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John 4

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

UBS4 NKJV NRSV TEV NJB
Jesus and the Woman of Samaria A Samaritan Woman Meets Her Messiah Jesus and the Samaritans Jesus and the Samaritans Jesus Among the Samaritans
4:1-6 4:1-26 4:1-6 4:1-4 4:1-10
      4:5-6  
4:7-15   4:7-15 4:7-8  
      4:9  
      4:10  
      4:11-12 4:11-14
      4:13-14  
      4:15 4:15-24
4:16-26   4:16-26 4:16  
      4:17a  
      4:17b-18  
      4:19-20  
      4:21-24  
      4:25 4:25-26
  The Whitened Harvest   4:26  
4:27-30 4:27-38 4:27-30 4:27 4:27-30
      4:28-30  
4:31-38   4:31-38 4:31 4:31-38
      4:32  
      4:33  
  The Savior of the World   4:34-38  
4:39-42 4:39-42 4:39-42 4:39-40 4:39-42
      4:41-42  
The Healing of the Officer's Son Welcome at Galilee Jesus and the Gentiles Jesus Heals an Official's Son Jesus in Galilee
4:43-45 4:43-45 4:43-45 4:43-45 4:43-45
  A Nobleman's Son Healed     The Cure of a Royal Official's Son
4:46-54 4:46-54 4:46-54 4:46-48 4:46-53
      4:49  
      4:50-51  
      4:52-53  
      4:54 4:54

READING CYCLE THREE

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT THE PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five modern translations. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

 

CONTEXTUAL INSIGHTS TO VERSES 1-54

A. There is a purposeful structure in chapters 3 and 4

1. Mister Religious (Nicodemus) vs. Miss Outcast (woman at the well)

2. Jerusalem-based Judaism (Orthodox) vs. Samaritan Judaism (heretical)

 

B. The truths about the person and work of Jesus are further developed by

1. dialogue with the woman at the well (John 4:1-26);

2. dialogue with His disciples (John 4:27-38);

3. testimony of the villagers (John 4:39-42);

4. reception by the Galileans (John 4:43-45);

5. sign/miracle of Jesus' power over sickness, John 4:46-54.

 

WORD AND PHRASE STUDY

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 4:1-6
 1Therefore when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2(although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), 3He left Judea and went away again into Galilee. 4And He had to pass through Samaria. 5So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

4:1 "the Lord" John, recalling the incident in his mind (by means of the Spirit) years later, uses "Lord" and "Jesus" in the same sentence as referring to one person.

Several Greek manuscripts have "Jesus" twice in John 4:1 (i.e., א, D, NRSV, NJB, REB), but "Lord" is in MSS P66,75, A, B, C, L (NASB, NKJV). However, even with the far better manuscript attestation for "Lord" UBS4 put "Jesus" in the text and gives it a "C" rating (difficulty in deciding).

▣ "the Pharisees" See Special Topic at John 1:24.

▣ "heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John" Jesus left this area because of possible tensions between His followers and John the Baptist's followers stirred up by the Pharisees. The Synoptics say that He left because Herod Antipas had arrested John the Baptist (cf. Matt. 4:12; Mark 1:14; Luke 3:20).

4:2 "Jesus Himself was not baptizing" This is not a disparaging comment on baptism (cf. Matt. 28:19; Acts 2:38; 8:12; 16:33; 22:16), but a recognition of the egocentric nature of humanity (i.e., "I was baptized by Jesus" or Paul, cf. 1 Cor. 1:17). Apparently Jesus did baptize at the beginning of His ministry (cf. John 3:22), but later stopped. John is correcting the false statement of the Pharisees.

4:3 "He left Judea and went away again into Galilee" These are two Aorist active indicatives used to emphasize Jesus' geographical movements.

4:4 "He had to pass through Samaria" "Had" is the Greek verb dei, which is used several times in this context (cf. John 3:7,14,30). It is usually translated "must" or "necessary." There is a divine purpose in this route for Jesus. It is the shortest route; Josephus tells us that Jews from Galilee usually used this route. However, the Jews of Judea hated the Samaritans and would not walk through their land because they considered them religious half-breeds.

