The Gift of God

John 4:10-15  Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knew the gift of God, and who it is that say to thee, Give me to drink; thou would have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman say unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drink of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drink 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. The woman say unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 

‘The gift of God’ according to the Word is Christ (2Cor. 9:15; Heb. 6:4; Rom. 8:32); the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38-39; 8:20; 10:45; 11:17); Spiritual gifts (Rom. 1:11; 11:29; 12:6; Eph. 3:7; 4:7); Salvation (Rom. 5:15-21; Acts 4:12; Eph.2:8-9); Eternal life (Rom. 6:23; John 10:27-29); Divine call (1Cor. 7:7; Rom. 12:3-6; Eph. 3:7; 4:7); Good gifts (Jas. 1:17; Mat. 7:11); Ministers (Eph. 4:8-11).

‘The living water’ – ten gifts of this Gospel: Grace and truth (John 1:17); the Living Water (John 4:10); the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39; 14:16); a perfect example (John 13:15); God’s Word (John 13:34; 17:8, 14); the glory of God (John 17:22); the true bread (John 6:32); Eternal life (John 6:33; 10:27-29); Peace (John 14:27); and answers to prayer (John 15:16; 16:23). The woman did request for this gift of God that was here the living water that Christ offered to her.

Eastern travellers frequently carry a leather bucket with which to draw water from public wells. This well was about 32 metres deep, 2.7m in diameter and had 4.5m of water. It was cut out of solid rock and showed the engineering skill of ancient times.

Meeting the Samaritan Woman

John 4:3-9 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria. Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus say unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then say the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, ask drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. 

Jesus left Judaea to go to Galilee and needed to go through Samaria, firstly because it was three days closer and secondly, to meet up with the Samaritan woman who was in need of a Saviour. He arrived at Jacob’s well at the sixth hour – about 12:00 noon – in the city Sychar, which means falsehood and drunkenness, a name of reproach given to Shechem.

Here He met the woman from Samaria, that came to draw water, and He asked her for a drink because His disciples were in the city to buy meat.  She responded by asking Him why He as a Jew asked her, a Samaritan woman, for water because the Jews have no dealings (Greek: sungchraomai), have no familiar interaction or hospitality with the Samaritans’. Young men who wished to marry went to the wells where young women were accustomed to come and draw water.

Without Measure

John 3:34-36 For he whom God has sent speak the words of God: for God give not the Spirit by measure unto him. The Father loves the Son, and hath given all things into his hand. He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abide on him. 

Christ said to Philip in John 14:10 that the words He spoke unto them (the disciples) He spoke not of Himself: but of the Father that dwell in Him (was in union with Him). Jesus was baptized with the Spirit and not just filled by measure. He had the Spirit ‘without measure’ (Isa. 11:2; 42:1; 61:1; Luke 4:16-21; Acts 10:38) and was thus endued with power for service.

He that believes on Christ – His life, death and resurrection (1Jn. 1:6-7), His testimony (1Pet. 2:21-23), and obey the Words He spoke, shall have eternal life; but judgement for those who do not believe (Greek = apeitheo) who will not allow one’s self to be persuaded to comply with, or to obey, where belief implies obedience and not only mental acceptance of a historical fact.

‘The wrath of God abides on him’ where wrath in Greek here is the word orge, which means temper, agitation of the soul, violent emotion, anger, wrath, indignation, hence used of punishment itself. Here it is God’s attribute manifested in punishing the rebellion and sin of man (Rom. 1:18; 4:15; 9:22; 2Thes. 1:1-12:16; Heb. 3:11; 4:3; Rev. 14:10).

God is True!

John 3:30-33 He must increase, but I must decrease. He that come 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. And what he has seen and heard, that he testify; and no man receive his testimony. He that has received his testimony has set to his seal that God is true. 

‘He must increase, but I must decrease’ Jesus must be exalted in our lives above all else.  We are not to be arrogant and self-important, but to take a sane view of ourselves: that we cannot be complete without Him.

Christ that comes from above is above all, and He testified of what He has seen and heard, but men did not receive His testimony.

‘Set to his seal’ the Greek word sphragizo means to stamp, confirm, place beyond doubt. So for those who do accept Christ’s testimony, will confirm beyond doubt that God is true!

Friend of the Bridegroom

John 3:28 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, which stand and hear him, rejoice greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. 

