John 4:1-26 The Voice (VOICE)
4 The picture was becoming clear to the Pharisees that Jesus had gained a following much larger than that of John the Baptist, the wandering prophet. Now He could see that the Pharisees were beginning to plot against Him. 2 This was because His disciples were busy ritually cleansing many new disciples through baptism,[a] 3 He chose to leave Judea where most Pharisees lived and return to a safer location in Galilee. 4 This was a trip that would take them through Samaria.
For Jews in Israel, Samaria is a place to be avoided. Before Solomon’s death 1,000 years earlier, the regions of Samaria and Judea were part of a united Israel. After the rebellion that divided the kingdom, Samaria became a hotbed of idol worship. The northern kings made alliances that corrupted the people by introducing foreign customs and strange gods. They even had the nerve to build a temple to the True God on Mt. Gerizim to rival the one in Jerusalem. By the time the twelve are traveling with Jesus, it has long been evident that the Samaritans have lost their way. By marrying outsiders, they have polluted the land. Israel’s Jews consider them to be half-breeds—mongrels—and the Jews know to watch out for them or else be bitten by temptation.
5-8 In a small Samaritan town known as Sychar, Jesus and His entourage stopped to rest at the historic well that Jacob gave his son Joseph. It was about noon when Jesus found a spot to sit close to the well while the disciples ventured off to find provisions. From His vantage, He watched as a Samaritan woman approached to draw some water. Unexpectedly He spoke to her.
Jesus: Would you draw water, and give Me a drink?
Woman: 9 I cannot believe that You, a Jew, would associate with me, a Samaritan woman; much less ask me to give You a drink.
Jews, you see, have no dealings with Samaritans.
Also, a man never approaches a woman like this in public. Jesus is breaking accepted social barriers with this confrontation.
Jesus: 10 You don’t know the gift of God or who is asking you for a drink of this water from Jacob’s well. Because if you did, you would have asked Him for something greater; and He would have given you the living water.
Woman: 11 Sir, You sit by this deep well a thirsty man without a bucket in sight. Where does this living water come from? 12 Are You claiming superiority to our father Jacob who labored long and hard to dig and maintain this well so that he could share clean water with his sons, grandchildren, and cattle?
Jesus: 13 Drink this water, and your thirst is quenched only for a moment. You must return to this well again and again. 14 I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again.
Woman: 15 Please, Sir, give me some of this water, so I’ll never be thirsty and never again have to make the trip to this well.
Jesus: 16 Then bring your husband to Me.
Woman: 17-18 I do not have a husband.
Jesus: Technically you are telling the truth. But you have had five husbands and are currently living with a man you are not married to.
Woman: 19 Sir, it is obvious to me that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped here on this mountain, but Your people say that Jerusalem is the only place for all to worship. Which is it?
Jesus: 21-24 Woman, I tell you that neither is so. Believe this: a new day is coming—in fact, it’s already here—when the importance will not be placed on the time and place of worship but on the truthful hearts of worshipers. You worship what you don’t know while we worship what we do know, for God’s salvation is coming through the Jews. The Father is spirit, and He is seeking followers whose worship is sourced in truth and deeply spiritual as well. Regardless of whether you are in Jerusalem or on this mountain, if you do not seek the Father, then you do not worship.
Woman: 25 These mysteries will be made clear by He who is promised, the Anointed One.
Jesus: 26 The Anointed is speaking to you. I am the One you have been looking for.
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