At the end of John Chapter 3 John the Baptist is speaking and he says in John 3:28-30, "You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before Him. He that has the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroomís voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease."
John the Baptist understood the nature of his relationship to Jesus. He understood that Jesus deserved to receive the honor and the glory. John did not seek his own glory, but the glory of him that sent him, and John did not speak about himself or bring attention to himself: instead he pointed to Jesus. Beware of anyone who brings attention to themselves or lifts up their own name in their supposed teaching about God. Anyone who does is proud and conceited and self-willed, and is not led by the spirit of God. What John said about himself, should also be true about each of us. He pointed to Jesus and said, "He must increase but I must decrease."
John the Baptist also used the symbolism of marriage to explain the relationship of Jesus with believers. This is a theme that is expressed very often in the Bible. A marriage relationship should be the closest of all human bonds, it should be based upon love, and it should grow in strength and in commitment over time. There is probably more joy in a wedding ceremony than in almost any other event. A man and a woman, joined by love and a common commitment, look forward to a life of cooperation and continued love. They have everything to look forward to, and every reason to hope for good things to come, as long as both of them are truly committed to a life-long marriage. It takes two to make a marriage work, but only one to ruin it.
The relationship of Jesus with His believers is compared to the marriage relationship. There is love. Jesus said, for God so loved the world. And then we love Him, because He first loved us. There is also commitment. To believe means to commit. But unlike the marriage relationship, in the relationship with God you will always be able to count on the fact that He will keep His side of the bargain.
In John 3:31 John the Baptist said, "He that comes from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaks of the earth: he that comes from heaven is above all." In this verse John gives one of the reasons that Jesus is to be esteemed more highly than anyone else. The reason is the origin of Jesus: where He came from. Everyone on the earth started their life when they were born, with the exception of Jesus. One of the reasons that we honor the elderly is that they have lived longer and therefore they should be wiser than those who are younger than they are. If you want the best advise that you can get, donít go to one of your peers, because they will probably tell you what you already know. Normally, older means wiser. That being the case, Jesus is wiser than all because His life did not begin with His birth on the earth. He came from heaven: He existed before He was born. Thatís why His Words, His teachings, His way are more important than anyone elseís.
John 3:32-33 says, "And what he has seen and heard, that he testifies; and no man receives His testimony. He that has received His testimony has set to his seal that God is true." Most people do not receive the testimony of Jesus. In spite of the authority of Jesus, and in spite of the revelation of greater and higher truth that Jesus brought, most people listen to other authorities instead of the words of Jesus. But those who truly love God will gladly receive the words of Christ, and will esteem Jesus as the greatest of all authorities and the best of all teachers. Those who seek the truth will find that Jesus is the truth because Jesus came from above. Those who do not seek the truth will listen to someone who is of the earth. Which is better - to have that which came from the earth, or that which came from heaven?
John 3:34 says, "For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the spirit by measure unto him." Jesus spoke the words of God because He was sent by God, and because He was God. Jesus was our Savior and He was also our example. As our example, John 3:34 gives the two essential ingredients to being a worker with God in this world. If you have these two things as a part of what you do and a part of who you are, then you will bear fruit in the service of God: if you do not have them or do not have them in the proper quantities, then you will not bear fruit. The two things are the Word of God, and the spirit of God. We are not called to spread our own opinions or stories or illustrations about ourselves: but we are called to spread the Word of God. "The Word of God is alive and powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit." Itís the Word of God that speaks to peopleís hearts and blesses their souls and builds up their faith. When Jesus said to Peter, "If you love me, feed my sheep," He meant for Peter to feed them the Word of God.
Equally as important as the Word of God is the Spirit of God. When Jesus was baptized, the spirit descended from heaven as a dove and abode upon Jesus. The Spirit was not given by measure unto Jesus. The secret to the power that Jesus had in the things that He said was the Spirit of God. If we speak the Word of God and if we have the spirit in what we say, we can have a similar kind of effect on people that Jesus had. He brought the Word from heaven, and we have the Word of God from the Bible and from the words of Jesus that are recorded for us in the Bible. If anyone tries to spread the Word of God by their own efforts and by their own wisdom or by their own strength then they will be no better than sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. If you want to serve God, whatever you do, you must not fail to see the importance of using the Word of God instead of your own words, and being led by the Spirit of God instead of being motivated by your own will. Thatís the method that Jesus used.
John 3:35-36 says, "The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on Him." The last of these two verses mentions the wrath of God. The wrath of God is all about the judgment to come. There will be judgment because God is the final judge, and He must be true to that which is right and He knows all things. No one will get away with anything. Judgment is coming. Why will God have wrath for some of the people of the world? How is it that a loving God will also be a God of wrath? Part of the reason is because of His holiness, and part of it is because of His love. The first part of John 3:35 says, "the Father loves the Son." Because of the degree to which the Father loves the Son, it must have caused Him great pain to give His Son as a sacrifice, and then to watch from heaven as men crucified His beloved Son. Would you watch your child be tortured to death if you had the power to stop it? But God allowed it to happen to His Son so that we could have a chance for heaven. It is no wonder that those who choose to reject the love of God that is in Jesus; will have as an alternative the wrath of God.