SPECIAL TOPIC: RACISM

▣ "through Samaria" There was a great hatred between the Samaritans and the Judeans going back to the Eighth Century b.c. In 722 b.c. the Northern Ten Tribes, with their capital in Samaria, were taken captive by Assyria and were deported to Media (cf. 2 Kgs. 17:6). Other captured people were resettled in northern Palestine (cf. 2 Kgs. 17:24). Through the years these pagans intermarried with what was left of the Israelite population. The Jews considered the Samaritans religious half-breeds and heretics (cf. Ezra 4:1-4). This gives a context for John 4:9.

4:5 "a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph" (cf. Gen. 33:18, 19; Jos. 24:32). Many assume Sychar is Shechem, though this is not stated in the NT.

4:6 "Jacob's well was there" This was really a dug-out cistern about 100' deep. It was not running water (a spring), but collected rainwater. It is never mentioned in the OT but the name does link the area to a Patriarchal tradition.

▣ "Jesus, being wearied from His journey" We see clearly the human nature of Jesus here (cf. Luke 2:52), but He was never too tired to love people!

NASB, NKJV,
JB"It was about the sixth hour"
NRSV, TEV"It was about noon"

There is much discussion about which method of reckoning time John used in his Gospel. Some references seem to be Jewish time and some Roman time. Jews begin the day at 6 a.m.; Roman time begins at midnight. Therefore, Jesus arrived at the well very early (i.e. 6 a.m.).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 4:7-14
 7There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." 8For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." 11She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water? 12You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?" 13Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

4:7 "There came s woman of Samaria" This woman had come alone to a distant well at an unusual time of day because of her social position in the village.

▣ "'Give Me a drink'" This is an aorist active imperative which carried a sense of some urgency.

4:8 This verse sets the stage for Jesus' private conversation with this outcast woman of a heretical sect of Judaism. This is another parenthetical note by John.

4:9 "'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman'" Jews were not even allowed to drink from the same bucket as a Samaritan (cf. Jewish traditions based on Leviticus 15). Jesus was ignoring two cultural barriers: (1) speaking to a Samaritan and (2) speaking to a woman in public.

▣ "(for Jews have no dealings with Samaritans)"The parenthesis (NASB, NRSV), which is another explanatory addition from John, is missing in MSS א* and D, but is present in P63,66,75,76, אi1, A, B, C, L. The UBS4 gives its inclusion an "A" rating (certain).

4:10 "If" This is a second class conditional sentence which is called "contrary to fact." A statement is made that is false to highlight a conclusion that is also false.

This is the only use of the word "gift" in John's Gospel. Here it refers to Jesus as the gift of God (cf. John 3:16) who gives eternal life. In John 7:38-39 and Acts it is used of the giving of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 2:38; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17). The focus is on the undeserved, unmerited grace of God which is revealed in Christ and the Spirit.

▣ "living water" This term has an OT metaphorical background (cf. Ps. 36:9; Isa. 12:3; 44:3; Jer. 2:13; 17:13; Zech. 14:8). Jesus uses the term "living water" as synonymous to "spiritual life." However, the Samaritan woman thought he was referring to running water, as opposed to rain water of the cistern. It is characteristic of John's Gospel that Jesus (the light of the world) is regularly misunderstood (i.e., Nicodemus). The earthly, fallen realm does not comprehend the heavenly realm (i.e., Jesus' message).

4:11 "Sir" This is the Greek term kurious in its vocative form kurie. It can be used as a polite address (sir) or as a theological statement (Lord) referring to Jesus as full Deity as in John 4:1 and Rom. 10:13. Here it is a polite address.

4:12 "You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You" The grammar expects a "no" answer. This is an obviously ironic statement. The Samaritan woman was claiming the greatness of her own descent which the Samaritans traced through Ephraim and Manasseh back to Jacob. The amazing thing is that Jesus' superiority was exactly what He was claiming!

This conversation addresses two theological issues.

1. God/Jesus' love for outcasts (i.e., Samaritans, women)

2. Jesus' superiority over Judaism and racial pride

 

4:13-14 "but whoever drinks the water I will give him shall never thirst" This probably had Messianic implications (cf. Isa. 12:3; 48:21; 49:10). This phrase is a strong double negative. There is a play on the verb tenses. The Present active participle of John 4:13 implies drinking again and again, while the aorist active subjunctive of John 4:14 implies a one-time drinking.

