Salvation for the Samaritans
Introduction: In the summer of 1990 I was in Mexico City. The pollution in the city is really bad. Some of the worse in world at that time. We would go to the roof of the dormitory to exercise of just read and get away. All summer I would visit the roof top. You could see about 100 yards in every direction but due to smog that was it. One day I came up to the roof and saw the most epic, majestic, snow top mountain I have ever see. The smog had covered it all summer. This beauty had been sitting just over there all summer but I had never known. This is what John in His gospel is trying to show us. There is this majestic, awe-inspiring, utterly captivating, transforming, soul fixing, being in the person of Christ but they can’t see Him and He is right in front of them.
Four Glimpses of Our Blindness
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“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
2. Spiritual food ()
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But there is something more specific implied here that is going to make the connection with verses 35 and 36 make sense. When Jesus says, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me,” what is the will of him who sent him?
God’s will for Jesus—the work he gave him to accomplish—is to give eternal life.
Morris prefers a mild symbolism: “She abandoned the bringing of water for the bringing of men.”
This is the heart of John’s meaning. One sign of discipleship is the testimony given to others—words that eagerly spill out because of the preciousness of discovery. “Come, see”(4:29) is a Johannine phrase of invitation (1:39, 46). Potential converts do not need mere information about Jesus—note that the woman is even tentative about Jesus’ identity as the Christ (4:29); they need only to come and have their own experience with him.
Jesus is telling his disciples
“I’ve been eating the whole time you went into Sychar. Filling my spiritual stomach.” Were about to have a spiritual feast!
3. Sowing and Reaping ()
“I Am Food, I Am Life”
Now if we return as readers to the passage with this profile of confession and experience in mind, we see some amazing new things because John wants us as readers to have a relationship with Jesus just as it may have happened for the woman. Note as the story unfolds how there is a remarkable display of titles for Jesus (exactly as we saw in 1:35–51). The woman and the story mature in their perception of Jesus:
• Jesus (4:6)
• Jew (4:9)
• Sir (Lord) (4:11, 15, 19)
• Prophet (4:19)
• Messiah (4:25)
• Christ (4:25, 29)
• I am (4:26)
• Rabbi (4:31)
• Savior of the world (4:42)
Such a list is not accidental. As readers we cannot overlook how titles of respect evolve into titles of belief. In other words, the story’s language models for us the demand for intelligent belief, for identifying Jesus properly and fully.