When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,…
I. THE MINGLED TACT AND CONDESCENSION OF CHRIST IN DEALING WITH A CARELESS SINNER. He does not begin with reproof, but with a request for water, a subject uppermost in her thoughts. This at once threw a bridge across the gulf between them. So Christian workers must go to the sinful, and bear down upon them in the spirit of friendly aggression, studying the best avenues to their hearts, and avoiding any show of superiority.
II. CHRIST'S READINESS TO GIVE MERCIES TO CARELESS SINNERS. If she had asked, He would have given. "Ask and receive."
III. THE PRICELESS EXCELLENCE OF CHRIST'S GIFTS WHEN COMPARED WITH THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD (vers. 13, 14). Thousands of men have every temporal good, and are yet weary and dissatisfied. Jesus alone can give solid happiness. His waters may have their ebbing seasons, but they are never completely dried.
IV. THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY OF CONVICTION TO CONVERSION. The woman was comparatively unmoved until our Lord exposed her breach of the seventh commandment. From that moment she is an Inquirer after truth. Till a sinner sees himself as God sees him he will continue careless and trifling. Conscience must be pricked by the preaching of the law.
V. THE USELESSNESS OF ANY RELIGION WHICH ONLY CONSISTS OF FORMALITY. True and acceptable worship depends on the state of the worshipper's heart (1 Samuel 16:7).
VI. CHRIST'S GRACIOUS WILLINGNESS TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO THE CHIEF OF SINNERS. Nowhere in the gospels do we find such an explicit avowal as in ver. 26. Whatever a man's past life may have been there is hope and a remedy for him in Christ. He will undertake to cure the apparently incurable.
Parallel VersesKJV: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,