4:14 "a well of water springing up to eternal life" This is a present participle which means "continuously leaping" (cf. Isa. 58:11 and John 7:38). For desert people, water was a symbol of life and divine provision.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 4:15-26
  15The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw." 16He said to her, "Go, call your husband and come here." 17The woman answered and said, "I have no husband." 18Jesus said to her, "You have correctly said, 'I have no husband'; you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly." 19The woman said to Him, "Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." 21Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." 25The woman said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us." 26Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."

4:15 The woman, like Nicodemus, is still understanding Jesus on a very physical (literal) level. This was not unusual even for the disciples. They often misinterpreted Jesus by missing His metaphorical language (cf. John 4:31-33; 11:11-13).

4:16 The UBS4 does not even mention the possibility that the name "Jesus" was added (cf. NKJV, NRSV, NJB, REB). The NET Bible gives the manuscript evidence for its inclusion (p. 1903, i.e., MSS א*,c, A, C2, D, L, and W, but it is missing from MSS P66,75, B, C). Scribes tended to make the text clearer and easier to follow.

▣ "Go, call" This is a present active imperative followed by an aorist active imperative.

4:17 "I have no husband" Sin must be faced. Jesus does not condone but neither does He condemn.

4:18 "you have had five husbands" Jesus employs supernatural knowledge to shake the woman from the physical sphere to the spiritual sphere (cf. John 1:48).

4:19 "I perceive that You are a prophet" The woman had not yet come to a Messianic understanding. She was trying to skirt the major issue of her relationship with God by the use of a compliment (just like Nicodemus in John 3:2).

Other commentators see this as a Messianic reference from Deut. 18:15-22.

SPECIAL TOPIC: OLD TESTAMENT PROPHECY

SPECIAL TOPIC: NEW TESTAMENT PROPHECY

4:20 "Our fathers" This refers to Abraham and Jacob (cf. Gen. 12:7; 33:20). She is asserting her sense of covenantal inclusion (cf. John 8:31-59).

"worshiped in this mountain" This refers to the theological argument as to where God (YHWH) should be worshiped. The Jews emphasized Mt. Moriah (site of Jewish Temple), while the Samaritans emphasized Mt. Gerizim (Samaritan temple destroyed in 129 b.c. by John Hyrcanus).

In our day this would be the attempt by people to whom we are witnessing to get away from the issue of their relationship with Christ by bringing up a theological red herring. Humans enjoy studying religion and philosophy as long as it does not affect them personally (cf. John 3:19-21).

4:21 "'an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father'" This must have been a shocking statement to her and also to His disciples. Where is not the issue, but who!

4:22 "for salvation is from the Jews" This is an affirmation of the origin of the Messiah (cf. Gen. 12:2-3; 49:8-12; Isa. 2:3; Rom. 9:4-5).

4:23 "But an hour is coming, and now is" This may be an allusion to Mal. 1:11 about universal worship. It is obvious that Jesus brought the gift of eternal life during His lifetime as well as after His death. This statement reflects the tension which exists between the two comings of the Messiah. The two Jewish ages (see Special Topic at 1 John 2:17) have now been overlapped. The New Age of the Spirit is present, yet we still live in the old age of evil and sin.

Jesus is surely claiming that the new age had begun in Him. The age of the Spirit, the Messianic age, had been inaugurated!

▣ "in spirit and truth" The term "spirit" (see Special Topic at John 3:8) speaks of a worship that is not locally or physically based. The term "truth" was used in the Greek world to speak of a mental concept, while the Hebrew background was that of faithfulness or trustworthiness. See Special Topics on Truth at John 6:55 and 17:3.

▣ "the Father" It was very unusual to call God "Father" in the New Testament without adding a reference to Jesus as His unique Son.

SPECIAL TOPIC: FATHER

▣ "for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers" God is actively seeking lost humanity (cf. Isa. 55; Ezek. 18:23,32; Luke 19:10; John 1:12; 3:16).

4:24 "God is spirit" There are several short clauses in John's writings which describe the character of God: (1) God is love; (2) God is light; (3) God is spirit. This can mean (1) not physical; (2) not limited to one locality; (3) not related to time sequence or (4) heavenly vs. earthly.

4:25 "Messiah is coming" The term Messiah occurs only twice in the NT, both in John's Gospel (cf. John 1:41; 4:25).

SPECIAL TOPIC: MESSIAH

▣ "when that One comes, He will declare all things to us" This shows that the Samaritans were expecting a Messiah. It also shows they saw the Messiah as coming to reveal the fullness of God.

