26 June 2020

John 4:27-42

‘... we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world.’ (v. 42b)

Psalm: Psalm 65


The disciples have joined Jesus, presumably with lunch, and find Jesus with the Samaritan woman. They are astonished that he is speaking to a Samaritan woman but don’t say anything. Jesus’ perplexing behaviour then continues as they try to persuade him to eat, but Jesus is too excited. Having spoken to the woman about water and thirst he now talks to his disciples about his hunger being sated by doing God’s will. But just as the Samaritan woman is too literal in her understanding of living water, the disciples make the same mistake and wonder who brought him food while they are away.

The woman meanwhile has gone into the city and in scenes reminiscent of Andrew telling Nathaniel to come and see the Messiah in John 1, she tells the people to come and see Jesus. She wonders out loud  if this might be the Messiah. There are real parallels between the disciples and the Samaritan woman.

Jesus seems to anticipate the crowd of people that would be brought to him by the woman. He uses the metaphor of crops ready to be harvested to describe the people that would come and believe in him. He describes a moment of remarkable grace and abundance in his imagery, suggesting that the harvest is being reaped although others did the sowing. It is undeserved and gratuitous.

Eventually the woman returns with a crowd of people and they invite him to stay for two days. Jesus does so and many of the Samaritans come to believe. They describe him as the Saviour of the World, a title that nobody else has given him before now.


To Ponder: 

  • What does this story teach us about evangelism?
  • What does God’s abundance mean to you?
  • What would make you too excited to eat?

Bible notes author

The Revd Jonathan Mead

Jonathan is a Methodist minister. He is based in the London NW Mission circuit where he is minister of Kilburn Methodist Church and a Pioneer starting a new church community with a rule of life. He enjoys keeping fit, reading history and visiting Mediterranean destinations.

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