John 4:23-30

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 23) Under the clear revelation of the gospel and the kingdom of the Messiah, true worshippers of God shall not worship God AS THE SAMARITANS (who had no Divine rule nor word for their tradition), nor AS THE HYPOCRITICAL JEWS (who rested upon rituals, ceremonies, and form), nor yet AS THE SINCERE JEWS (who followed the pattern in faith and sincerity–Heb. 9:6-10). But the time of reformation in and through Christ has come when true worshippers of God all worship God in Spirit, heart, and truth as opposed to temples, ceremony, and ordinances. The great question is not WHERE to worship, but HOW (Phil. 3:3). This is the will of God ("My son, give me thine heart") that we come to Him by faith through Christ Jesus.

(Vs. 24) God is not a corporeal being, made up of blood, flesh, and bones, being pleased with material and fleshly things, impressed with form and lip service. God is a spiritual being, the father of spirits, and requires spiritual honor, reverence, love, and trust proportioned to His great name. It has always been true! Abel came to God with the typical offering, but he came in faith and sincerity. Abraham offered the sin-offering which pictured Christ, but he believed God! The Jews had forgotten the spirit of the law and only kept the dead letter and the form. This was the error of their so-called worship. We do gather together or separately, we do offer public prayer or private, we do our offerings, our sacrifices of praise, thanksgiving, and our commitments to God through our great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, in the Spirit of God, the spirit of sincerity, the spirit of faith, and the truth as it is in Christ Jesus! (Heb. 4:14-16; Heb. 10:16-22.)

(Vs. 25) Slowly but surely the Word had done its work (Rom. 10:17; James 1:18; Eph. 1:13). At last the woman had been driven from every false refuge, and she speaks of the hope of a revealed Redeemer! She had some understanding of the promises and prophecies of the coming Christ, or Messiah, Who would reveal the will of God as to salvation and the worship of God (Gen. 3:15; Gen. 12:3; Gen. 49:10; Deut. 18:15; Mal. 3:1).

(Vs. 26) "I that speak to thee am He!" The moment the woman expresses her desire for Christ, He answered, "I am He!" Nothing more is needed; the Saviour of sinners stood revealed. That was enough; all is settled now. It was not a mountain nor a temple, Samaritan nor Jew; she had found Christ, the Saviour-God. A needy sinner and a sovereign Saviour had met face to face; and all is set-tied, once and forever! (Matt. 11:28; John 7:37-38; Isa. 45:20-25.)

(Vs. 27) The disciples had gone into the city to buy food and were kept there by the providence of God until the Saviour had finished the talk with the woman of Samaria. When they returned, they marveled that he talked with a woman in the road (forbidden by their traditions) and that He talked with a Samaritan woman (with whom the Jews had no dealings). But they had so much reverence and respect for the Master that they did not mention it.

(Vs. 28) In the meantime the woman "left her waterpot and went into the city." She had come to the well with one thing on her mind–a pot of water; but now she had met Christ, tasted the living water, and was so taken with Him that she not only forgot the water she had come for, but left even her waterpot. Once there is a clear perception of Christ to the heart, once He is revealed, known, and received as Lord and Saviour, the things of this world do not seem so important.

(Vs. 29-30) She said to the men of the city, "Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ?" "Come and see." These were the words of Philip to Nathanael in John 1:46. Christ the Lord had undoubtedly told her much more than the few words we have recorded here (John 21:25), but several things are evident here. She was totally persuaded that He was the Christ, that He was the promised Messiah! She fully believed Him and found great joy in this faith and knowledge. She wanted others to know Him, so she invited them to come to Him and see for themselves. Our business in witnessing is to point men to Christ; they must come and see for themselves. Evidently she was most persuasive, for they went out of the city and came to Him there at the well.

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.


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