The setting is the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles- a harvest thanksgiving festival, but also a time when the Israelites lived for seven days in tents, reminding themselves of their nomadic wanderings and God redeeming them from Egypt.
About David Cook
David Cook was Principal of the Sydney Missionary and Bible College for 26 years. He is an accomplished writer and has authored Bible commentaries, books on the Minor Prophets, and several Bible study guides.
Entries by David Cook
We were told in John 2:23 that many believe in Jesus because of the signs He performed, but Jesus does not entrust himself to them (v. 24). Among the disciples are those who are truly born from above, and those who merely follow Him without being true disciples.
In the UK, there is a chain of ″Next″ department stores. In the search for satisfaction, what should we buy ″Next″? The prodigal son discovered that the search for freedom and satisfaction was an elusive one.
It is the day on which this man’s healing took place, the Sabbath, which so aggravates the Jewish leaders. This opens the opportunity for Jesus to engage with them about His identity.
Today’s reading describes the third of Jesus’ signs (the first two are found in Day 5), raising the question of disease and suffering and Jesus’ thoughts about it. It leads on to a long discourse in which Jesus talks about himself and His unity with the Father (vv. 16-30)
Jesus leaves Samaria and heads north to Galilee. He is welcomed on the same basis as He was in John 2:23. These people had seen His signs in Jerusalem (v. 45). He comes again to Cana and is visited by a ″royal official″-either a man of royal blood or a high official of Herod’s court (v. 46).
In the first century, Jews looked down on Samaritans. Centuries ago, the Assyrians had taken the ten tribes of the northern kingdom (Israel) into exile, replacing them with foreigners (2 Kings 17:24-31).
We live in days of sensitivity regarding sexist attitudes and misogynistic behaviour. One of the surprising and striking things in today’s reading is Jesus’ comfortable relationship with this woman in Samaria. He knows who she is and all about her background.
We met John the Baptist in John 1:6-8 and in John 1:19-36. On each occasion, John is testifying about Jesus. This is his last appearance in the gospel and he authenticates and testifies to the ministry of Jesus.
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