The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 52 of 210
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The disciples who had gone to the city to buy food, now returned and were greatly
surprised that He was talking with a woman. But they did not question Him, for they
knew He always had good reason for what He did.
The woman had heard that the Jews expected a Messiah, so she said to the Lord,
"I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When He comes, He will explain
everything to us" (4: 25, N.I.V.).
Then, with wonderful simplicity and yet with power Christ's reply was:
"I Who speak to you am He" (4: 26).
What a revelation! We are not told what she said, but her following actions showed
the tremendous impression this had made on her, for she left her water-pot and returned
to the city and told them, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could
this be the Christ?". Being impressed by her story, they decided to see for themselves.
"Meanwhile His disciples urged Him, `Rabbi, eat something'. But He said to them, `I
have food to eat that you know nothing about'." (4: 31, 32).
This made the disciples think that someone had given Him a meal (33). Like the
woman, they misunderstood the Lord's words, taking them in a material sense. But He
"My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me and to finish His work."
He likens this witness to the sowing of seed ending with a harvest. He had already
sown the seed of truth in the woman's mind and already a harvest was in view for
enquiring people were approaching from Sychar. The result was that "many of the
Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman's testimony, `He told
me everything I ever did'. So when the Samaritans came to Him, they urged Him to stay
with them, and He stay two days. And because of His words, many more became
believers" (39-41). They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what
you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this Man really is the
Saviour of the world" (42). This was a harvest indeed and John is inspired by the Holy
Spirit to record these words of the Samaritans because they accord with the wider
purpose of his Gospel, bearing in mind that God sent His Son into the world "in order
that the world might be saved through Him" (John 3: 17).
On the surface there is a discrepancy in the Gospel records, for the Lord, when
commissioning the Twelve Apostles, forbade them to go to Samaria with their message.
"Go not" (Matt. 10: 5) and "He must needs go through Samaria" (John 4: 4) appear
contradictory, but we must always recognize the sovereignty of the Lord in His actions
and also, as pointed out before, that though the Jew comes first, the earthly kingdom
purposes of God involve the whole world of mankind and can in no way restricted to
Israel. Yet, God had determined Israel should be "first" and be the earthly channel
through which a knowledge of Himself as Redeemer and King should be spread to all