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cometh, which is called CHRIST: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
JESUS saith unto her, I that speak unto thee, am he. 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?
The woman then left her water-pot, and went her, way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the CHRIST?
Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him aught to eat?
JESUS saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
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.
And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may rejoice together.
And herein is that saying true: One soweth, and another reapeth.
I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.
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..
So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they E 5
besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.
And many more believed, because of his own word: 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.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
JESUS knowing that the Pharisees, who had considerable interest in the Jewish Sanhedrim, had heard what numbers followed him, retired from Judea to avoid their rage, as it was not the will of the FATHER that He should submit to it at present.
If our LORD had not gone through Samaria, He must have taken a larger circuit to go into Galilee from Judea. The well by which He seated Himself was called Jacob's, on account of its having been used by that Patriarch and his family whilst they dwelt in those parts. It appears that JESUS was, in respect to His Duman nature, subject to infirmities like other men; the long walk which He took in the heat of the day, made Him weary and thirsty. The woman, when she expressed her surprise at His asking her for drink, supposed that he had the same prejudices against the Samaritans as other Jews had. To shew her that He was free from them, our LORD assured her he was not only willing to receive refreshment from her hands, but to bestow an infinitely greater favour upon her: that he would give her, in return for the draught of common water which He asked from her, living water, &c. alluding, as it seems, to the prophecies of Isaiah and Zachariah, concerning the fountain which was to be opened for the house of David, anď3 to the nhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness;
ness; and the drawing water out of the wells of Salvation. By this allusion of our blessed LORD we may understand, that the well of Salvation was the doctrine of the Gospel, which, , on account of the continual comfort and delight it affords, and the never-ending happiness it produces, may justly be compared to a fountain of living or perpetually-flowing water, springing up in the Soul.
The woman, not understanding his spiritual meaning, took our LORD's words in a literal sense; but was soon convinced that He was a very extraordinary person, and possessed of supernatural knowledge, she therefore applied to Him for instruction in a point which was the principal matter of division between the Jews and Sa-' maritans. In answer to this question, our LORD informed her, that the Jews were better instructed than the Samaritans in respect to ceremonials, and that Salvation would certainly arise amongst them; but that the time was arrived for concluding the controversy, by introducing a new dispensation of a spiritual nature, which would remove all distinctions, and put an end to the Jewish rites; when, instead of worshipping as formerly, by types and symbols, pious persons would be thoroughly instructed to render themselves acceptable to God, by the worship of the heart without them. The woman readily believed what our LORD now told her, and expressed her faith in the promised SAVIOUR; He there. fore graciously revealed himself to her, for there was not the same reason for His concealing His Messiahship here as in Judea.
When the disciples returned, and pressed their master to eat, He took occassion to inculcate, "that the only feast to a good mind is to be employed in the service of GoD and men," and pointed out to them the happy
fruits of his own labours; for though he had as yet but just sown the seeds of the Gospel in Samaria, the view of so many coming to be taught by Him promised a plentiful harvest ; encouraging them from this circum, stance to preach the Gospel, since He should prepare the way for its reception (as those who sow a field with grain prepare for the reapers); assuring them, that a faithful discharge of their duty would be rewarded with eternal happiness.
It is supposed that when our Lord held this dis. course, it was seed-time; for we may perceive, it was usual with him to accommodate His Divine doctrine to the understanding of His hearers, and to refer to sensible objects.
The Samaritans, we find, gladly entertained our LORD, and requested that he would remain in their city, being desirous of receiving further benefit from his in. structions. Ready at all times to do good, our benevo. lent Saviour abode with them two days, during which time he gave them such satisfactory proofs of his being the Messiah, that they required no farther evidence. Thus did He sow the good seed of the Gospel among them, which he afterwards commissioned his diciples to cultivate.
As in the natural harvest seed is preserved by the hus. bandman for the future cultivation of the earth, so has our LORD, by causing the GOSPEL to be written and preached to the end of the world, provided for the con. tinual instruction of his people. If we will prepare our ininds with humble prayer for its reception, and receive the good seed with faith, the LORD will graciously nourish it in our hearts, which, with his Divine blessing, and our endeavours after righteousness, will be at length productive of the happy fruit of everlasting life.
The fountain of Salvation, which our Savious opened, still continues to flow. From the doctrines of Christ, contained in the Sacred Volume, we may de. rive constant refreshment to our souls under every mis, fortune and infirmity. Let us, then, learn to prize, as we ought to do, these inestimable benefits, that the love of God may not be bestowed upon us in vain!
JESUS RETURNS INTO GALILEE.
From Fohn, Chap. iv.-Matthew, Chap. iv.
Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee :
Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast : for they also went unto the feast.
And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Caper. naun, which is
upon the sea-coast, in the borders of Zebulon and Nephthalim.
That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
The land of Zebulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gen. tiles :
The people which sat in darkness, saw great light: and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death, light is sprung up.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.