John chapter 4 is truly ironical. If there is one thing that leaps out at the reader of the 4 Gospels, it is that of Jewish rejection of Jesus as their Messiah. What makes John 4 so ironic, is to read of the incredible openness and acceptance of Jesus by a foreign people who hated Jews, and were hated by the Jews! The chapter is 2 parts, but is overwhelmed by the first part of 42 verses having to do with the people of the Samaritan village of Sychar. The chapter opens with hinted Jewish opposition to Jesus, as He was ministering in Judea, so He left there, to return to Galilee. But, He did not go the usual route around Samaria. It says that He had to go through there; as if He had an appointment… and, so, He did! He, and His disciples, stop by a well outside this village, and it is about noon. The disciples go into the village to buy food, and a lone woman from that village comes to the well for water. Jesus engages her in a conversation by asking for a drink… something that just wasn’t done in that day! She’s shocked, and points out this social faux pas, but Jesus turns the conversation back to ‘water,’ Living Water. He was referring to #8, the New Birth! She takes the ‘bait,’ as it were, and Jesus then explains to her the nature of this Living Water that He gives, and how that is it everlasting life, or the means into #10, the Kingdom! He then goes on to reveal Himself to her, that He is #4, the Savior and Messiah, whom they also had an expectation of. We’re halfway thru this account, and have the Savior giving Living Water (the Holy Spirit) in a New Birth that results in eternal life in the Kingdom, or 3 of The 10 Essential Elements already… let’s move on.
Jesus’ disciples return with food, and are also taken with this huge social no-no, and the woman hurries back to town and tells her people of what has just happened out at the well. Many from the village come out, and invite Jesus to stay. He does, for 2 entire days, telling them of the Good News of the Kingdom. The incredibly valuable point of the closing passage of verses 39 thru 42 is the mention 3 times of how that the hated foreigners of that village #7, believed on Jesus, exclaiming, in the very end, ‘this man really is the Savior of the world!‘ The entire point has been that by believing upon Jesus, He gives the Holy Spirit unto life, that one may enter the Kingdom… and, it is by no other means! John’s point is that we, too, who are foreigners, and not of Israel, can believe upon Jesus and receive the Spirit unto life, that we may also enter into the Kingdom! By relating only 4 of The 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message, it is possible to relate God’s message to others, that they might be saved! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell