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John  ◦   Chapter 4

1Some of the legalistic religious lawyers heard that more people were becoming followers of Jesus than of John,2and that these new followers were being immersed in water by Jesus' disciples.33 When the Lord Jesus learned that the Pharisees were turning the numbers of those immersed by John and his own disciples into a competition, he left Judea and returned to Galilee.

4On his way to Galilee, he had to pass through Samaria,5and came to a town called Sychar, near the parcel of land Jacob had given to his son Joseph.6This is where Jacob's well was located. Jesus was tired from his journey and sat down by the well. It was about noon.

7While Jesus was resting at the well, a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus asked her, "Would you be kind enough to give me a drink?"8(Jesus was alone, because his disciples had gone to town to buy food).

9The Samaritan woman was momentarily stunned by Jesus' request because Jews were notorious for discriminating against Samaritans (women in particular) and wouldn't even talk to them. Once she recovered from her shock, she said to Jesus, "What's going on that you, a Jew, would ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?"

10Jesus, with courtesy and respect, said, "If you knew the gift that God has provided for all humanity, and who it is that is asking you for a drink, you would ask me and I would give you the water of eternal life."

11"Sir," the woman replied, "the well is deep, and you have nothing with which to draw the water, so where do you propose to get this water of eternal life?12Are you greater than our father Jacob who dug this well and drank from it himself, as did all of his family and their flocks and herds?"

13Jesus patiently answered, "Everyone who drinks of the water from this well, in just a short time becomes thirsty again,14but whoever drinks the water of life I give them will never thirst again. In fact, the water of life I give will actually become a new fountain inside them, that will overflow to eternal life."

15Upon hearing what Jesus said, the woman eagerly requested, "Sir, please give me this water so that I won't ever get thirsty again and have to keep coming here to draw water."

16Jesus told her, "Go and get your husband and come back."

17She replied, "I don't have a husband." Jesus gently said to her, "You are right when you say that you have no husband.18In fact, you have had five husbands, and the man you now live with is not your husband. So when you said that you don't have a husband, that was quite true."

19Shocked and somewhat uncomfortable with such a personal revelation, the woman said, "Sir, to know such things you must certainly be a prophet.20So please help me with a problem: Our people have always worshiped God here on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place we must worship God is in Jerusalem; so which is it?"

21Jesus declared, "Believe me, dear woman, the place where one worships God is not important; it is the condition of the heart of the worshiper that matters. Very soon, you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.22You Samaritans worship a confusing tradition of rituals that does not enlighten the mind and have no ability to heal the worshiper; we worship the Creator God, and our minds are enlightened and healed by him because all he asks of us is sensible and reasonable. The plan to heal humanity from the infection of selfishness and sin is provided through the Jews.23The time has now come that all true worshipers will worship the Father with an intelligent and reasonable understanding of who he is, respecting, admiring and loving the truth about his nature, character, and methods. These understanding worshipers are the kind the Father seeks.24God is intelligent and reasonable, and his worshipers must worship him intelligently and reasonably, appreciating and valuing the truth of God's methods and principles."

25The woman said thoughtfully, "I know that the Savior of the world, called Christ, is coming. When he comes, he will make plain the truth about God and untwist all the confusing ideas about the Father. He will destroy the lies of Satan that prevent us from knowing God. He will explain the real problem regarding the infection of selfishness and sin within mankind, and he will reveal God's plan to heal and restore mankind to God's original ideal."

26Then Jesus proclaimed, "I, who stand before you and am speaking with you, am he."

27Just as Jesus said this, his disciples returned and were shocked to find him talking with a woman — and not just any woman, but a Samaritan. They were too insecure to ask, "Why are you talking with her?" or "What do you want with her?"

28After hearing what Jesus had just told her, the woman forgot all about her water jar, rushed back to town, and said to the people,29"Come, see a man who knew everything about me. Could this be the Savior we have been waiting for–the Christ?"30The townspeople were so intrigued by the woman's testimony that they made their way toward Jesus.

31While the woman was witnessing to the townspeople, the disciples urged Jesus, "Teacher, eat something."

32But he said to them, "I have food that nourishes me that you don't yet understand."

33The disciples were puzzled and said to each other, "Did someone else bring him food?"

34Jesus said to his disciples: "The food that nourishes me and gives me strength is to do the will of the Father who sent me, and to finish the work he has given me to do: to reveal the truth about him, expose the lies of Satan, and cure human sinfulness.35Do you not say, 'Only four months longer and the harvest will be ready'? I tell you, open your eyes, enlighten your minds, and look all around you, and you will see that the world is a vast field of souls! And they are ripe for harvest.36At this very moment, the reaper receives the wages of joy and thanksgiving as he harvests souls from death into life eternal. This is so that the one who sows the truth into the heart, and the one who reaps the converts that result from the growth of the truth in the mind, may rejoice together.37Thus the saying 'One sows and another reaps' is true.38I sent you to reap those individuals who have already had the truth planted in their hearts. Others have done the hard work of planting the truth, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

39Many of the Samaritans from the town where the woman lived trusted Jesus as the Messiah because of the witness of the woman who'd said, "He knew everything about me."40Because of this, when the Samaritans came to see Jesus, they urged him to stay with them and share with them the truth about God and the plan to heal mankind. So Jesus stayed with them two days,41and because of the truth he revealed to them, many more put their trust in him.

42They said to the woman, "We trust Jesus not only because of what you said; now we have heard the truth for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

43After the two days in Samaria, Jesus left for Galilee.44(Jesus himself had already pointed out that a prophet is not respected, valued or believed in his own country.)45When he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans were glad to see him and made him welcome. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, for they had been there, and their hearts were warmed by the truths he presented.

46Once again he went to Cana in Galilee, where he had previously turned the water into sweet, fresh wine. And there was a royal official in Capernaum, whose son was sick and dying.47When this official heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son who was nearly dead.

48Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders, you will never believe. Won't you ever value the truth because it is true even if no miracle attends it?"

49The royal official said, "Sir, please come down before my child dies."

50Jesus replied, "You may go home. Your son will live." The man believed what Jesus said and left for home.51While he was on the way home, his servants met him with the news that his son was healed and well.52When the man inquired as to the time his son got better, they said, "The fever left him yesterday at one o'clock in the afternoon."

53Then the father was overwhelmed with awe and joy as he realized that it was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and his entire household believed fully that Jesus was the Savior of the world.

54This was the second miracle Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.