jesus. He is the "Christ", the "Messiah", (the
special Anointed One of God). WHO can you trust with your life? - Jesus Christ.
"At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been
speaking with a woman, yet no one said, ‘What do You seek?’ or, ‘Why do You
speak with her?’"
His disciples (students) had come back with the food (see
verse 8) and were surprised that He had been speaking with a woman; especially a
non-Jewish woman. They were afraid to ask Him about it, but that was a mistake.
We should ASK our Lord, and He will answer our every need.
"So the woman left her waterpot, and went
into the city and said to the men,"
Waterpots were important to the people of that time, but
the woman was so excited that she left hers by the well and ran to tell others
about Jesus. We should do the same. Leave your worries and run to tell others
about the Lord.
"Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the
Christ, is it?"
The Samaritan woman still wasn't sure if Jesus was the
Christ (Messiah - Anointed One) but she thought He might be, especially because
He knew things about her that He could not know any other way.
"They went out of the city, and were coming to Him."
The people of the city of Sychar became excited when they
heard what the Samaritan woman told them about Jesus, and they ran from the town
to where He stood, beside Jacob's well.
"Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, ‘Rabbi, eat.’"
The disciples had come back to the well and they brought
food with them. It had been a long time since any of them had eaten, and they
were saying to Jesus, "Rabbi (Teacher), please have some food."
Verse 32. "But He said to them, ‘I
have food to eat that you do not know about.’"
Often, all people think about is "I'm hungry",
or "I'm thirsty, or "I'm tired". But God is not limited like we
are and He can give us food, drink, and rest that we know nothing about.
"So the disciples were saying to one another, ‘No one brought Him anything to
eat, did he?’"
The disciples (students) of Jesus did not understand.
Jesus was satisfied because the people of the village of Sychar were coming to
Him. His disciples were worried about food, but Jesus was thinking about
something much more important.
Verse 34. "Jesus said to them, ‘My
food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.’"
All the disciples could think about was "we're hungry
and Jesus must be hungry, too." But Jesus had no time for that right now.
He was doing the work and the will of God the Father in the lives of the people
you not say, ‘There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest? Behold, I
say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for
In that place and time, people knew a lot about farming.
Almost everybody knew how long it would be before the white grain would be ready
to be picked for the harvest. But Jesus pointed to the villagers dressed in
white robes coming from the town of Sychar. THEY were more important than food.
he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that
he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together."
People think a lot about buying food, clothing and other
needs of life. Jesus knew that people really need to be made right with God.
When you bring someone to Jesus, you will rejoice with them, both now and
in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’"
We don't have to "do it all". God equips us and
then sends us to do what we are able to do. God sends people to everyone. All we
have to do is our part, which might be to just talk about what Jesus means to
us, or it may be that we will bring them to the Kingdom of God. To
"sow" is to tell someone of Jesus. To "reap" is when they
sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and
you have entered into their labor."
God had given His Word to the Samaritan people that lived
in Sychar. It would be easier now for the disciples (students) to tell them of
Jesus because these people were ready to come to Him. God will make it easy for
"From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of
the woman who testified, ‘He told me all the things that I have done.’"
The people of the little village of Sychar knew this woman
and could see that she had been changed for the better by Jesus. Jesus had known
about her before she said anything. They wanted to be changed too, and because
of her, they were coming to Him.
"So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them;
and He stayed there two days."
The Samaritans (those of the village of Sychar) had come
to Jesus and they were ready to listen to Him. They asked Him to stay with them
and He did stay in their village for the next two days.
"Many more believed because of His word;"
If you really LISTEN to the words of Jesus Christ, you
will come to believe that He is just who He said He was - the Son of God who
died for your sins and mine. Many of the Samaritans did listen and they BELIEVED
"and they were saying to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of what you said
that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is
indeed the Savior of the world.’"
At first the Samaritan people were turning to Jesus
because of the words spoken by the woman at the well. But now they had listened
to Jesus themselves and once they really HEARD Him, they knew for themselves
that He is the Special One of God, the Savior sent to everyone in this world.
"After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee."
After spending two days with the Samaritan people of
Sychar, Jesus took his disciples (students) and went north once more, into the
area called Galilee.
Verse 44. "For Jesus
Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country."
Jesus, the Son of God, had prophesied (shown the
"heart" of God) to the Galileans before, and He knew they were not
receiving His words. He had grown up in Galilee. They remembered Him as a
neighbor boy and they would not think of Him as the Son of God.
Verse 45. "So when He
came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He
did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves also went to the feast."
Most of the Jews left their homes every year and went to
the Feast called Passover. Jesus had been in Jerusalem for the Passover
celebration and so had many of the people in Galilee. He had done surprising
things there and they wanted to see if He would do more.
Verse 46. "Therefore He came again to Cana of Galilee
where He had made the water wine. And there was a royal official whose son was
sick at Capernaum."
Jesus went to the town of Cana, the same place where He
had turned the water into wine (Chapter 2). A man thought to be special in that
community had a son who was presently in another town called Capernaum, and the
boy was very sick.
"When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and
was imploring Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of
The man (verse 46) was worried about his son who was so
sick that he nearly had died. When he heard Jesus was in the area, he went to
Him and begged Him to come and heal his son.
Verse 48. "So Jesus said to him, ‘Unless
you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe.’"
Jesus saw in this man’s heart that he and the people in
that area did not believe in Him, and would not, unless they saw some kind of
miracles done. We need to trust in Jesus because we love Him; not just because
we want something from Him.
"The royal official said to Him, ‘Sir, come down before my child dies.’"
This "nobleman" (someone thought to be special
by others) called Jesus "Sir" which actually means "Lord".
He begged Jesus to go to Capernaum and heal his son.
Verse 50. "Jesus said to him, ‘Go;
your son lives.’ The man
believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off."
But Jesus did not go to Capernaum as the man asked (verse
49). Instead, He told the man to go now, because the boy was well. The man
believed what Jesus said and went off to see his son.
"As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living."
The man left Jesus and was going home to see how his son
was doing. He was a wealthy man who had servants. They ran to him and told him
his son had been healed of his sickness.
Verse 52. "So he
inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him,
‘Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.’"
To them, time was figured from sunset to sunset. "The
seventh hour" would have been either 1 in the afternoon or 1 AM. At exactly
the time when Jesus said "Your son lives"
(verse 51), the boy was healed.
Verse 53. "So the father knew that it
was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, ‘Your
son lives’; and he himself
believed and his whole household."
The father of the boy who had been healed by Jesus was
very excited and he asked his servants, "WHEN did this happen?" It
turned out to be the SAME time Jesus said "Your son
lives" (verse 51). The boy's father believed in Jesus and told
everybody who lived in his house what had happened. They ALL believed in Jesus
"This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea
The first sign (miracle) Jesus did after coming to Galilee
from Judea, was the turning of water into wine (John Chapter 2). This second one
was the healing of a little boy, as seen in the last few verses of Chapter 4.
Ron Beckham, Pastor
Friday Study Ministries