When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,…
I. A MEMORABLE INTERVIEW DESCRIBED (ver. 7, 8).
1. Memorable to Jesus.
(1) For the place where it occurred: Jacob's well, a scene of loveliness and fertility, marred only by the city of liars or drunkards; a spot consecrated by sacred memories.
(2) For the time when it happened — at noon in Midsummer — an unusual season and hour; at the close of a long journey in obedience to His Father's will; at a moment of weariness and loneliness and perhaps sadness at having to leave Judaea; waiting for the next opportunity.
2. Memorable to the woman. Because of —
(1) The person she met.
(2) The truths to which she listened.
(3) The discoveries she made.
(4) The treasures she found.
3. Memorable to the Evangelist. On account of —
(1) The insight it afforded into Christ's character.
(2) The light it cast upon the work.
(3) The prospect it opened of the ultimate triumph of the kingdom of God.
II. A PROFITABLE CONVERSATION OPENED.
1. A simple request preferred (ver. 7); natural (Judges 4:19); moderate (1 Kings 17:20); courteous (Psalm 45:2; Luke 5:22); condescending (Matthew 11:27); honouring the woman; gracious.
2. An astonishing answer returned (ver.9). Persons of narrow intelligence generally surprised to find others capable of throwing off prejudice.
3. An important truth announced (ver 10). What keeps men from becoming Christians is ignorance (Ephesians 4:18) —
(1) Of God's gift (John 7:39; Acts 2:38);
(2) Of Him through whom that gift is offered (John 8:19; 1 Corinthians 2:8);
(3) Of the terms upon which it can be secured: by asking (Matthew 7:7; James 4:3) freely (Isaiah 55:1);
(4) Of the certain success of every application, Christ denying none who ask (John 6:37; Revelation 21:6); and(5) Of the value of the gift (John 7:38, 39; Romans 8:2; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Galatians 6:18).
(T. Whitelaw, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,