John 4:10: A Promise To The Samaritan Woman -- By: Frank W. Tyler
JOTGES 32:63 (Autumn 2019) p. 51
John 4:10: A Promise To The Samaritan Woman
Jesus’ testimony to Nicodemus reveals God’s chesed or loyal covenantal love in giving His Son for the salvation of the world, both Jew and Gentile.1 As a teacher of Israel and a Pharisee, Nicodemus might well have been taken aback with Jesus’ promise: “For in this manner, God loved (chesed) the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, emphasis added).2 Despite his high standing within Israel, Nicodemus as an individual, we learned, was a mere whoever in need of eternal life.
While traveling through Samaria and to the disciples’ dismay, Jesus stretches the meaning of whoever by befriending a lowly Samaritan woman, a nameless whoever, and offering her eternal life: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a
JOTGES 32:63 (Autumn 2019) p. 52
drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10).
Jesus fulfills His promise of living water by offering her, in verses 13 and 14, His promise of everlasting life: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13–14, emphasis added).3
Shockingly, Jesus promises living water and then freely offers eternal life to a whoever badly mired in sin, without calling her to repent. The events of Jesus’ witness beg the question, “Why did our Lord need to go through Samaria (John 4:4) to witness to a Samaritan woman, let alone spend an additional two days witnessing to the men of Sychar?”
II. Setting The Stage: Saving The Nation Of Israel
Although John does not report on Jesus’ preaching of repentance in the Fourth Gospel (because his purpose was evangelistic, John 20:31), the Synoptic writers do report His call for the nation of...
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