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24. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
25. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.
26. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.
and she said to Jesus, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Her awakened religious life led her to ask the prophet a religious question much discussed between Samaritans and Jews, just as inquirers now often turn away from their personal duty to doctrinal questions, instead of first settling the real question of their lives.
20. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain. Doubtless pointing to Mt. Gerizim, at the foot of which they were standing.
21. Jesus saith unto her. His answer is admirable, the plain truth told in a way not to repel her. The hour (the time) cometh, when ye shall, etc., i.e. when ye shall worship the Father. Showing the loving and attractive side of God, drawing us to worship above, but unrestricted by time or place.
22. Ye worship ye know not what. Better as in Am. R.,“ Ye worship that which ye know not : we worship that which we know.” The two questions at issue between Jews and Samaritans were those of holy place and holy Scripture. By rejecting the full revelation of God (they accepted only the Pentateuch, Gen. to Deut.), they were ignorant of much they might have known of God's nature, and law, and kingdom, and promises. For salvation is of the Jews. “ Literally, the salvation, the expected salvation, is of the Jews, i.e. proceeds from them (not belongs to them)." Cambridge Bible. Most of the promises of the coming Messiah were in the parts of Scripture rejected by the Samaritans. But now the Messiah has come to the Jews through the Son of David, and through them to all men.
23. But the hour cometh, and now is. The new day has dawned ; the Messiah has come and all men in all places have access to Him. When the true worshippers. Who worship not in forms merely, but with the heart. Shall worship the Father. The true object of worship, God, presented in that aspect which most calls our sincere, loving, heartfelt worship. In spirit designates the worship of the mind and heart, a real, spiritual worship as distinguished from a merely formal worship. In truth designates sincerity of worship in the true way. For the Father seeketh such to worship him. For they are the only ones who can receive the blessings which true worship can bestow.
24. God is a Spirit, real but invisible, everywhere, not confined to any temple, not located in any place, as idols are. Therefore the difference in the places of worship, whether in Samaria or Jerusalem, sinks into insignificance.
“Where'er they seek Thee, Thou art found,
And every spot is hallowed ground.” 25. I know that Messias cometh. “Messias” is the Greek form of the Hebrew Messiah, as Christos is the Greek translation of it. He will tell us all things. Jesus had told her some things, but the Messiah would tell all they wished to know. Are you the Messiah ?
26. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee, am he. “It was doubtless because there was no fear of political complications during his brief stay in Samaria that Jesus makes the great announcement to an ignorant and half heathen woman which was withheld from his own nation at that time.” New Century Bible.
V. THE DISCIPLES JUST AT THIS POINT RETURN FROM SYCHAR WITH FOOD, vs. 27, 30–38. AND THE SAMARITAN WOMAN GOES BACK TO HER SYCHAR HOME, vs. 28, 29. “ As the disciples returning with food from Sychar drew near to Jacob's well they were astonished to see Jesus and the Samaritan woman talking together, for according to Rabbinical teaching a Rabbi ought not to salute a woman in public, not even his own wife.” . New Century Bible. And it was still more contrary to custom because this woman was a Samaritan.
28, 31. The woman then left her waterpot and went her way to the city, and the disciples drew near and prayed him saying Master, eat. He probably ate with them, but he also taught them a lesson, that his food was to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
“In the house of labor, best
Then Jesus spread before their vision the work they were to do. Usually it was four months from seed time to harvest but now he had been sowing seed which the Samaritan woman was carrying to the people of Sychar. Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest. It was a blessed privilege to help reap that harvest. He had been sowing seed, and his disciples could enter into his labors and reap what he had sown. This is the privilege of Jesus' disciples all down the ages.
Jesus and his disciples spent two days in that region persuading and teaching the Samaritans, the disciples learning from Jesus how to do missionary work. The result was that many of the Samaritans became believers.
The Need of Missionary Work for Every Disciple. The very salvation and development and growth of the church lies in missionary work for others at home and abroad.
