The pool mentioned at the beginning of this chapter has been found by archaeologists. When people visit St. Anne’s Church in Jerusalem, you will be shown the deep excavation, which reveals the ancient Pool of Bethesda. This name is Hebrew, and it has been spelled various ways. With each variation comes a different meaning. Some say it means “house of mercy” or “house of grace.” Others say it means “place of the two outpourings.” [Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – New Testament Volume 1- Be Alive (John 1-12) – John – Chapter Five, p. 304] There is both historical and archaeological evidence that two adjacent pools of water served this area in ancient times.
The pool is situated near the northeast corner of the Old City, which is close to the Sheep Gate. http://ref.ly/Ne3.1 and http://ref.ly/Ne12.39. There have been discovered five porticoes or covered colonnades which confirms the accuracy of the description given here in John’s Gospel.
We just finished reading John Four, and it revealed Jesus as the Soul Winner. He not only won the Samaritan woman, but many from her village came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The chapter ended with Jesus healing the nobleman’s son who was at death’s door.
My Bible (KJV) divides this chapter into six paragraphs. I have decided not to list the paragraph verses. This reason for this is I may not stay within the boundaries of these paragraphs.
Once again, Jesus is on the move. In His earthly ministry, He does not allow Himself to be distracted. He is on a Divine time line. After staying at Samaria for two days, he moves on to Galilee. His movements take Him back to Cana. Galilee was known as “Galil ha goyim–Galilee of the Gentiles.” [Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series) – New Testament Volume 1 – Be Alive (John 1-12 – John – Chapter Four, p. 302] It seemed as though Jesus detected in Judea hostility toward Him. The religious leaders of Judea were upset with Jesus for ministering outside the norm. Real opposition would not manifest itself for some months. In Judea, He was known as the Prophet from Galilee http://ref.ly/Jn7.52 and http://ref.ly/Mt2.11 The response in Jerusalem had been insincere and shallow http://ref.ly/Jn2.23-25. This area did not honor Him at all.
With this in mind, there arises the question: why did Jesus return to Cana? It may have been that He wanted to cultivate the seed He left there. The “seed” had been planted at the wedding feast. Nathanael came from this place. This could have been the reason too. When Jesus arrives there, He is met by a nobleman from Capernaum which is twenty miles away. It is obvious this man heard of the miracles that Jesus performed. He came that far to speak with Jesus about his son who was dying. This nobleman came by faith. He did not know if Jesus would even speak to him. This was going to be the second miracle at Cana by the request of a father. http://ref.ly/Jn4.47
We do not know if this man was a Jew or a Gentile. It should be noted that John did not give this man’s name. John was recording another important event in the ministry of Jesus, and that was all that mattered. The nobleman did not waste time talking to Jesus. He wanted Jesus to come to his home to heal his son. He told Jesus that his son was at the point of death. We are not given details concerning the disease that the young man had. This man walked in faith knowing of the miracles Jesus had already performed. Jesus said that “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” John 4:48. The nobleman begged Jesus to come to his house before his son would die. Jesus made no formal or eye-catching announcement. He just told the father to go back to Capernaum. His son shall live. Notice the man’s response. He believed Jesus’ words, and he began his trip back home. When he returned home, his servants told him that his was alive. This nobleman asked when did his son begin to heal. The servants told him what hour the son began to heal. He realized that it was the same hour that Jesus spoke to him. It was the seventh hour. He was standing in front of Jesus at that time. Not only did the nobleman believe in Jesus, but this man’s entire household believed in Jesus. This is declared as the second miracle that was done by Jesus.
Once again Jesus performs a miracle based upon the belief of an individual. This man had such great faith that he believes the spoken word of Jesus.
Have you ever thrown a stone into a pond? It produces a small ripple in the water. The ripple spreads into larger ripples. This is what happens when it comes to witnessing. John truly shows in this chapter that Jesus is a soul winner. It begins with the woman, and it ends with possibly her entire village coming to see Jesus. This is a perfect example of effective witnessing. Can we say that our witness is this effective?
