The Hour Come

John 4:21-26 Jesus say unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour come, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour come, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seek such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman says unto him, I know that Messias come, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus say unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. 

Jesus answered the woman on her question from verse 20, the hour cometh when you shall neither in this mountain nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father which is the sixth New Testament prophecy in John that is fulfilled. The answer embodies a great principle, that true worship is that of the heart and not of or at any particular place.

‘Father’ the Greek word is pater, and when used of God it expresses relationship and parentage to His “only begotten Son,” and to adopted sons (Rom. 8:15; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5).

‘Salvation is of the Jews’ – the salvation predicted by the prophets was to come through the Messiah of the Jews (Luke 2:30; Rom. 3:1-2; 9:4-5; 1Pet. 1:10-12).

The hour is here now when true worshippers shall worship God in Truth, thus in Christ who is the Word (John 1:1,14,17; 14:6). ‘In spirit’ the area of the mind where our thoughts are produced and of which we are commanded to renew our minds (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23).

God is a Spirit Being, and must, therefore, be worshipped ‘in spirit,’ not the sun, moon, stars; nor an image of wood, stone, or metal; and not beast or man. He is not the air, wind, universal mind, love or some impersonal quality. He has a personal spirit (Psa. 143:10; Isa. 30:1) with a mind (Rom. 11:34), intelligence (Gen. 1:26; Rom. 11:33), will (Rom. 8:27; 9:19), power (Eph. 1:19; 3:7, 20; Heb. 1:3), truth (Psa. 91:4), faith and hope (Rom. 12:3; 1Cor. 13:13), righteousness (Psa. 45:4), faithfulness (1Cor. 10:13), knowledge and wisdom (Isa. 11:2; 1Tim. 1:17), reason (Isa. 1:18), discernment (Heb. 4:12), immutability (Heb. 6:17), and many other attributes, powers, and spirit faculties.

The Gift of Knowledge

John 4:16-20 Jesus say unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that said thou truly. The woman say unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 

‘Go, call thy husband’ this was Christ’s way of getting to the root of her trouble, so He could legally give her salvation. Christ knew by the Holy Spirit’s gift of knowledge that she had five husbands; and the one whom she was with was not her husband, (1Cor. 12:4-11). He could see her past and read her thoughts, as He did with others (Mat. 9:4; 12:25; Luke 5:22; 6:8; 11:17; John 2:24-25).

This knowledge about her past life startled her and she concluded that He was a prophet with power. She quickly changed the subject lest he exposes more of her life.

Mt. Gerizim, the mount of blessing, just across a narrow valley from Mt. Ebal, the mount of cursing (Deut. 11:29; 27:12-26; Jos. 8:33). Jotham addressed Israel here (Jdg. 9:7). About 332 B.C. Sanballet, governor of Samaria under the Persians, and who opposed Israel under Nehemiah (Neh. 4:7-13:28), went over to the side of Alexander the Great who gave him permission to build a temple on Mt. Gerizim like the one in Jerusalem. He built it for his son-in-law, Manasseh, and made him High Priest. The Samaritans established rival worship to Jerusalem and accepted the Pentateuch as their Bible. The great controversy between Jews and Samaritans was whether to worship on Gerizim or Moriah. Since Christ’s words proved Him to be a prophet, the woman seized upon the opportunity to have this question answered.

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.

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).

Born of Water and of the Spirit

John 3:5-8 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, You must be born again. The wind blow where it listed, and thou hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it come, and whither it go: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 

‘Born of water and of the Spirit’ does not refer to the natural birth, for Nicodemus already had this birth and he was told he had to be born again of both water and Spirit. Not water baptism; all Old Testament saints were saved and born again without water baptism (Heb. 11:1-40; Rom. 3:23-25).

Water is used in a figurative sense of salvation (John 4:14; Isa. 12:3), of the Spirit baptism (John 7:37-39), and of cleansing by the Word of God (John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). Since men are cleansed and born again by the Word (Jas. 1:18; 1Pet. 1:23), it is clear that being born of water means being born again by the Word of God.

