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Baptism of Jesus

Geneva Notes/ Commentary on John 4:1-42

From the Geneva Notes

Joh 4:1
4:1 When {1} therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard
that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,

(1) This balance is to be kept in doing our duty, that neither
by fear are we terrified from going forward, and neither by
rashness procure or bring dangers upon ourselves.

Joh 4:5
4:5 {2} 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.

(2) Christ, leaving the proud Pharisees, communicates the
treasures of everlasting life with a poor sinful woman and
stranger, refuting the gross errors of the Samaritans, and
defending the true service of God, which was delivered to
the Jews, but yet in such a way that he here calls both
Samaritans and Jews back to himself, as one whom only all
the fathers, and also all the ceremonies of the law,
regarded, and had respect for.

Joh 4:6
4:6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied
with [his] journey, sat {a} thus on the well: [and] it was
about the {b} sixth hour.

(a) Even as he was weary, or because he was weary.
(b) It was almost noon.

Joh 4:9
4:9 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 {c} have no dealings with the

(c) There is no familiarity nor friendship between the Jews
and the Samaritans.

Joh 4:10
4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest {d} 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 {e} living water.

(d) By this word "the" we are shown that Christ speaks of
some excellent gift, that is to say, even about
himself, whom his Father offered to this woman.
(e) This everlasting water, that is to say, the exceeding
love of God, is called "living" or "of life", to make a
difference between it and the water that should be
drawn out of a well: and these metaphors are frequently
used by the Jews.

Joh 4:20
4:20 {3} Our fathers worshipped in this {f} mountain; and ye
say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to

(3) All the religion of superstitious people stands for the
most part upon two pillars, but very weak, that is to say,
upon the perverted examples of the fathers, and a foolish
opinion of outward things: and to refute such errors we have to
turn to the word and nature of God.
(f) The name of this mountain is Gerizim, upon which
Sanabaletta the Cuthite built a temple with the
permission of Alexander of Macedonia, after the victory
of Issica: and he made high priest there Manasses his
son in law; Josephus, book 11.

Joh 4:23
4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers
shall worship the Father in {g} spirit and in truth: for
the Father seeketh such to worship him.

(g) This word "spirit" is to be taken here as it is set
against that commandment which is called carnal in
He 7:16, as the commandment is considered in itself:
and so he speaks of "truth" not as we set it against a
lie, but as we take it in respect of the outward
ceremonies of the law, which only shadowed that which
Christ indeed performed.

Joh 4:24
4:24 God [is] a {h} Spirit: and they that worship him must
worship [him] in spirit and in truth.

(h) By the word "spirit" he means the nature of the
Godhead, and not the third person in the Trinity.

Joh 4:32
4:32 {4} But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know
not of.

(4) We may have care of our bodies, but in such a way that we
prefer willingly and freely the occasion which is offered
us to enlarge the kingdom of God before all necessities of
this life, whatever else they may be.

Joh 4:35
4:35 {5} 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

(5) When the spiritual corn is ripe, we must not linger, for so
the children of this world would condemn us.

Joh 4:36
4:36 {6} And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth
fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he
that reapeth may rejoice together.

(6) The doctrine of the prophets was as it were a sowing time,
and the doctrine of the gospel, as the harvest: and there
is an excellent agreement between them both, and the
ministers of them both.

Joh 4:37
4:37 And herein is that {i} saying true, One soweth, and another

(i) That proverb.

Joh 4:39
4:39 {7} 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.

(7) The Samaritans most joyfully embrace that which the Jews
most stubbornly rejected.

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