“ The very soul of our religion is missionary, progressive, world-embracing : it would cease to exist if it ceased to be missionary, if it disregarded the parting words of its founder, 'Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, etc. The spirit of truth is the life-spring of all religion; and where it exists, it must manifest itself ; it must plead, it must persuade, it must convince and convert. There may be times when silence is gold, and speech silver ; but there are times, also, when silence is death, and speech is life — the very life of Pentecost. Look at the religions in which the missionary spirit has been at work, and compare them with those in which any attempt to convince others by argument, to save souls, to bear witness to the truth, is treated with pity or scorn. The former are alive; the latter are dying or dead."
Max Muller in his book on Missions. As for the Samaritan woman we may picture her life from this time onward by the following story :
Illustration. Once there was a brier growing in a ditch and there came along a gardener with his spade. As he dug around it and lifted it out the brier said to itself, “What is he doing that for ? Doesn't he know that I am only an old worthless brier ?”
But the gardener took it into the garden and planted it amid his flowers, while the brier said, “ What a mistake he has made ! Planting an old brier like myself among such rose trees as these ! But the gardener came once more and with his keen-edged knife made a slit in the brier, and, as we say in England,“ budded it” with a rose, and by and by when summer came lovely roses were blooming on that old brier. Then the gardener said, “ Your beauty is not due to that which came out of you, but to that which I put into you.” — Mark Guy Pearse.
LESSON VII. — February 18.
MEMORIZE vs. 49-51.
THE TEACHER AND HIS CLASS. PLAN OF THE LESSON.
“ An educational writer,” says the SUBJECT : The Story of a Sick Boy. London Sunday School Chronicle, speaks
A Lesson on Faith. of the necessity of developing the royal I. GALILEE IN THE TIME OF CHRIST. H's — the Head, the Heart, and the II. THE SICK BOY AT CAPERNAUM, Hand — if we would have the perfect
vs. 43-50. character. We may accept the III. THE BOY RESTORED TO HEALTH ; unity of Head, Heart, and Hand as the
THE FAMILY BECOME CHRISTIANS, ideal of complete manhood. The Head
vs. 51-54. to think, the Heart to love, the Hand to IV. LESSONS IN FAITH. do each is essential to a full-orbed life.”
THE TEACHER'S LIBRARY. It will make a successful lesson if the teacher will train his scholars to use these On Galilee. Hon. Selah Merrill's three methods in their study of this les-Galilee in the Time of Christ. Geo. son, and of every lesson.
Adam Smith's Historical Geography of His Head to see clearly the great facts the Holy Land. Masterman's Studies in and truths and principles.
Galilee (1909). His Heart to love Christ, to inspire the Reference Literature. All the Comdesire to help those in need, to draw men mentaries on John. Prof. Riggs's Mesto Jesus.
sages of Jesus According to John. J. R. His Hands to do what his Head teaches Miller's Devotional Hours with the Bible ; and his Heart inspires.
Jacox's Secular Annotations on Scripture Even the younger scholars can carry Texts, ist series, on “ A Prophet without out in various degrees these three H's.
Honor in His Own Country Trumbull's Studies in Oriental Social Life,
“ Calls for Healing in the East.” Medical LEARN BY HEART.
Men in the Time of Christ, by R. N. WillMatt. 4 : 23 ; Ps. 103 : 1-3.
son, M.D. S. S. Times Co.
Miracles. Works on the Miracles by THE LESSON IN ITS SETTING.
Trench, Lang, Laidlaw, Wm. Taylor,
Spurgeon, and many others. Time. The latter part of December, The Finger of God, Studies and SugA.D. 27, a few days after the last Lesson. gestions in the Miracles of Christ, by T. H. Possibly early in Jan., A.D. 28.
Wright (Melrose, London); HutchiPlace. - Cana of Galilee, 4 miles N.E. of son's Our Lord's Signs in John's Gospel ; Nazareth. Dr. Masterman of Jerusalem Peyton's Memorabilia of Jesus, Signalthinks it was at a site 2 miles further on. ling the Higher Natural World."
The Capernaum, about 20 miles N.E. of Miracles of Jesus, by various authors. Nazareth, on the n.w. shore of the Sea (Robinson, of Manchester, Eng.) of Galilee. John the Baptist still preaching.
THE LESSON IN LITERATURE. Place in the Life of Christ. At the
Whittier's Poems, close of the Judean Ministry (his first
Our Master,” year) and the beginning of his Galilean
“ The healing of the seamless dress.' ministry.
