- 1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John
- (although Jesus himself was not baptizing, just his disciples), 2
- he left Judea and returned to Galilee.
- He had to 3 pass through Samaria.
- So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, 4 near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
- Jacob's well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.
- A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink."
- His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
- 5 The Samaritan woman said to him, "How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans.)
- 6 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
- (The woman) said to him, "Sir, 7 you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water?
- Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?"
- Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again;
- but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
- The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."
- Jesus said to her, "Go call your husband and come back."
- The woman answered and said to him, "I do not have a husband." Jesus answered her, "You are right in saying, 'I do not have a husband.'
- For you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true."
- The woman said to him, "Sir, I can see that you are a prophet.
- Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; 8 but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem."
- Jesus said to her, "Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
- You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews.
- But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; 9 and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him.
- God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth."
- 10 The woman said to him, "I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Anointed; when he comes, he will tell us everything."
- Jesus said to her, "I am he, 11 the one who is speaking with you."
- At that moment his disciples returned, and were amazed that he was talking with a woman, 12 but still no one said, "What are you looking for?" or "Why are you talking with her?"
- The woman left her water jar and went into the town and said to the people,
- "Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?"
- They went out of the town and came to him.
- Meanwhile, the disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat."
- But he said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know."
- So the disciples said to one another, "Could someone have brought him something to eat?"
- Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.
- Do you not say, 'In four months 13 the harvest will be here'? I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.
- The reaper is already 14 receiving his payment and gathering crops for eternal life, so that the sower and reaper can rejoice together.
- For here the saying is verified that 'One sows and another reaps.'
- I sent you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work."
- Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman 15 who testified, "He told me everything I have done."
- When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days.
- Many more began to believe in him because of his word,
- and they said to the woman, "We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world."
- 16 After the two days, he left there for Galilee.
- 17 For Jesus himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
- When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast; for they themselves had gone to the feast.
- 18 Then he returned to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.
- When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death.
- Jesus said to him, "Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe."
- The royal official said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies."
- Jesus said to him, "You may go; your son will live." The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
- While he was on his way back, his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
- He asked them when he began to recover. They told him, "The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon."
- The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live," and he and his whole household came to believe.
- (Now) this was the second sign Jesus did when he came to Galilee from Judea.
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Footnotes1 [1-42] Jesus in Samaria. The self-revelation of Jesus continues with his second discourse, on his mission to "half-Jews." It continues the theme of replacement, here with regard to cult (John 4:21). Water (John 4:7-15) serves as a symbol (as at Cana and in the Nicodemus episode).
2 An editorial refinement of John 3:22, perhaps directed against followers of John the Baptist who claimed that Jesus imitated him.
3 He had to: a theological necessity; geographically, Jews often bypassed Samaria by taking a route across the Jordan.
4 Sychar: Jerome identifies this with Shechem, a reading found in Syriac manuscripts.
5 Samaritan women were regarded by Jews as ritually impure, and therefore Jews were forbidden to drink from any vessel they had handled.
6 Living water: the water of life, i.e., the revelation that Jesus brings; the woman thinks of "flowing water," so much more desirable than stagnant cistern water. On John's device of such misunderstanding, cf the note on John 3:3.
7 Sir: the Greek kyrios means "master" or "lord," as a respectful mode of address for a human being or a deity; cf John 4:19. It is also the word used in the Septuagint for the Hebrew 'adonai, substituted for the tetragrammaton YHWH.
8 This mountain: Gerizim, on which a temple was erected in the fourth century B.C. by Samaritans to rival Matthew. Zion in Jerusalem; cf Deut 27:4 (Mt. Ebal = the Jews' term for Gerizim).
9 In Spirit and truth: not a reference to an interior worship within one's own spirit. The Spirit is the spirit given by God that reveals truth and enables one to worship God appropriately (John 14:16-17). Cf "born of water and Spirit (John 3:5).
10 The expectations of the Samaritans are expressed here in Jewish terminology. They did not expect a messianic king of the house of David but a prophet like Moses (Deut 18:15).
11 I am he: it could also be translated "I am," an Old Testament self-designation of Yahweh (Isaiah 43:3, etc.); cf John 6:20; 8:24,28,58; 13:19; 18:5-6,8. See the note on Mark 6:50.
12 Talking with a woman: a religious and social restriction that Jesus is pictured treating as unimportant.
13 "In four months . . .': probably a proverb; cf Matthew 9:37-38.
14 Already: this word may go with the preceding verse rather than with John 4:36.
15 The woman is presented as a missionary, described in virtually the same words as the disciples are in Jesus' prayer (John 17:20).
16 [43-54] Jesus' arrival in Cana in Galilee; the second sign. This section introduces another theme, that of the life-giving word of Jesus. It is explicitly linked to the first sign (John 2:11). The royal official believes (John 4:50). The natural life given his son is a sign of eternal life.
17 Probably a reminiscence of a tradition as in Mark 6:4. Cf Gospel of Thomas John 4:31: "No prophet is acceptable in his village, no physician heals those who know him."
18 [46-54] The story of the cure of the royal official's son may be a third version of the cure of the centurion's son (Matthew 8:5-13) or servant (Luke 7:1-10). Cf also Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30.
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