Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


John 4:27-34
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: John 4:27
v27: The disciples returned with food while this conversation was taking place, and John notes that they were so amazed to find Jesus talking to a woman alone that they stood and stared. A pious rabbi would not converse with a single woman at all, nor even a married woman without her husband being present, and the disciples’ response gives us a glimpse of the manner in which Jesus conducted Himself around women. Obviously His normal custom was to maintain a proper social distance from women, though in a public setting we know He would minister to women as well as men. In this encounter, however, He had actually initiated the conversation because He felt the Father leading Him to do so. This particular woman would become key to evangelizing many Samaritans (vs39-42). But the disciples’ response tells us that under normal circumstances Jesus would never have spoken to a single woman. He was careful to protect His reputation and avoid temptation.

Monday: John 4:27-28
vs27-28: Though they hadn’t been present long enough to overhear the serious spiritual conversation which had taken place between Jesus and this woman, the disciples were able to recognize that He was ministering, so they remained silent. They resisted the impulse to challenge the woman for her brashness by asking her, “What do you want (seek)?” Or to blurt out their worry to Jesus by asking Him, “Why are you talking with her?” They simply stood there staring, and in that awkward moment the woman left her water pot, because she planned to return soon, and hurried back to the city to alert the population that the Messiah Himself might be standing out by Jacob’s well.

Tuesday: John 4:29
v29: She said to everyone, “Come, see a man who told me all things which I did” (literal). In other words, “I just talked to someone who accurately discerned the sins hidden in my past.” Then she exclaimed, “Is not this the Christ!” (literal). She had informed Jesus that the Samaritans believed that the Messiah would “declare all things to us” (v25), meaning that He would not only accurately teach them the truth about God but would also possess supernatural knowledge (Isa 11:2-4). He would know things that a normal human being can’t know, and in her case Jesus had described specific details about the past history of someone He had never met before.

Wednesday: John 4:30
v30: The positive response by the people in the city to this woman’s testimony is significant. It tells us something about her and them. First, it tells us that she was considered to be a credible witness. Though her married life may have been troubled, her testimony about Jesus’ prophetic powers was widely received. People believed her and went out to meet this potential Messiah. Had she been a woman of generally low character their response would likely have been to laugh at her or simply ignore her. And second, the people’s positive response to her tells us about their spiritual condition. Many of them must have held in their hearts a genuine expectation that the Messiah would come, and that attitude requires a genuine faith in God and an awareness of the promises contained in the Bible. In other words these Samaritans were spiritually hungry which is why large numbers of them left whatever they were doing and rushed out to Jacob’s well.

Thursday: John 4:31-34
vs31-34: After the woman left and before the crowd of people arrived, the disciples repeatedly asked Jesus to eat some of the food they had purchased, saying, “Rabbi, eat!” But He refused, explaining to them, “I have food to eat which you do not know (see).” Clearly He was referring to a source of spiritual strength upon which He was already drawing to prepare Himself to minister to the crowd that would soon arrive. Yet their response showed that they still had no understanding of what it means to prepare oneself to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. They took His statement about having “food to eat” literally and said to one another, “No one brought Him [anything] to eat [did they?].” In other words, the only explanation they could think of was that He had been given something to eat while they were gone. So Jesus explained, “My food is that I may do the will of the One having sent Me and may finish (complete) His work” (literal).

Friday: John 4:34
v34 (continued): In that moment Jesus was modeling for His disciples the importance of preparing oneself to minister. Of course He was tired and hungry, but He recognized that they had suddenly stepped into a ministry opportunity which had been planned for them by the Father. He understood that this encounter was not an accident and that it should not be thought of as an interruption to their busy day. They had unknowingly entered a “field” which God had prepared for harvest. This woman, and many in the city, were ready to hear the truth about Jesus and believe. So though He was in a hurry and had only stopped to rest and get something to eat, He saw what the Father was doing (Jn 5:19-20) and immediately chose to put His own needs aside and use the few minutes they had before the crowd arrived to prepare Himself spiritually rather than eat food to strengthen Himself physically.

Saturday: John 4:34
v34 (continued): Jesus knew how to draw on the power of the Holy Spirit. He knew that through worship and prayer the Spirit could lift Him out of His hunger and fatigue and refresh Him so that He could minister effectively. After all, within the past year He had gone in the power of the Spirit without food for forty days (Lk 4:2). Jesus’ response to that situation by Jacob’s well beautifully illustrates how He functioned: He constantly watched for the Father’s leading (Jn 5:19-20; 8:28-29; 12:49; 14:10); He was willing to give the effort necessary so that He would not lose even one soul that the Father had prepared for Him (Jn 6:37-39, 65; 17:2-4, 24); He knew the Father had a plan for Him, and He was determined to fulfill all of it (Jn 4:34; 17:4; 19:28, 30); and He understood the role of prayer and fasting as a means of preparing Himself to minister (Mt 17:19-21).  


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