“A Colony of Mercy" describes what
Christianity is doing for all forms of THE ROUND TABLE.
disease in a town in Germany ; John
Mason's famous sermon on The Gospel FOR RESEARCH AND DISCUSSION
for the Poor.” Contrast Zola's Lourdes. Galilee as a field for Jesus' Ministry.
Without Honor in His Own Country ; No honor in his own country. How had the Galileans become acquainted with his Shakespeare's Julius Cæsar, Act I., Scene (v. 45.)
2 ; George Sand's Consuelo, where she The nobleman's faith shown by his coming all the way | advises Anzoleto to quit Venice for this How did Jesus strengthen his faith?
Scott's Old Mortality, Henry A study of miracles, called “signs."
Morton's kinsfolk's ignorance of his Compare Providences, and answers to Prayer, as genius. Many other instances are reHow did Jesus' miracles prove that he was the Mes- ferred to in Jacox's Secular Annotations, siah?
series I, pp. 143-147. I. GALILEE IN THE TIME OF CHRIST. Galilee was the mission field of Jesus for more than a year and a half, so that it is well for us to gain a vivid picture of the country and its people at that time.
measured about 50 miles north to south, and from 25 to 35 east and west. The area was only about 1600 square miles or that of an English shire. (It was a little larger than Rhode Island 1250 sq. miles, 50 mi. long and 35 mi, in breadth.) The controlling feature of Galilee is her relation to the Lebanon Mountains. With no more showers in the hot season than in the rest of Palestine, the moisture from these mountains is dispensed to Galilee with unfailing regularity all the year round.”
The Country was very fertile, well watered from the mountains of Lebanon on the north. It was full of trees, orchards, gardens, grain fields, vineyards. The Talmud says, It is easier to raise a legion of olives in Galilee than to bring up a child in Palestine.”
“ The plain of Gennesaret, where Jesus often was, Josephus calls ‘that unparalleled garden of God. The Esdraelon plain was of inexhaustible fertility, and so was the region about Lakes Merom and Tiberias. The climate was all that could be desired. The air was invigorating, and no doubt it was owing partly to this fact that the Galileans were always noted for being healthy, hardy, and brave. [Eleven of the 12 disciples were from this region. The forests, meadows, and pastures, and tilled fields and gardens, the vineyards and olive orchards, the broad acres covered with wheat and barley, the fountains, streams, lakes, and rivers, the prosperous cities and towns which dotted the land, made the aspect of the country singularly varied and attractive. Even in the country's present degradation, besides many flowering trees, shrubs, and aromatic plants, we find the vine, the olive, and the fig, the oak, the hardy walnut, the terebinth, and the hot-blooded palm, the cedar, cypress and balsam, the fig tree, the pine, the sycomore, the bay tree, the mulberry, the almond, the pomegranate, the citron, and the beautiful oleander. And among other productions of the soil, Galilee can still boast of wheat, barley, millet, pulse, indigo, rice, sugar cane, oranges, pears, apricots and other fruits, besides vegetables in great variety." Hon. Selah Merrill, formerly U.S. Consul at Jerusalem.
The great variety of flowers was doubtless the same as the children around Bethlehem and the Mount of Olives gather, which are pressed on card-board and sent to this country by thousands ; the same as Jesus used in his illustrations.
The Population. “ The exact number of inhabitants at any given time may be a matter of speculation ; it has been reckoned as 2,000,000 or 3,000,000 at the beginning of our era. Merrill. Josephus says there were 240 cities and villages in Galilee. This made a splendid field for Jesus' work.
The People were more worldly, but less bound under the rigid system of the scribes, and hence more accessible to new teachings than were the people of Judea. They were trained in the synagogue schools, instructed by Jewish rabbis who cherished Messianic hopes, and had a religious history behind them. But also they had more intercourse with “ the wide, wide world.” “ It was not as a rustic preaching to rustics that our Lord went about. He went forth in a part of the Roman Empire full of Roman civilization, busy and populous, where at every turn, He would meet with something to mark the empire to which he belonged.” Walter Besant's The City and the Land, p. 114. “ The nature of the Galileans was volcanic. Josephus describes them as ever fond of innovations, and by nature disposed to changes, and delighting in seditions. From among them came the chief zealots and wildest fanatics!. Yet this inner fire is an essential of manhood. It burns the meanness out of men, and can flash forth in great passions for righteousness. From first to last the Galileans were a chivalrous and a gallant race. George Adam Smith.
