Jesus Goes to Galilee
So when the Lord learned that the Pharisees had been told that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), He left Judea and returned again to Galilee. Now [a]He had to go through [b]Samaria. So He arrived at a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the tract of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; and Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down by the well. It was then about the sixth hour (noon).
The Samaritan Woman
Then a woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink”— For His disciples had gone off into the city to buy food— The Samaritan woman asked Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a [c]Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (For Jews have nothing to do with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew [about] God’s gift [of eternal life], and who it is who says, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him [instead], and He would have given you living water (eternal life).” She said to Him, “Sir, [d]You have nothing to draw with [no bucket and rope] and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father [e]Jacob, who gave us the well, and who used to drink from it himself, and his sons and his cattle also?” Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not get thirsty nor [have to continually] come all the way here to draw.” At this, Jesus said, “Go, call your husband and come back.” The woman answered, “I do not have a husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I do not have a husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your [f]husband. You have said this truthfully.” The woman said to Him, “Sir, I see that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews say that the place where one ought to worship is in Jerusalem [at the temple].” Jesus replied, “Woman, believe Me, a time is coming [when God’s kingdom comes] when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You [Samaritans] do not know what you worship; we [Jews] do know what we worship, for salvation is from the Jews. But a time is coming and is already here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [from the heart, the inner self] and in truth; for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers. God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ—the Anointed); when that One comes, He will tell us everything [we need to know].” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you, am He (the Messiah).”
- John 4:4 Jesus went through Samaria to show that He is the Savior of all people.
- John 4:4 Samaria was centrally located between Judea (south) and Galilee (north). The Jews despised Samaritans because they were Jews who had intermarried with non-Jews and followed a heretical religion. Most Jews traveled out of their way to avoid Samaria.
- John 4:9 The Jews considered Samaritan women ceremonially unclean.
- John 4:11 The woman’s response is due to the fact that “living water” was the normal description for running water. She probably thought that Jesus was referring to the underground water source that fed the well.
- John 4:12 Jacob (renamed Israel in Gen 32:28) was the son of Isaac, grandson of Abraham and father of the twelve sons who established the twelve tribes of Israel.
- John 4:18 God does not regard cohabitation as marriage. Marriage is a binding, legal covenant between a man and a woman.