The friend of the bridegroom is the one who played an important part in the wedding ceremonies, and sometimes conducted the negotiations between the bride and groom. The friend, at the time of the first meeting of the bride and groom, stands just outside the door to hear how delighted the groom is about his bride.

‘This my joy, therefore, is fulfilled’ This does not mean John was not to be a member of the future bride of Christ, for he will be. The heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, is the bride of Christ (Rev. 21:2, 9-10). All Old Testament saints (Heb. 11:10-16) and all New Testament saints will go there (Heb. 13:14; John 14:1-3). This includes John the Baptist and other saints of all ages from Abel to the end of the first resurrection (1Cor. 15:23, 51-58; 1Thess. 4:16; Rev. 20:4-6). All John expresses here is the fact that he is not the bridegroom, but his friend, as are all saints who are friends of the bridegroom (John 15:13-15). As John invited people to Christ, so do all the members of the bride (Rev. 22:17).

All Things

John 3:22-27 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized. And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized. For John was not yet cast into prison. Then there arose a question between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying. And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptize, and all men come to him. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven. 

Jesus left Jerusalem after the Passover and was either back in Samaria or Galilee (John 2:13). According to John 4:2, Jesus himself did not baptize, but His disciple did.

John the Baptist was baptizing in Aenon (Greek word Ainon which means springs), a town on the west of Jordan, about 87 km northeast of Jerusalem in Samaria. There was much water because of the many springs and streams that were suitable for baptizing.

The question that arose between some of John’s disciples and the Jews about purifying, was whether John’s baptism or the legal ceremonies of the Jews were the most effectual to purify sin ceremonially.

John’s answer: “A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.” How literally true! We earn and deserve nothing, but God gives us all things that pertain to life and godliness – now and hereafter (2Pet. 1:3-11; 2Cor. 1:20).

Do Truth

John 3:19-21 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that do evil hate the light, neither come to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that do truth come to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. 

The word ‘condemnation’ is krisis in Greek and means judgment, or basis of judgment, and not the result of it. Those who loved darkness rather than light are the lovers of sin (Job 15:16; Pro. 2:14-15; 2Pet. 2:20-22).

The ‘evil’ things they do are worthless, base things (Greek: phaulos). Those who sin hate the light because the light brings reprove (rebuke, reprimand) to their actions, and evildoers do not want to stop living in sin.

He that does truth will actively produce gospel fruit by being a doer of the Word (Jas. 1:22-27; 2:14-26; Mat. 5:16; 7:15-20) because he came to the light that his deeds might be manifest. “You shall know them by their fruits.” Mat 7:16

Be Saved

John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believe on him is not condemned: but he that believe not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 

The Greek word for world is kosmos which means the social system.  ‘Only-begotten of the Father’ Jesus is and was and always will be the only begotten Son of God (John 1:14, 18; 3:18; 1Jn. 4:9). ‘Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish:’ there is no exception – all can be saved 1Titus 2:3-4 says: “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.”

Everlasting means aionios in Greek and translates as an unknown time, time out of mind and eternity. The life itself is eternal. Man’s possession of it does not change its nature or existence. It is eternal whether man ever gets it or not. It is still eternal whether man loses it or not. It is like an eternal diamond or anything else eternal. Eternal life is only in Jesus. All who are in Him have this eternal life and all out of Him do not have it.

Condemn – the Greek word krino – means to judge. The next time the Son is sent to the world it will be to judge (Matt. 16:27; 25:31-46) at His second coming.

The ‘name of the only begotten Son of God:’ His name means Saviour and anyone who does not believe it and take Him as such, cannot be saved.

Faith

John 3:15  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 

‘Whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life’ this verse states the reason for the crucifixion (John 3:15-17, 36; 5:24). There is no exception – all can be saved (John 3:15-17; 1Tit. 2:4; 2Pet. 3:9).

The word ‘believeth’ denotes the act and process of faith. It comes from the Greek verb pisteuo which occurs 248 times in the New Testament. This use of the present tense indicates that faith must be continued in to receive its benefits (Acts 14:22; Eph. 6:16; Col. 1:23; 1Tim. 2:15; 3:9; 6:12; 2Tim. 3:8; 4:7; Tit. 1:13; 2Pet. 1:5-10). Faith can be lost (1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:8, 12; 6:10, 21; 2Tim. 2:18; 3:8).