4:26 "I who speak to you am He" This may be an allusion to Isa. 52:6. It is a plain, open affirmation of His Deity (so different from the Synoptic Gospels)! It is a play on "I Am," which reflected the OT Covenant name for God, YHWH (cf. Exod.3:12, 14). Jesus used this OT name for God as a way of referring to YHWH's self-revelation visibly and clearly in Jesus (cf. John 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5 compare Isa. 41:4; 43:10; 46:4). This specialized use of "I Am" must be differentiated from the well known "I Am" statements of John, 6:35, 51; 8:12; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5, which are followed by qualifying nouns.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 4:27-30
  27At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or, "Why do You speak with her?" 28So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and said to the men, 29"Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?" 30They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.

4:27 "they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman" Culturally this was just not done by orthodox Jews.

▣ "yet no one said, 'What do You seek' or, 'Why do You speak with her'" This is an eyewitness comment from John. He must have remembered this shocking event well!

4:28 "the woman left her waterpot" This is such a beautiful eyewitness, historical note that showed the excitement of this woman as she rushed back to the village to testify (cf. John 4:29-30).

4:29 "this is not the Christ, is it" The grammatical form expects a "no" answer, but the context shows that she really did believe He was! Context trumps grammar!

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 4:31-38
  31Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." 32But He said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about." 33So the disciples were saying to one another, "No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?" 34Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work. 35Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. 36Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows and another reaps.' 38I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor."

4:32 This is another allusion to the dualism of heaven vs. earth, the spiritual vs. the physical. Jesus was on an evangelistic, revelatory mission. People were/are priority!

4:34 "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work" John 17 is a clear expression of Jesus' understanding of what the Father wanted him to do (cf. Mark 10:45; Luke 19:10; John 6:29).

The contrast between Jesus sent from above, from the very presence of God, the Father, as His mission to reveal the Father and do the work of the Father. This is the vertical dualism so characteristic of John (above versus below, spirit versus flesh).

There are two different terms used of Jesus being sent.

1. pempō (John 4:34; 5:23,24,30,37; 6:38,39,40,44; 7:16,18,28,33; 8:16,18,26,29; 9:4; 12:44,45,49; 14:24; 15:21; 16:5)

2. apostellō (John 3:17,24; 5:36,38; 6:29,57; 7:29; 8:42; 10:36; 11:42; 17:3,18,21,23,25; 20:21)

These are synonymous as 20:21 shows. It also shows that believers are also sent into a lost world as representatives of the Father for the purpose of redemption (cf. 2 Cor. 5:13-21).

SPECIAL TOPIC: THE WILL (THELĒMA) OF GOD

4:35 "'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'" This is a metaphorical phrase showing that the opportunity for spiritual response was now! People were saved by faith in Him during Jesus' life, not only after the resurrection.

4:36-38 "One sows, another reaps" These verses are referring to the ministry of the prophets or possibly John the Baptist. This is used in 1 Cor. 3:6-8 for the relationship between Paul's ministry and Apollos' ministry.

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 4:39-42
 39From that city many of the Samaritans believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, "He told me all the things that I have done." 40So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41Many more believed because of His word; 42and they were saying to the woman, "It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world."

4:39 "many of the Samaritans believed in Him" John uses the verb "believe" in combination with several other terms: "believe in" (en), "believe that" (hoti), and, most often, "believe into" (eis) or put trust in (cf. John 2:11,23; 3:16,18,36; 6:29,35,40; 7:5,31,38, 48; 8:30; 9:35,36; 10:42; 11:25,26,45,48; 12:11,37,42,44,46; 14:1,12; 16:9; 17:20). Originally the Samaritans believed because of the woman's testimony (John 4:39), but after they heard Jesus they personally received His testimony (John 4:41-42). Jesus came to the lost sheep of Israel, but His gospel was for all mankind: Samaritans, Syro-Phoenician women, and Roman soldiers (cf. Rom. 10:12; 1 Cor. 12:13; Gal. 3:28-29; Col. 3:11). See Special Topic at John 2:23.

"because of the word of the woman who testified" If God used the witness of this heretical and immoral woman, He can also use mine and yours! This verse shows the significance of a personal testimony. See SPECIAL TOPIC: WITNESSES TO JESUS at John 1:8.