Because the Father loves the Son, the Father has given all things to the Son. This is another of the many expressions of deity that are ascribed to Jesus. Who has all things, but the Divine One?
John 3:36 emphasizes again the fact that there are two destinies that matter, and only one of two can happen to you in regards to eternity: having everlasting life or not having everlasting life; heaven or hell; living with God forever, or being separated from God forever. Throughout the teachings of Jesus, He always emphasizes the fact that there are two roads, two paths, two destinies. The one leads to eternal life, and the other leads to eternal destruction. Jesus said, "Broad is the way and wide is the path that leads to destruction and many there be that go in thereat; but narrow is the way and straight is the gate that leads to life, and few there be that find it." You can be one of the few if you trust in Jesus, if you commit yourself to Jesus: if you believe on Him, you will be given everlasting life.
John 4:1-5 says, "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John, (Though Jesus Himself baptized not, only His disciples,) He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. And He must needs go through Samaria. Then comes He to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph."
In the first part of John Chapter 3 was one of the great passages of all the gospels, and it had to do with a private conversation between Jesus and a man named Nicodemus. Here in John Chapter 4 Jesus is going to have another private conversation: this time with a woman. Jews did not normally travel in Samaria, because they looked down upon Samaritans. It is significant to note that the Bible says that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. He had to go through Samaria, because His message of salvation was not just for the Jews: it was for the whole world. Jesus had to go through Samaria because it was the right time for Him to talk to this unknown woman of Samaria. God has a time in the life of each person when He will reach out to them to draw them to the truth. If they are wise, they will not resist the calling of God.
John 4:6-9 says, "Now Jacobís well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat on the well: and it was about noon There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away into the city to buy food.) Then said the woman of Samaria to Him, How is it that you being a Jew, asks for a drink from me, who am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." The woman was shocked that Jesus would even speak to her. Most Jewish men would not have because of the racial prejudice that existed in their culture. Of course, Jesus views all humans of equal value. Obviously, Jesus was not influenced by the color of someoneís skin or their racial background, because He looked at a human being and saw the value of a soul.
Racial prejudices still exist because of the foolishness of humans. If more people understood humanity the way that Jesus did, there would be less hatred and better communication. The fact that Jesus was not prejudiced opened the door of opportunity for Him to speak to this woman about spiritual things. If you believe in Jesus and are prejudiced against people of other races, then you have much to learn about the value of a human soul, and much to learn about how God views the human race.
John 4:10-13 says, "Jesus answered and said unto her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give me to drink; you would have asked of Him, and he would have given you living water. The woman said to Him, Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep: from where then have you that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again."
Jesus took the things at hand that were physical and material and taught a spiritual lesson from them: in this case, the water. Jesus said that there is such a thing as living water. There is something similar between physical water and what Jesus was talking about. In order for humans to have physical life, one of the ingredients is water: pure, clean water. The Samaritan woman went to the well in order to get water. Jesus was revealing to the woman that He was the source of living water: in other words, He was the source of true spiritual life and of eternal life. Jesus also told the woman that there was difference between the water that she came to the well to get, and the living water that He could give. The difference was the fact that the woman had to come every day to get a new supply of water. But Jesus offers a spiritual life that will never end, and He offers a spiritual life for which no substitute can ever satisfy. If anyone is thirsty they can come to Jesus for the water of life, and they will never thirst again.
In John 4:14 Jesus said, "But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." If you have ever worked in a hay field in the middle of summer with the sun burning down and the dust and the dirt caked in your hair and on your skin, then you may understand how wonderfully refreshing a cold glass of water can be when thirst has built up in a person. Even greater is the spiritual satisfaction that can come to a soul when they meet Jesus. When the emptiness and loneliness of a soul is taken away and the heavy burden of guilt is lifted, a spiritual quality comes into the life of a person that nothing else can replace and that nothing can ever take away. Thatís what Jesus can do that nothing else can.
John 4:15-19 says, "The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water so that I will not thirst nor have to come here to draw water. Jesus said to her, Go call your husband and come here. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, You have properly said that you have no husband, because you have had five husbands, and the one that you now have is not your husband: in that you spoke truly."
Up to this point in the conversation, the Samaritan woman does not have clue as to what Jesus is talking about. But He brings the conversation around to her personal life in a way that only the Holy Spirit can do in the heart of a person. Jesus lets her know that He is aware of all the details of her life, even those things for which she is ashamed. In this we are the same as the Samaritan woman. We may not have committed the same kinds of sins that she did, but we have all sinned. The reason that we all need a spiritual birth is because of the sin problem. In water baptism John the Baptist used water to be symbolic of cleansing from sin, and now Jesus uses water to be symbolic of satisfying a spiritual thirst.
You are the same as the Samaritan woman in that you have also sinned, and without God you also have a spiritual emptiness. The question is, Have you met Jesus and received from Him the water of life so that you will never thirst again?
Copyright; 2000 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
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