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4:When We Learn · PDF file 2021. 2. 4. · When We Learn John 4:9-30 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman

Mar 03, 2021




  • When We Learn

    John 4:9-30

    Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 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. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.

    This is the final part in the series on having a teachable spirit. We started by looking at what happens when we don’t listen to godly counsel and instead, follow the leading of people who don’t know the Lord or His ways. In the case of Rehoboam, that was ungodly friends. We talked about the need for having a teachable spirit and knowing God’s word so that we might avoid sin. This was the case with Eve and her fall in the

    Garden of Eden when she was ensnared by satan’s twisting of God’s clear command. We looked

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  • at Nicodemus for those times when we don’t understand but are still called to persevere in the faith. Now, we will look at the woman at the well and see what happens when we have a spirit that can be taught, that is able to listen, that has a spirit of humility and curiosity, and that inevitably bears fruit as a result.

    Questions and Answers

    Here is Jesus, weary from His journey, stopping at a well in Samaria. Remember, Jews had no dealings with Samaritans. That’s why Jesus’s parable of The Good Samaritan was so shocking to them; Jews did not help—let alone talk—with Samaritans, who were considered half-breeds, half Jewish and half pagan due to their mixed marriages. So strong was Jewish prejudice against Samaritans, that Jews of that time that were traveling north to Galilee made it a point of going around Samaria instead of through it. To Jews, Samaritans were unclean. Jesus, of course, does not follow any such prejudices, and instead goes right through Samaria in order to talk to a Samaritan.

    To make this incident even more scandalous, Jesus is talking to a woman. While no such restrictions were included in the Old Testament, by the time of Jesus, the Jews of that day had made it so that women could not engage in commerce or go to the marketplace. They also had to be heavily veiled while in public, and certainly could not talk to a man outside of their family (source). To show how unbiblical that was, keep in mind that Jesus had women disciples and regularly talked to and even taught women, such as Martha and Mary.

    The third strike against this woman, and what further contrasts her with the respectability of Nicodemus, can be seen in verse 18. There we learn that this woman has had five husbands and

    that the man she is currently living with is not her husband. Rabbis of that day disapproved of more than three marriages, and here she is between her fifth and sixth! Nevermind that she is also living with a man who is not her husband.

    Have you ever wondered why this woman got water at noon (“the sixth hour,” verse 6) instead of first thing in the morning like other women? Well, I’m sure you noticed that while men have their sins they regularly deal with, such as anger and impatience, for many women, the tongue—gossip—is a real problem. The water cooler of that day was the well where the women gathered water for their families, and such would have been a place for gossip.

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    Some of the most learned people I know are the most closed off to the gospel of Christ. 

    She is an outcast because she is a Samaritan, a woman, and a known sinner.

    In those days, women did not recover from that.

  • Instead of facing the insults and hearing the hurtful words of her neighbors (most, if not all of whom probably knew her story), the woman goes to the well at one of the hottest parts of the day in order to avoid them. 

    And it is there that she meets Jesus. Her surprise is evident in her initial questions. Remember, she is an outcast to the Jews because she is a Samaritan, a woman, and a known sinner. In those days, women did not recover from that. But this woman wants to learn Jesus’s reason for being at the well.

    Notice also how she confronts Jesus with two of the things that make her an outcast—the fact that she is a Samaritan and a woman. She feels unworthy, and cannot understand why Jesus is talking to her. 

    We sometimes ask similar questions of God as well. We want to learn things that sometimes seem hard to fathom.

    God, how come you love me, a sinner? Why, of all the people in the world, did you draw me to You, Lord?

    Jesus responds to the woman in verse 10 because He is a God of compassion and love. He also knows that here is someone with a teachable spirit. One does not have to be learned in order to be taught. In fact, some of the most learned people I know are the most closed off to the gospel of Christ. 

    Jesus tells the woman: “If thou knewest the gift of God…” Our prayers are impacted by how well we know God and His word. Do you believe that God answers prayer? Do you know God’s word and the promises that He has for His children. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). 

    If you are a person of faith, and you truly know God and His ways, then you would (as Jesus says later) ask of Him. Jesus said in Matthew 7, “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:9-11).

    God gives and God blesses, which we see at the end of verse 10. Unfortunately, like the woman, we many times respond with doubt or a critical nature. In verse 12, she asks, “Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well…?” In part three of this series, I mentioned the importance of asking good questions instead of bad ones, and this would certainly fall into the bad category. While we can certainly give the woman some latitude at this point because Jesus hasn’t yet revealed Himself as the Messiah to her, we can also see how doubt tears at the

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  • promises of God.

    God, are you able to…? Can you open a door? Can you help me see the light? Are you even with me?

    Sometimes doubts aren’t even in the form of questions. We could certainly put the apostle Thomas into that category, “The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).

    To have a spirit that is open to Christ, His word, and His teaching, we must get beyond doubt.

    Our Spirit

    People can have different spirits. Some can have a spirit of judgmentalism and legalism; some have a spirit of fear and anxiety. People can have a good spirit too: one of meekness and quietness (1 Peter 3:4), peace and love, boldness and courage. As Jesus begins to teach the woman at the well, we first notice a spirit of eagerness. He tells her in verses 13-14 about living water. You see her response in verse 15, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.”

    She recognizes in Jesus something that is far dif