Believe in the Gospel of John; Part 12:
The Gospel and the Samaritan Woman at the Well - Part 2:
Many confuse the Gospel Jesus presented during His earthly ministry with the Gospel of the Grace of God that brings salvation today. This study examines the Gospel to the Nation of Israel, including those living during Jesus’ earthly ministry. Future studies will examine the distinct Gospel we are given to believe today, which the Lord Jesus Christ revealed from heaven to the Apostle Paul.
The thought conveyed by the word “gospel” itself is sometimes misunderstood. There are two forms of the Greek translated gospel in the New Testament (NT); euanggel’ion (G2098) found 77 times, primarily in the Pauline epistles (except for Titus) but also in Matthew, Mark, Acts, 1 Peter and Revelation. It means literally “a good message,” or “good news.” The other form of the word is euanggelid’zo (G2097) found 55 times in the NT, most predominantly in Luke and Acts, but also in the Pauline epistles as well as in Hebrews, 1 Peter and Revelation. It is generally translated “preach,” “preach the gospel” or “bring/show good tidings,” etc. Obviously, we get our English words evangelize and evangelism from them.
It’s significant that neither Greek word is found in the Gospel of John, but the reason is clear when we consider that before His incarnation Jesus Christ was The Word of God from eternity past, John 1:1 & 21 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
; God’s Word being the Gospel, or good news to mankind. When He came to earth as a Man He personified God’s Good News (Gospel) because if He had not accomplished His humanity, death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, all mankind would be hopelessly lost. (Likewise the Greek word translated “Faith” is not found in John’s Gospel because Jesus personified faith, of which He was the author and finisher, Hebrews 12:22 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
.) On the other hand, the Gospel of John uses the word “believe” 100 times, more often than any other NT book; this because it is mankind’s responsibility to believe the Gospel in order to receive God’s gift. In our text, John 4:5 - 425 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.
6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)
9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:
14 But whosoever drinketh 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.
15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.
17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:
18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.
19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.
41 And many more believed because of his own word;
42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
, dealing with the Samaritans the word “believe” is found 4 times, John 4:2121 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
, 39, 41 & 42.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well “... If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” John 4:1010 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
. Our last study pointed out the Greek word translated “gift” in this verse is only found this one place in the 4 Gospel records, and this “gift” was clearly the Holy Spirit, which Jesus gave His disciples, John 20:2222 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
, and then to those at Pentecost after He ascended into heaven. That gift; that water; that Holy Spirit Jesus described as “a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” John 4:1414 But whosoever drinketh 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.
b. The woman didn’t know the gift of God before encountering Jesus but after He told her about her past life she believed, i.e., she had faith. Throughout the Bible it has always been “Faith by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,” Romans 10:1717 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
. Her faith came by hearing God’s Word, which in her case was Jesus Himself. And the gospel she and the other Samaritans from her town believed was simply that Jesus was Israel’s promised Messiah.
God’s Word to the Nation of Israel revealed to such as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David and the Prophets was a promise of a Kingdom. Those Jews who believed and acted on their belief looked forward to life after death in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. When the Word of God came as Jesus, He came as the Messiah or King of the promised Kingdom. But relatively few in Israel believed and embraced Him as such. After Jesus ascended into heaven the Gospel of the Kingdom was spread by Holy Spirit filled Jewish believers at Pentecost, but again only a relatively few Jews believed. The point is that the “Gospel” to the Nation of Israel in the Old Testament, then preached by Jesus to Israel during His earthly ministry and subsequently to those at Pentecost and shortly thereafter was that God would establish His Kingdom of Heaven on earth with Jesus as Israel’s Messiah.
Jesus taught His followers to pray for the Kingdom, that things will be on earth as they are in heaven, Luke 11:1212 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
. We have studied the characteristics of that Kingdom: lambs living in peace with wolfs, calves with lions and children leading them, Isaiah 11:55 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
; 65:25; a life of peace and safety from enemies, Deut. 1:30 & 31; long life in their own land, Deut. 4:1 & 40; being a special people; none being barren; no sickness; blessings on their crops and cattle, Deut. 7:6 & 13 - 15, etc. God promised Israel they will be above all peoples, a Nation of Priests, ministering to all nations, Exodus 19:66 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
; Isaiah 61:66 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
; 1 Peter 2:99 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
. The Jews looked for the fulfillment of these promises. When Christ came to earth they expected a Messiah who would throw off the oppressive yoke of Rome and establish their Kingdom. But Israel’s leaders were steeped in self-righteousness; they followed the Law of Moses but not by faith because they failed to recognize the law pointed out their own sinfulness. Jesus was simply not the conquering leader they expected; He followed Moses’ Law to the letter and indeed fulfilled it, Mark 5:17 & 1817 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
, but he came meek and lowly, Matthew 11:2929 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
; 21:15, because unknown to any at the time, He came to pay the penalty for sin by dying on the cross.
If you trace the word “fulfilled” in the Gospels you will find it speaks a number of times about Jesus Christ fulfilling various Old Testament Scriptures and yet Israel’s promised Kingdom has not been fulfilled to date. Some theologians/churches/ denominations have attempted to explain the Kingdom promises away with “replacement” or “Supersessionism” theology. You can look these terms up on the Internet but briefly they teach in different variations that “The Church” today has replaced Israel and the promises God made to Israel are being, or somehow will be fulfilled by “The Church” of today. Many work “for the Kingdom of God,” but they have to “spiritualize” the specific promises God made to Israel in order to make them fit. Contrary to these teachings, the fact is that God promised Israel a literal Kingdom here on earth and He will fulfill that promise because The Word of God endures forever, Isaiah 40:88 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
; 1 Peter 1:2525 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
, and He will do what He has said.
Forty days after His resurrection, Acts 1:33 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
, Jesus was with His Disciples on the Mount of Olives, Acts 1:1212 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
and they asked if He was going to restore Israel’s Kingdom at that time. He answered it was not for them to know; that was God’s decision, Acts 1:6 & 76 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
and while they watched, He was caught up into the clouds, Acts 1:99 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
. Two men in white clothes stood by and asked why they were gazing up into heaven because that same Jesus would come back in the same way He ascended up, Acts 1:1111 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Sometime after the Apostle John wrote his Gospel he received a Revelation of future events in which he describes the Great Tribulation and then the Lord Jesus Christ’s return to earth: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” Revelation 19:11 - 2111 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
18 That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.
. At the end of this episode The Lord Jesus Christ will set foot on the Mount of Olives just as prophesied by the two witnesses in Acts 1:11 and Israel’s Kingdom finally will be established with the Lord Jesus Christ as King.
The Gospel (good news) for both Jew and Gentile to believe today is different than the Kingdom Gospel for the Nation of Israel. It is succinctly stated by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1 - 41 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
. And he assures us we will not go through the Great Tribulation because our earnest expectation is the rapture, which will occur prior to it’s onslaught, 1 Thessalonians 4:23 - 5:5; 1 Corinthians 15:51 - 5851 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
. These truths will be addressed at length in future Faith Studies.