4:40

NASB, NRSV"asking"
NKJV"urged"
TEV, NJB"begged"

This is a strong Greek term and should be translated "urged" or "begged." The intensity of this term can be seen in its use in John 4:47 (cf. Luke 4:38).

4:42 "the Savior of the world" This same universal title is used in 1 John 4:14. It is also used in the universal sense of God's love for all mankind (cf. 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 2:9; 1 John 2:2). The promise of Gen. 3:15 has been fulfilled! In the first century this phrase was often used of Caesar. Roman persecution occurred because Christians used this title exclusively for Jesus. This title also shows how the NT authors attributed God the Father's titles to the Son: Titus 1:3 - Titus 1:4; Titus 2:10 - Titus 2:13; Titus 3:4 - Titus 3:6.

The Jews had rejected Jesus (cf. John 1:11), but the Samaritans quickly and easily received Him (cf. John 1:12)!

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 4:43-45
 43After the two days He went forth from there into Galilee. 44For Jesus Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things that He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves also went to the feast.

4:43 This verse shows that Jesus moved more freely and more often between Judea and Galilee than one might assume from the Synoptic Gospels.

4:44 This is a very unusual verse because it does not fit the preceding context. It may refer to the Galilean ministry that was about to begin (cf. John 4:3). This proverb is also found in Matt. 13:57; Mark 6:4; Luke 4:24. In the Synoptics it refers to Galilee, but here it refers to Judea.

 

4:45 "the Galileans received Him" They had already experienced Jesus' teachings and miracles during an earlier Passover visit to Jerusalem.

The Galileans are also said to have "received" Jesus, but many of them did not follow through on that reception and later abandoned Him. "Believe" (cf. John 3:16) and "receive" (cf. John 1:17) involve more than an initial reception (cf. the Parable of the Soils in Matt. 13:18-23; Mark 4:12-20; Luke 8:11-15). See Special Topic: The Need to Persevere at John 8:31.

▣ "for they themselves also went to the feast" The NET Bible marks this as another parenthetical comment of the author, as they do all of John 4:44 (cf. NRSV, NIV).

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: JOHN 4:46-54
  46Therefore He came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a royal official whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and was imploring Him to come down and heal his son; for he was at the point of death. 48So Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe." 49The royal official said to Him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." 50Jesus said to him, "Go; your son lives." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off. 51As he was now going down, his slaves met him, saying that his son was living. 52So he inquired of them the hour when he began to get better. Then they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." 53So the father knew that it was at that hour in which Jesus said to him, "Your son lives"; and he himself believed and his whole household. 54This is again a second sign that Jesus performed when He had come out of Judea into Galilee.

4:46

NASB, NRSV,
NJB"a royal official"
NKJV"a certain noblemen"
TEV"a government official"

This was a governmental official in the service of the Herod family.

4:48 "'Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe'" This is a third class conditional sentence with a strong double negative. Jesus addresses this man in the plural. The Jews were seeking signs (cf. John 2:18; 6:2, 30; Matt. 12:38; 16:1). But this servant of Herod believed before the sign was given.

4:49 "child" In three verses John uses three different terms.

1. John 4:49 - paidion (NASB, "child")

2.John 4:50 - hyiōs (NASB, "son")

3. John 4:51 - pais (NASB, "son")

Obviously these terms were used synonymously.

4:50 This verse catches the essence of John's Gospel-believe in Jesus, believe His words, believe His acts, believe in His Person! This man's faith is affirmed in His belief without sight of Jesus' promises.

4:53 "he himself believed and his whole household" This is the first of many accounts where one person's belief affected the whole family.

1. Cornelius (Acts 10:44-48)

2. Lydia (Acts 16:15)

3. the Philippian jailer (Acts 16:31-34)

4. Crispus (Acts 18:8)

5. Stephanus (1 Cor. 1:16)

There has been much discussion about these household conversions, but it must be asserted that all members needed to personally receive Jesus for themselves. The Middle East is much more tribal and family-oriented than modern cultures. It is also true that the significant others in our lives affect our choices.

4:54 The first public sign was the wedding feast at Cana (cf. John 2:1-11).

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

1. Why did Jesus leave the area of Judah?

2. Does John use Roman time or Jewish time?

3. Why is Jesus' talking to a Samaritan woman so important?

4. How does verse 20 affect the relationship between denominations today?

5. Explain the startling statement that Jesus makes in verse 26.

6. Did the Galileans exercise true faith?