‘That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.’ This is a fundamental law in both natural and spiritual realms; that is, we live after the flesh or after the Spirit (Rom. 8:1-13; Gal. 5:16-26).

‘So is every one that is born of the Spirit’ as the natural man hears the wind, so the man who is born again hears the voice of the Spirit.

Be Born Again

John 3:1-4 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou do, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 

There was a man – Nicodemus, ruler of the Jews; He was a Jewish Rabbi, member of the Sanhedrin, and one of the three richest men in Jerusalem. He came to Jesus (John 3:1); He testified for Him (John 7:50-51); and He did service for Him (John 19:39).

Nicodemus didn’t come to Jesus by night because of personal shame like the disciples in John 20:19. It was more from fear than shame (John 7:50; 19:38-39). Through centuries Christians who were not ashamed of Christ did do things for fear of persecutors and this was wisdom in most cases.

‘We know that thou art a teacher come from God’ – evidently, the rulers had come to this conclusion, but the majority were too rebellious, to be honest, and sincere.

‘God be with him’ – the secret of power (Acts 10:38) for those who belong to God.

‘Except a man be born again,’ the Greek word for born is gennethe, and again is anothen, which means to be begotten from above. It literally means there must be a transformation from God and a renewal in righteousness and true holiness to be saved (2Cor. 5:17-21; Eph. 4:22-24; Col. 1:13-14, 20; 2:12-17; 3:1-16).

‘He cannot see the kingdom of God’ the Greek word for ‘to see’ is eidon, which is not so much the mere act of looking, but the actual perception of the kingdom and its realities.

‘Be born’ Nicodemus misunderstood Jesus and thought only in human terms. Millions today make the same mistake in comparing the new birth with the old birth. This is the very thing Jesus did not want men to do (John 3:12). The truth is: one is a begetting and a coming into existence; the other is an adoption (Rom. 8:14-16; Gal. 4:5; Eph. 1:5).

What Is in Man

John 2:23-25 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man. 

The purpose of miracles has always been that we must believe in His name – the name above all names – Jesus (Php. 2:9). Jesus prayed in John 11:42 to the Father: “I knew that thou hear me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.”

Jesus didn’t trust men, for He knew they were not genuine in faith and character. Here is an example of the gifts of knowledge and discerning of spirits (1Cor. 12:4-11). In Jeremiah 17:9 we read that the heart (of all men) is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? God answers in verse 10 that He searches the heart, He tries the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

The Temple

John 2:18-22  Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shew thou unto us, seeing that thou do these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said. 

The Jews were as always acting as an evil and adulterous generation that seek after a sign (see Matt. 12:39; 16:4) and Jesus gave them the same answer He would do later: that of His death and resurrection (the sign of the prophet Jonas). The one sign that will hopefully be the answer to all their doubts and unbelief so that they will accept Him as their Saviour.

Here He gave the same answer in the form of the destruction of that temple (Herod’s) that He will raise up in three days. This is the third New Testament prophecy in John where He no doubt pointed to His body – this temple.

With Christ’s death, the New Testament period started (Matt. 26:28; 1Cor. 11:25; Heb. 9:15) and temple service was abolished. God now (during the New Testament period) works through individuals and He clearly states in 1Corinthians 6:19 that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost and He warns us through the Apostle John in Revelation 2:9; 3:9 that there will be those that blaspheme because they say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of satan. Service to God now comes through the body of Christ (1Cor. 12:27; Ep. 4:12), thus each individual that is consecrated to Him for His glory and honour (1Pet. 2:21-22) and not through a temple or synagogue (Acts 7:48; 17:24).

The rebuilding of the temple was commenced by Herod the Great, 20 B.C. Herod tore down Zerubbabel’s temple to make it larger and better.

When Jesus has risen from the dead (Matt. 27:51-53; 28:6; 1Cor. 15:12-23), His disciples remembered His words and they believed the Scripture – that was given to Christ of the Father (John 14:10).