We continue in the Gospel of John chapter 4. The story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the well of Jacob. Studying the scripture closer you will find a deeper understanding of this encounter with this woman. Part 2
Just as with Nicodemus and spiritual birth, now Jesus is speaking to someone else, in this case about water, using this as an earthly metaphor for spiritual life. And like Nicodemus, Jesus addresses this woman who is captive in a false religious system of worship, a false religion. He’s calling her to know the true God, to seek the truth and put aside the myths and false creeds. Jesus says she’s missing an important opportunity because she lacks two things. Notice these two things He says are holding her back from knowing the truth. Things that are closely related. Continue reading
Chapter 4 of the Gospel of John we see the appearance of a new character. It begins with a conversation between Jesus and a woman of questionable character. The Samaritan Woman.
Let’s begin in verse 1…
John 4:1-4 (NKJV)
a Samaritan Meets Her Messiah
4 Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John 2 (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), 3 He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. 4 But He needed to go through Samaria.
The chapter picks up at the end of the events in chapter 3, with Jesus still in Judea, preparing to leave for the Galilee. Jesus is leaving we’re told because the Pharisees had heard Jesus was baptizing even more than John the Baptist. As we mentioned earlier, it was Jesus’ disciples who were doing the baptizing, not Jesus. But regardless, the Pharisees were increasingly worried about Jesus’ growing popularity and they think He is going to become a danger to their power. Samaritan Woman Continue reading
But God has hidden the message of salvation in plain sight, one that is foolish to the natural ear Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1. The question: How to be born again? Let’s take a close look at the context of John 3:16
That’s your solution to Heaven. It’s designed to sound foolish. Nicodemus is stumbling in the very same way that men stumble today. He is overlooking what had been provided while seeking something greater. To the question, how can these things happen? How can you be born again? Jesus gives him the answer anyway. And what follows in chapter 3 at this point includes what is easily the best-known verse of the New Testament, John 3:16. As eloquent as it is at expressing the essence of the Gospel, I want to ask you to consider the whole of Jesus’ answer and avoid focusing on that one verse just because I think it is so familiar it tends to dull our thinking or our attention to some of what is being said around it. It certainly does not diminish its value. I am saying it is part of a larger narrative. This is to the question of how to be born again. Let’s look at the whole of His answer: Continue reading
In contrast to the Pharisaical teaching that said men could affect their own rebirth through certain works, Jesus says it only happens by God through His Spirit. Nicodemus is hearing Jesus’ words, and I believe he understands what Jesus is saying at some level, about salvation but yet he’s amazed by it.
He must have been asking himself whoever heard of such a thing? More than that, whoever seen such a thing? In verse 7 Jesus tells him not to marvel at this concept.
John 3:7-8 (NKJV)
7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus is amazed at the prospect that the Spirit of God is out among men every day moving them, granting rebirth yet it’s undetected up to this point by Israel’s religious leaders. How can that be? In Pharisaical thinking, rebirth is a process of works, just like the sacraments of Catholic theology. Therefore it must be tangible, it has to be something men could see and understand. Continue reading