The woman’s testimony caused many of the Samaritans to believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. She said that Jesus told her about her life. When the citizens of that village heard this, they came to Jesus to see and hear for themselves. They asked Jesus to stay with them for a while. Verse 40 states that Jesus stayed there for two days. It is important that new believers be rooted and grounded in the Word of God. http://ref.ly/Ep3.17 In those two days, Jesus fed them spiritually. There is no such thing as “second hand salvation.” People must come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ for themselves. Then many more received salvation. Those who received salvation told the woman they believed the words of Jesus. They heard for themselves. Their belief and faith came not from her testimony. Her words stirred up their curiosity. They accepted Jesus as the Christ, the Savior. Verse 42.
Do you see how important your witnessing will become? You may be saying that your witness is not that strong. You may have excuses for the reason you do not witness. “I cannot speak well. I do not know the scriptures that well.” You must realize that God will give you the words to say to that individual. This means you must read and study God’s Word. You must pray to the Father for help in witnessing. As I stated earlier, you cannot use a template to witness to people. You must be in touch with the Holy Spirit so He can give you the right words to say. You are not alone. The Holy Spirit is your Comforter and Your Guide. He will bring all things back to your remembrance. That is a part of His ministry in your life. Read the following verses:
Note http://ref.ly/Ac1.8, which states that people shall be witnesses in Samaria. This is true even though the Jews despised these people. Nobody is left out when it comes to salvation. Jesus died for the world. If we faithfully follow Jesus, He will give us the harvest. We have no idea how many came to the Lord in Samaria because of this woman’s witness. She bore much fruit for the kingdom of God!
Jesus now teaches with the illustration of sowing and reaping. The image of the harvest is a familiar one. It often applies to the ministry of winning souls. Notice that Jesus gave a visible example of this process with the woman of Samaria. Now He teaches it with a new illustration. Jesus does not jump from one topic to another without completing the picture.
The Parable of the Sower and the Parable of the Tares relate to this theme. http://ref.ly/Mt13.1-30 Paul used it in his letters http://ref.ly/Ro1.13http://ref.ly/1Co3.6-9http://ref.ly/Ga6.9. After four months comes the harvest. Jesus tells them that harvest is ready to be reaped. The fields are white and ready. http://ref.ly/Mt9.37There is a need for people to work in the fields. Is there a certain time to witness? I know I keep bringing this up, but this is what these verses are pointing out. There is a need for people to go out into the world and reap what has been sown.
Jesus goes on in verse 36 that the one who reaps will receive wages. This individual will be gathering fruit, which pertains to eternal life. The sower and the reaper will rejoice together. Souls are being brought into the kingdom of God. One has sown the Word of God into the hearts of those who will hear. Another reaps what has been sown. Another reaps that soul. You may witness to someone, and the seed you plant in their heart another shall see the fruit of it.
It takes faith to sow the seed of eternal life. This must be done in the good times as well in the bad times. We should never allow the enemy to stop us from sowing the good seed of eternal life. Note http://ref.ly/Ec11.4. Take this to heart! We have entered into the labors of others.
The disciples came with food from the city. They saw Jesus talking to the woman, but they did not ask Him anything about it. They are beginning to understand that Jesus does things outside the norm. Jesus tells them that He has meat that they know nothing about. Once again, they did not understand what He was talking about. Jesus was speaking of the meat of obedience and following the Father’s will. In this case, Jesus was speaking of the Father’s will. He was leading the woman to salvation. This was true nourishment for His soul. He was satisfied with accomplishing the Father’s work. Is this the nourishment that we seek when opportunity knocks? Is what we are doing bringing satisfaction spiritually? If not, we are not doing the will of the Father. This is another question we should be asking ourselves. Are we walking in the will of the Father?
Jesus did not see His witnessing to this woman as a heavy burden. What He was doing came naturally. Are we doing what would come naturally in the spiritual sense? If so, then we are living according to the will of the Father. Note http://ref.ly/Ps40.8. The Samaritan woman was doing the will of the Father, and its fruit was manifested in her village’s response. Our lives should be filled with excitement and enrichment. Jesus makes the change from food to that of a harvest.