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Where To Go For Cleansing

John 3:22-26

The ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus overlapped.  John continued baptising and Jesus, with His new disciples (some of whom were previously disciples of John), had also started preaching and baptising - although Jesus did not personally baptise, only His disciples (John 4:1-2).  In addition, the Pharisees had a rite of ceremonial washing, as did the Essenes.  

It Is Enough To Announce Jesus

John 3:27-30

John the Baptist’s disciples were concerned that John’s (and therefore their) popularity was decreasing while Jesus was attracting much greater crowds.  So, John had to explain again what he had already said: that he was not the Christ, but had been sent to announce Him to the world (John 1:19-27). That was the task he had received from God (Luke 1:16-17; Luke 1:76-79) and he knew it would be wrong to go beyond his commission. To do so would be to give out what he had not received: that ministry would be hollow and empty.

Different Origins, Different Perspectives

John 3:31-33

John, the Gospel writer, said there was a very big difference between Jesus and John the Baptist.  Without doubt, the baptiser was a remarkable figure in history (Luke 7:28), but he was only a man.  His existence began at his conception; he had a human origin and had not come from Heaven.  

Jesus Speaks for the Godhead

John 3:34-35

God the Son, known to us as Jesus Christ, has always existed.  He has been with God for ever, and He is God (John 1:1-2).  Therefore, when He speaks, He speaks God’s thoughts.  Every word or sentence He uttered was straight from the heart of God.  Many prophets had been given God’s commission to speak and were inspired by the Holy Spirit for every episode of ministry (Hebrews 1:1-3).  But the Holy Spirit’s activity with Jesus was continuous and limitless.  God the Son and God the Spirit together were the double witness (required by Jewish law for testimony to be true) on earth of the Father

Our Reaction to Jesus Determines our Destiny

John 3:36

This verse could not be more stark.  It denies the claim of some that everybody will ‘get to heaven’, and definitively links our reaction to Jesus to our eternal destiny – because He alone is the Way to the Father (John 14:6).  How we respond to Jesus is the most critical decision of every person’s life, according to John the Evangelist.  Jesus’ message to Nicodemus, “You must be born again” (John 3:7) is further explained in John 3:15 – eternal life will come to everyone who believes in Jesus; and it is summarised in this verse which allows for no confusion.

God Knows What He Is Doing

John 4:1-3

Jesus did not want to start a religious movement.  He had no interest in the Jewish agenda of overthrowing the Roman occupation, nor competing with John the Baptist (or any other group such as the Pharisees) by having more disciples.  Jesus’ agenda had already been agreed in heaven with the Father and the Spirit.  He was to demonstrate the character of God in a human lifestyle (Colossians 1:19-20), train a small group of Apostles to lead His church (Acts 1:1-8) before dying on the cross for their salvation, rising again and returning to heaven.

Intentional Travelling

John 4:4-6

Jesus and His disciples were en route from Judea in the south to Galilee in the north.  The shortest road went through Samaria.  However, many Jews chose to avoid Samaria because they hated the people (years of intermarriage with tribes outside of their faith had made them spiritually despised by ‘true Jews’).  So, in order not to defile themselves, religious people took the long route by crossing the Jordan and travelling north on its eastern side.

Loving Despised People

John 4:6-9

Jesus planned to be unaccompanied for this personal encounter.  He had sent His disciples into the town to buy food while He sat down waiting for His appointment with the Samaritan woman - although she did not know that God had organised the meeting.  At mid-day, when it was very hot, the well was normally deserted.  Farmhands and animals were resting in the shade.  

Living Water for Thirsty People

John 4:10-15

Although Jesus had asked the Samaritan woman for water, it was just a way to start the conversation with her (we do not know if He ever got His cup of water!).  He was not desperate to satisfy His own physical thirst but wanted to satisfy her inner spiritual dryness.  However, she could only think about physical water and only after the conversation did she realise what Jesus was saying (John 4:29; John 4:39-41).

The Lord Knows Everything

John 4:16-19

Jesus was talking alone with a Samaritan woman, in the middle of the day when the tradition was to shelter indoors from the heat, by a well (John 4:4-6).  This woman had come to collect water.  Perhaps the absence of other people was socially easier as her personal life was considered scandalous in those days.  Jesus had asked her to draw water for Him out of the well, but then the conversation moved to Him offering her water that would give her eternal life.  The woman really had no idea what He was talking about, except that the prospect of not having the daily chore of collecting water s