Daily Bread, John 4:16-30, “I who speak to you am he”

The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
–John 4:25-26

In today’s passage we see how Jesus reveals himself as the Messiah to the Samaritan woman and the fruit of her knowing who he is.

Look at verses 16-18.
[16] He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” [17] “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. [18] The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”

The woman had asked Jesus to give her his living water. In response, Jesus told her to go, call her husband and come back. Through this Jesus revealed her past and present situation.

Firstly, we see that she was thirsty. However, her thirst wasn’t just for the water of Jacob’s well. Jesus revealed that he knew her. And he knew that she had had five husbands and was now with a sixth man, although he was not her husband. Like going to the well to get water again, she had gotten husbands five times and was now working on the next guy.

This shows us that the thirst Jesus was talking earlier was not just about physical thirst for water. He was talking about satisfaction of the soul. Of all the points about her past, he brought up this point and it demonstrated what he said about thirst too well. She was indeed thirsty. And we see that we also satisfy such thirsts like she did through things of this world and through other people. However, none of those things satisfies. We will be thirsty again, just like drinking from Jacob’s well. To satisfy our thirst, we have to get the living water from Jesus. We have to know him and get eternal life.

Look at verses 19-20.
[19] “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. [20] Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

She saw that Jesus knew her. She now came to acknowledge him as a prophet. It means that she recognized that he was from God.

Then we see that she mentioned something about where to worship. It may sound all of a sudden and that she’s trying to change the subject. However, it shows us the deeper thirst of her soul. When she saw that Jesus was a prophet she saw the opportunity to ask about her thirst for God. She longed for God inside her soul. But according to her she did not know where to worship God. Her ancestors worshiped on that mountain. The Jews said that they must worship in Jerusalem. She could not satisfy her thirst for God for she did not even know where to go to worship him and meet him. She was seeking God.

This shows us the root of our thirsts for the things of this world is a thirst for God.

Look at verses 21-24.
[21] Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. [22] You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. [23] Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. [24] God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

She was seeking God. But Jesus taught her here that God was seeking people. He is seeking those worshipers who worship in spirit and in truth. God is not seeking only those worshipers on that mountain or in Jerusalem, but those that worship in spirit and in truth. In this way, Jesus taught that the place of worship and seeking God wasn’t limited to one designated place. But God is seeking people who worship in spirit and in truth. She could know God for he was seeking her. She had to worship him in spirit and in truth. Jesus answered her question about how to seek God and worship him. He told her that the time for such worship was now.

We see again that Jesus mentioned about what to know. The Samaritans worshiped what they didn’t know. But the Jews worshiped what they did know, for salvation is from the Jews. Here Jesus is telling her not to hold on to her ways of worship simply because that is what their people had been doing on their own. They needed to worship in the right way with knowledge. In this way, he was leading her again to know who he is so that she may have knowledge about worship, about God, and be saved.

From this we can see what worshiping in spirit and in truth means. It means according to God’s truth and spirit, and with sincerity. It is not about this place or that place, or holding to traditions and what we do not know. We have to worship with knowledge, according to the truth of God and his Spirit.

Look at verses 25-26.
[25] The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” [26] Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

The woman knew about the Messiah and was looking forward to him. She knew that when he comes he would explain everything to them. She knew she did not know all she needed to know, but that the Messiah did and he would explain it.

Then Jesus declared that he is the Messiah. As we saw, he did in fact explain everything to her. He explained about who she is, about God, and how to worship him. He answered all of her questions.

Next, we see her response to Jesus’ revelation about him. Look at verses 27-30.
[27] Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” [28] Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, [29] “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ ?” [30] They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

We see that she was not thirsty anymore, but became a well springing up to eternal life.

First, she left her water jar behind and went back to town. Leaving her water jar means that she was not thirsty anymore.

Then, she testified about Jesus to the people and through that they all came out of the town to meet him. She had been alone. Probably, she was avoid (and being avoided), by the townspeople. It was surely related to her having five husbands and now a sixth man who wasn’t her husband. Rather than taking, she now became a spring. She was welling up and leading others to know Jesus and have eternal life.

Today’s passage shows me how thirsts are quenched in Jesus. It is surprising to see that she was seeking someone and God, but God was really seeking her. Jesus went to her and explained everything to her for this purpose. He is the Messiah who gives eternal life and salvation. It tells me not to ignore my thirsts or hide away, but bring them to Jesus. When I bring them to Jesus he can help me come to God and not be thirsty anymore. I see that I tried to take care of my thirsts in my own way, sometimes by drawing from the well, but it doesn’t work. I need his help and his water. It is not just a matter of discipline, but getting what is better and which quenches thirst in its place from him so that one leaves their water jar behind. Thanks to God for seeking worshipers and sending Jesus who teaches us how to worship God in the right way. Thanks to God for sending Jesus to give us living water and eternal life.

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