When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,…
I. His ZEAL.
1. He went to a most unwelcome neighbourhood. His hereditary prejudices were arrayed against it, yet, when the world of Palestine was open to Him, our Lord mast needs go through it.
2. He became a teacher. What condescension of His; what an ennobling of the office.
3. He was satisfied with a class of one scholar. He talked just as long, kindly, and eloquently as He did to thousands. The great doctrines were in many cases given quietly to individuals. Regeneration to Nicodemus; resurrection to Martha; spirituality of worship to this woman.
4. He occupied Himself with a disagreeable pupil. Never was there more unpromising scholar.
5. He laboured with her when He was wearied almost to exhaustion.
II. His TACT.
1. How ingenious He was in catching an illustration to interest her mind. He took her water-pot for His text, as He did afterwards fish, loaves, etc. Try to link the unknown on to the known.
2. How quick He was in turning the illustration so as to impress her conscience. He knew He had done nothing until He made her feel that she was a sinner. So McCheyne, standing before a forge fire, said gently to the workmen, "Who can dwell with everlasting burnings"; and Payson to his coach companion on nearing their destination, "Are you prepared for the end of the journey which is so much longer than this?"
III. His SPIRITUALITY. He made the interview religious. Like all other sinners, the woman wanted to talk about something else.
1. Jesus avoided all discussion of sectarian questions. She —
(1) Proposed sectarian questions;
(2) Suggested ritualistic points;
(3) Ventured on speculative inquiries.
2. Jesus pressed home the one lesson He wanted her to learn first of all. He told her of —
(1) The exact state of her case, and drew her to an admission of it;
(2) The demands of Divine law;
(3) The Redeemer's help.
3. Jesus completed His work by disclosing Himself.
(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,