October 08, 2020 – Thursday
John 4:19-26 NIV
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet.
20 Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.
22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am He.”
Our focus today is on verse 21 where Jesus said, Woman, believe Me. The reason for the extended number of verses is to bring us to verses 25 and 26 where the woman says I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declares, I, the one speaking to you—I am He. Jesus statement in verse 26 provides the absolute reason the woman should believe Him as He stated in verse 21. First He says, believe me and then He gives the reason why, I am the Messiah.
The Benson Commentary points out this is the only time Jesus uses believe me in the declarative sense. He does use it a total of eight times, but only once as He does here. The Benson Commentary notes that using the expression as He does here was to a Samaritan. While To his own people, the Jews, his usual language is, I say unto you.
Why would He say, believe me to the Samaritan woman? According to Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, it was because she had professed to believe that he was a prophet, it was right to require her to put faith in what he was about to utter. It also shows the importance of what he was about to say. The Pulpit Commentary adds concerning believe me, a unique expression of Jesus, of many other passages, where the acknowledgment of his Divine commission had been virtually ceded; this expression is peculiarly suitable to the occasion – that an hour is coming. Then added, Christ did not say that either Samaritans or Jews were exclusively right in their preference for one local shrine or place of sacrificial worship; but he declared the sublime truth that the worship of the Father would soon prove itself to be independent of both alike and of all the limitations of place and ceremony. Every place would be as sacred and as hallowed as these notable shrines, when the full character and real nature of the object of worship became fully known.
Then we have Jesus’ concluding statement about the Messiah/Christ, I, the one speaking to you—I am He. Here He makes it clear He is the one who was promised to come. He declared to the Samaritans He is the Messiah, something He would not make known to Israel for some time. If we read on, we will find He offers living water for those who spiritually thirst will never thirst again. The Expositor’s Greek Testament makes the following interesting observation, This declaration He was free to make among a people with whom He could not be used for political ends. And then quotes Stanton from Jewish and Christian Messiah p.275, I think, too, there will be felt to be something not only very beautiful, but very characteristic of our Lord, in His declaring Himself with greater plainness of speech than He had Himself hitherto done even to the Twelve, to this dark-minded and sin-stained woman, whose spiritual nature was just awakening to life under His presence and His words. Many a sinner who has come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior would agree with Stanton in my opinion.
Bottom Line: When Jesus asks or tells us to believe Him, we would be wise to take our faith and truly put our trust in Him and His Grace.