John 4:22 says, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.” In this verse the Lord Jesus was speaking to a Samaritan woman, as we see in verse 7, “A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’” Jesus began this conversation with her in order to lead her to salvation through faith in Him. She “came to draw water,” but Jesus “came to Samaria to draw this woman to LIVING WATER.” This is borne out in verses 9-10, “Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you LIVING WATER.” The “living water” He wanted to offer her was the “gift of eternal life.” We see this in verses 13-14, “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a FOUNTAIN OF WATER SPRINGING UP INTO EVERLASTING LIFE.”

The woman responded with these words, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” It’s obvious she didn’t enter into the fact that the “water” He was offering her was spiritual in nature, for she was still thinking of having her natural thirst met. Why was she unable to grasp the spiritual force of Jesus’ words? Ah, because she didn’t see her need of eternal life! In order to convict the woman of this need the Lord tells her, “Go, call your husband, and come here” and she said, “I have no husband” (verses 16-17a). To this the Lord declares, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly” (verses 17b-18). In these few words the Lord exposes her shameful past and her present state of living in fornication. In other words, He reveals HER SIN to her in order to reveal HER NEED OF ETERNAL LIFE.

How does she react? She reacts like most do when confronted with their sin and their need of salvation, for she “changes the subject” in order to remove the spotlight of God’s holy truth off from herself. In her case, she brings up the subject of WORSHIP, “Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” I often meet with this same “change of subject” when confronting sinners with their sin. They will say something like, “I have my religion and you have yours.” In short, they are saying, “My religion is just as good as yours and I’m satisfied with it.” This, I believe, is what the woman of Samaria was trying to say. The problem with her thinking was simple; her religion was WRONG and the Jews’ religion was RIGHT! This brings us back to where we started, for Jesus told her, “You worship WHAT YOU DO NOT KNOW; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.” Jesus condemned the worship of the Samaritans because “it was not of God”; that is, it was not according to Scripture (see 2nd Kings 17:24-41 to see their form of worship). In contrast, the Jews were God’s chosen people (Deuteronomy 7:6-8) who worshipped God in Jerusalem according to His Word (see Deuteronomy 12:4-7 with 2nd Chronicles 6:5-6).

The most important words (by far!) spoken to this dear woman were, “Salvation is of the Jews.” What did Jesus mean by them? He did NOT mean that all Jews are saved; rather, He meant that it was through the Jewish people a Savior would be born so that God could provide salvation for all men. Romans 9:4-5 declare, “Who are Israelites…..from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God. Amen.” We can praise God for Christ being born through the Jewish people and that He came to save us. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1st Timothy 1:15). The Samaritan woman went on to believe on Christ as her Savior (see verses 25-31). Has the reader “believed on the Lord Jesus Christ?” If not, we would plead with you to do so right now.  (353.1)  (DO)