John 4:1-42

1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, "Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John"
2 —although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized—
3 he left Judea and started back to Galilee.
4 But he had to go through Samaria.
5 So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink."
8 (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."
11 The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?
12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?"
13 Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."
15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."
16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back."
17 The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, "I have no husband';
18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!"
19 The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet.
20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem."
21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.
24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
25 The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us."
26 Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you."
27 Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you speaking with her?"
28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people,
29 "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?"
30 They left the city and were on their way to him.
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something."
32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."
33 So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?"
34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.
35 Do you not say, "Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.
36 The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.
37 For here the saying holds true, "One sows and another reaps.'
38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done."
40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days.
41 And many more believed because of his word.
42 They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world."

Images for John 4:1-42

John 4:1-42 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 JOHN 4

In this chapter the apostle cautions against seducing spirits; advises to try them, and gives rules by which they may be known, and by which they are distinguished from others; and then returns to his favourite subject, brotherly love. He exhorts the saints not to believe every man that came with a doctrine to them, but to try them, since there were many false teachers in the world; and gives a rule by which they may be tried and judged, as that whatever teacher owns Christ to be come in the flesh is of God, but he that does not is not of God, but is the spirit of antichrist that should come, and was in the world, 1Jo 4:1,2, but, for the comfort of those to whom he writes, he observes, that they were of God, and had overcome these false teachers, through the mighty power of the divine Spirit in them, who is greater than Satan, and all his emissaries, 1Jo 4:4. He distinguishes between seducing spirits, and faithful ministers of the word; the former are of the world, speak of worldly things, and worldly men hear them; but the latter are of God, and they that have any spiritual knowledge of God hear them; but such as are not of God do not heal them, by which may he known the spirit of truth from the spirit of error, 1Jo 4:5,6. And then the apostle returns to his former exhortation to brotherly love, which he enforces by the following reasons, because it is of God, a fruit of his Spirit and grace, and because it is an evidence of being born of God, and of having a true knowledge of him; whereas he that is destitute of it does not know him, seeing God is love, 1Jo 4:7,8, and having affirmed that God is love, he proves it, by the mission of his Son, to be a propitiation for the sins of such that did not love him, and that they might live through him; wherefore he argues, that if God had such a love to men, so undeserving of it, then the saints ought to love one another, 1Jo 4:9-11. Other arguments follow, engaging to it, as that God is invisible; and if he is to be loved, then certainly his people, who are visible; and that such who love one another, God dwells in them, and his love is perfected in them; and that he dwells in them is known by the gift of his Spirit to them, 1Jo 4:12,13, and that God the Father so loved the world, as to send his Son to be the Saviour of it, before asserted, is confirmed by the apostles, who were eyewitnesses of it; who also declare, that whoever confesses the sonship of Christ, God dwells in him, and he in God; and who had an assurance of the love of God to them, who is love itself; so that he that dwells in God, and God in him, dwells in love, 1Jo 4:14-16. And great are the advantages arising from hence, for hereby the saints' love to God is made perfect; they have boldness in the day of judgment, since as he is, so are they in this world, and fear is cast out by it, 1Jo 4:17,18, but lest too much should be thought to be ascribed to love, that is said to be owing to the love of God to them, which is prior to theirs to him, and the reason of it, 1Jo 4:19. And the chapter is closed with observing the contradiction there is between a profession of love to God, and hatred of the brethren, seeing God, who is invisible, cannot be loved, if brethren that are seen are hated; and also the commandment, that he that loves God should love his brother also, 1Jo 4:20,21.

John 4:1-42 In-Context

1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, "Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John"
2 —although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized—
3 he left Judea and started back to Galilee.
4 But he had to go through Samaria.
5 So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
7 A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink."
8 (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."
11 The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?
12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?"
13 Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
14 but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."
15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."
16 Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come back."
17 The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, "I have no husband';
18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!"
19 The woman said to him, "Sir, I see that you are a prophet.
20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem."
21 Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.
24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
25 The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming" (who is called Christ). "When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us."
26 Jesus said to her, "I am he, the one who is speaking to you."
27 Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you want?" or, "Why are you speaking with her?"
28 Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people,
29 "Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?"
30 They left the city and were on their way to him.
31 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, "Rabbi, eat something."
32 But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."
33 So the disciples said to one another, "Surely no one has brought him something to eat?"
34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.
35 Do you not say, "Four months more, then comes the harvest'? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.
36 The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.
37 For here the saying holds true, "One sows and another reaps.'
38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
39 Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman's testimony, "He told me everything I have ever done."
40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days.
41 And many more believed because of his word.
42 They said to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world."
43 When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee
44 (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet's own country).
45 When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival.
46 Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum.

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. Other ancient authorities read [the Lord]
  • [b]. Other ancient authorities lack this sentence
  • [c]. The Greek word for [you] here and in verses 21 and 22 is plural
  • [d]. Gk [I am]
  • [e]. Or [the Christ]
  • [f]. Or +V35+W[. . . the fields are already ripe for harvesting. +V36+WThe reaper is receiving]