When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,…
I. WHAT BRINGS HER THERE? The distance was a mile and a half, and much nearer were two copious fountains as old as the Canaanites, besides springs in and around the city. The hour, too, was peculiar. It is only the wayfarer or caravan that pause at noon for refreshment. Moreover, it was not the public well of the city, because there was no accommodation for drawing water. The answer is a superstitious virtue supposed to attach to the well. In Europe we have many monasteries and shrines reared around sacred fountains, to which pilgrims resort. The objection to this, grounded on the profligacy of the woman, is answered by the fact that abject superstition is often allied with licentiousness; as in the case of many Mohammedans, Roman Catholics, and Hindoos.
II. THE GUIDING HAND WHICH BROUGHT HER AT THAT TIME. Nothing, in an earthly sense, was more purely accidental. Who can doubt that all unknown and unforeseen by her it was one of those ordinary every-day providences of God which we are compelled to believe if we would unriddle the mystery of the world. The same" needs be" which brought the Redeemer there brought also her. The same truth is often illustrated in our individual histories. Events apparently trivial and unimportant form the mighty levers of life shifting our whole future.
(J. R. Macduff; D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,