John 4

Jesus talks to a woman from Samaria

1 The Pharisees heard the news that many people were joining Jesus' group of disciples. They heard that Jesus was baptizing more disciples than John was baptizing. 2 But really Jesus himself did not baptize anyone. It was only Jesus' disciples who baptized people. 3 Jesus discovered what the Pharisees were thinking, so he left Judea. He returned to Galilee. 4 On his way, he had to go through Samaria.

5 He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar. It was near to the piece of land that Jacob had given to his son, Joseph, many years earlier. 6-8 Jacob's well was there. Jesus was tired after his journey and he sat down by the well. It was about midday. His disciples had gone to buy food in the town. A woman from Samaria came to the well to get some water. Jesus said to her, ‘Please give a drink to me.’ 9 The woman from Samaria said to him, ‘You are a Jew and I am a woman from Samaria. Why would you ask me to give you a drink?’ (The Jews usually do not talk to people who come from Samaria.)

4:9Samaria was the part of Israel between Judah (in the south) and Galilee (in the north). The people in Samaria did worship the Lord God of Israel. But they worshipped him in a different way from how Israel's people worshipped him. They believed only some of the Old Testament and they refused to worship at Jerusalem. As a result of these differences, Israel's people were not friendly to the people from Samaria.

10 Jesus answered the woman, ‘You do not know what God could give to you. I asked you to give a drink to me. But you do not know who I am. If you did know, you would have asked me to give a drink to you. Then I would have given to you water that gives life.’ 11 The woman said, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where can you get this water that gives life? 12 Jacob, our ancestor, gave this well to us. He, his sons and his sheep, goats and cows all drank its water. Are you saying that you are greater than Jacob?’ 13 Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks water from this well will get thirsty again. 14 But I can give people a different kind of water. Everyone who drinks that kind of water will never get thirsty again. The water that I give them will become like a well inside them. That well will continue to give fresh water that will give him life for ever with God.’ 15 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give this water to me. Then I will never get thirsty again. And I will not have to continue to come here so that I can get water.’

16 Jesus said to her, ‘Go and fetch your husband. Then return here.’ 17 The woman replied, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say, “I have no husband.” 18 It is true that you have had five husbands. And now you live with a man who is not your husband. What you have said is completely true.’ 19 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshipped God on this mountain. But you Jews say that Jerusalem is the right place to worship.’

4:20‘This mountain’ means a mountain in Samaria called Gerizim. That was where the people from Samaria worshipped God.

21 Jesus said to her, ‘Believe me, woman. Soon you will not worship the Father either on this mountain or at Jerusalem. 22 You people from Samaria do not know the one that you worship. But we Jews do know him, because God's salvation comes from among the Jewish people. 23 But people will soon have a new way to worship the Father. Yes, that time has already come. Those people who really want to worship the Father will worship him in their spirits, in a true way. The Father looks for people who will worship him like that. 24 God is spirit. People who worship him must worship from their spirits in a true way.’

25 The woman said to Jesus, ‘I know that the Messiah will come. He is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ 26 Jesus said to her, ‘I, who am speaking to you, am he.’

The disciples return

27 At this moment, Jesus' disciples returned. They were surprised to see that Jesus was talking to a woman. But none of them asked him, ‘What do you want?’ or, ‘Why are you talking to her?’ 28 Then the woman left her water pot and she returned to the town. She said to the people there, 29 ‘Come and see a man who has told me everything about myself. He told me all the things that I have ever done! He must be the Messiah!’ 30 So they left the town and they went to find Jesus.

31 While that was happening, the disciples said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, eat something.’ 32 But he said to them, ‘I have food that I can eat. But you do not know about it.’ 33 So the disciples asked each other, ‘Could someone have brought food to him?’ 34 Jesus said to them, ‘My Father has sent me. I must do the things he wants me to do. I must finish the work that he has given to me to do. That is my food. 35 You often say, “It is still four more months until the plants in the farmers' fields will be ready for the harvest.” But I say that you should open your eyes. Look at the fields. The plants are ready for the harvest now. 36 The workers are already bringing in the fruit and their master is paying them. As a result, people are receiving life for ever with God. So, the person who plants the seeds will be very happy. And the person who brings in the fruit will also be very happy. Both of them will be happy together. 37 You also say, “One person plants the seeds and another person brings in the fruit.” Now you can see that this is true. 38 I have sent you to bring people to me like a harvest of fruit. You did not do the work to prepare that fruit. Other people did that hard work. Now you have brought in the fruit that they worked for. That makes you happy.’

39 Many of the people who lived in that town in Samaria heard the woman's story. She had said to them, ‘He told me all the things that I have ever done!’ Because of this, they believed in Jesus. 40 So when these people came to Jesus, they asked him to stay with them. So he stayed there for two days. 41 Many more people believed in Jesus when they listened to his own words. 42 The people said to the woman, ‘Now we believe in him because we ourselves have heard him. We do not believe only because of what you told us. He really is the man that God has sent to save the world. We know that now.’

Jesus makes an officer's son well

43 After those two days in Samaria, Jesus left there and he went to Galilee. 44 Jesus himself had said earlier, ‘When a prophet of God visits his own town, the people there will not accept him.’ 45 When he arrived in Galilee, the people there were happy to see him. They had been in Jerusalem at the Passover festival too. They had seen all the things that Jesus had done there.

46 Jesus visited Cana again. This was the town in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. A certain man who was one of the king's officers was there. This officer had a son who was at his home in Capernaum. His son was very ill. 47 The officer had heard the news that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea. So, he went to Jesus and asked him to go to Capernaum. His son was dying. So he asked Jesus strongly to make his son well again.

48 Jesus said to him, ‘You people want me to do great miracles that will surprise you. Unless you see these great miracles, none of you will ever believe my message.’ 49 The king's officer said to Jesus, ‘Sir, come with me now before my child dies.’ 50 Jesus replied, ‘Go home. Your son will live.’ The man believed what Jesus had said. He started to go home. 51 While he was on the way, his servants met him. They told him, ‘Your child is better. He will live.’ 52 He asked them, ‘At what time did he start to get well?’ They told him, ‘He stopped being ill yesterday afternoon, at one o'clock.’ 53 Then the father remembered. He knew it was the time when Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ So, the man and all his family believed in Jesus.

54 This was the second miracle that Jesus did after he returned from Judea to Galilee.