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.
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 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.
Today’s verses answer Nicodemus’ question of verse 9, ″How can this be?″ The focus now shifts from the new birth, God’s part in our salvation, to belief, the immediate fruit of the new birth in our experience.
Many were coming to believe in Jesus on the basis of the signs He was performing (see John 20:29). However, though they believed in Him, Jesus did not believe in them (vv. 23-24). The reason for Jesus’ lack of trust in them is repeated in verses 24-25. Jesus knows all things; whereas we may be a mystery to ourselves and not understand why we do the things we do.
With the coming of Jesus, the new has come to replace the old. The old jars of water for ceremonial cleansing (John 2:6) are no longer needed. Water is to be replaced by top quality new wine; the old order will be replaced by a new joyful order.
The original text of Scripture was without chapter and verse divisions-chapters were added in the thirteenth century and verses in the sixteenth-so the writer had to indicate divisions in other ways. The way John marks this section is by the bookends: the first (John 2:1-11) and second (4:43-54) signs that Jesus performs in Cana.
John tells us that Andrew followed Jesus on John the Baptist’s testimony (v. 40). Andrew tells his brother, Simon Peter, ″We have found the Messiah″ (v. 41).
John the Baptist again provides a model of witness, as he did in John 1:15.
In today’s reading, the Word is named. However, the key verse in this introduction is verse 14, where we are told that the Word takes on flesh and becomes a man. The word ″flesh″ and the expression ″made his dwelling″ are vital.
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