Faith means: To be persuaded of (Rom. 4:17-22; 8:38-39; 2Tim. 1:12); to place confidence in (Eph. 3:12; Php. 1:6; Heb. 3:6, 12-14; 10:35; 1Jn. 3:21; 5:14); it is the substance or conviction of things hoped for, the assurance of things not seen (Heb. 10:19-38; 11:1, 6; Rom. 4:17; 8:24); it is an absolute dependence upon and reliance in the Word of God and of Christ (Matt. 8:8-10; 15:28; Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:1-12:3); it means to fully surrender, yield, and have obedience to all known truth (Rom. 1:5; 6:11-23; 16:26; Jas. 2:14-26; 2Cor. 10:4-7; Heb. 11:6); to trust wholly and unreservedly in the faithfulness of God (Matt. 6:25-34; 12:21; 1Tim. 4:11; 6:17; 1Cor. 10:13); to give one’s self over to a new way of life (Rom. 1:17; 6:11-23; 8:1-16; Tit. 2:11-14; Heb. 12:1-15; 1Jn. 1:7; 2:6; 3:8-10; 4:17; 5:1-5, 18); it is the attribute of God and restored faculty of man whereby both can bring into existence things that are unseen (Rom. 4:17; Gal. 5:22; Matt. 17:20; 21:22; Mark 9:23; 11:22-24; Lk. 17:6; Heb. 11:1-40); it is the whole body of revealed truth (Rom. 10:17; 1Tim. 4:1, 6; 6:10; 2Tim. 3:16-17); to have joyful faith in, and acceptance of Christ as the substitute for sin and our Savior whereby one receives salvation (Mark 16:16; Acts 4:12; 10:43; Rom. 1:16; 3:24-31); have access to grace (Rom. 5:2); fulfillment of the promises (Heb. 6:12); the Holy Spirit (Gal. 3:14); righteousness (Rom. 4:1-25; 9:30, 32; 10:6; Php. 3:9); sonship (Gal. 3:26); healing (Jas. 5:14-16; 1Pet. 2:24); eternal life (John 3:15-18, 36; 5:24; 6:47); and answers to every prayer (Mat. 7:7-11; 21:21; John 14:12-15; 15:7, 16).

The Greek word for ‘perish’ is apollumi, which means to destroy (Matt. 10:28); lose (Matt. 10:39); die (John 18:14); be lost (2Cor. 4:3); be marred (Mark 2:22); and perish (Matt. 8:25; 18:14; Heb. 1:11). It never means annihilation. Here it simply means the loss of the souls in eternal hell.

The Son of Man Be Lifted Up 

John 3:9-14 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and know not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up 

The question Nicodemus asked Christ should have been clear to him if he had known such Scripture as Jeremiah 31:33; 32:39; Ezekiel 11:19; 18:31; 36:25-27; Psalm 51:10; Isaiah 1:18-20; 55:6 which says “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

‘Art thou a master of Israel, and know not these things?’ Jesus expected him to know the Scriptures enough to be saved, but he was like most people today, even many ministers who do not know what the new birth is.

‘You receive not our witness’ This is the only hint that Nicodemus at this time went away in doubt about spiritual things, but later it is clear he accepted them (John 19:39).

The earthly things in this passage are in John 3:6 and 8 and the heavenly in John 3:3, 5, 6 and 8.

The Greek word for ‘ascended up’ is anabaino which means to go up of own power, not taken up as was Enoch (Gen. 5:24; Heb. 11:5), Elijah (2Kin. 2:11), Paul (2Cor. 12:1-3), and John (Rev. 4:1). This refers to the ascension of Christ (John 3:13; 6:62; Acts 1:11; Lk. 24:51; Eph. 4:8-10). Christ ascended and came back before His final ascension to heaven to stay (John 20:17).

The verse ‘is in heaven’ proves that Jesus had already ascended when John wrote this book; that the conversation with Nicodemus ended with John 3:12; and that Jesus was now in heaven.

The fourth New Testament prophecy in John that is fulfilled ‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up (Num. 21:9; John 8:28; 12:32, 34; 1Pet. 2:24). It behoved Christ to be crucified in order to fulfil prophecy and to redeem man (Lk. 24:26, 46; Acts 3:18; 17:3).