Roads. This Garden of the Lord is crossed by many of the world's most famous highways. We saw that Judea was on a road to nowhere (hence its safety, like Switzerland) ; Galilee is covered with roads to everywhere.” Hence it was especially useful for the mission of Jesus.
Historic Scenes are scattered over the country. “ Galilee appeals to us more strongly than in any other way by its unique place in the religious history of the world.” Many of the greatest events of the history of the Jews were located there. Then came Jesus Christ, who lived there most of his life. Eleven of the apostles were from Galilee ; and many of the works and teachings of Jesus took place there.
II. THE SICK BOY OF CAPERNAUM, vs. 43–50. Now after two days in Samaria, as we learned in our last lesson. He went into Galilee to which he planned to go when he left Judea.
44. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. The whole situation makes it most natural to regard Judea as his own country not chiefly because he was born in Judea, but because it was his spiritual country,
43. Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee.
44. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.
45. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilæans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.
46. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. where were the most Scriptural religious life and teachings, the capital city, the temple, and the sacrifices he was to fulfil, to which prophecies pointed, where John prepared the way, where he was to consummate his life. Here, where first of all he should be received, he was rejected, and he left it to work elsewhere till he could make the last and strongest appeal to the Jews to be received as the Messiah, and save both individuals and the nation from destruction.
Without Honor in His Own Country. “Every one has seen the same thing a hundred times. A lad who has been despised as almost half-witted in his native place, goes up to London and makes a name for himself as poet, artist, or inventor, and when he returns to his village everybody claims him as cousin.' Dods. Another proverb, based on the same characteristic of human nature, says truly that no man is a hero to his own servant. Not because he is not really a hero, but because heroism is an invisible spirit ; and, when its symbols and pageantries are laid aside, it seems as if heroism were laid aside with them.
Were Socrates to walk our streets as he walked those of Athens, with “his thick lips, snub nose, corpulent body, and personal ugliness,” scolded by his wife at home, and walking in mean dress and bare feet in the public streets and workshops,“ careless where or when or with whom he talked,” how many of us would have recognized under this Thersites mask the features of a god, or have imagined that this man, among the millions of his age, would march down the centuries the foremost of them all ?
The great Julius Cæsar, who“ bestrode the narrow world like a Colossus," " notwithstanding his fiery energy and lightning-like swiftness of thought and act, was of a rather fragile make, and an almost feminine delicacy of texture. His friend Cassius had once saved him from drowning in the Tiber, and bore him on his shoulders, as Æneas “ Did from the flames of Troy, upon his shoulder the old Anchises bear." Cassius had seen him in a fever, and heard him groan and cry “Give me some drink, Titinius,'
"And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world As a sick girl.”
Did lose his luster." Even Cassius could not see the greatness which all the world has since seen, nor understand how Cæsar was so much greater than he ; but exclaimed : “It doth amaze me,
So get the start of the majestic world
And bear the palm alone.'
Why? Because they had seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem, the report of which was brought home by those Galileans who went unto the feast. Referring to John 2 : 14-17, 23; 3 : 2.
46. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine, ten months before. But at Cana, as well as in other parts of Galilee, the people had heard of his cleansing the temple at the Passover in May, and other miracles, not recorded, at Pentecost in June, and at the feast of Tabernacles in October, and doubtless at other times and places during his ministry in Judea.
And there was a certain nobleman. Greek, Basilicos = an officer of a king, or person of royal blood, or of rank and dignity. “ Lampe thinks it may imply that the man was both in the royal service, and of royal blood. Lightfoot suggests he may have been Chuza, Herod's chamberlain (Luke 8 :3). Probably he was an officer of Herod's Court, civil or military.” Exp. Gk. Test.
Whose son was sick at Capernaum. “ The place is named because it is essential to the understanding of what follows."
Picture the Capernaum Scene. A beautiful home on which has been lavished all that wealth can give, and friends enjoy. But“ the site of Capernaum is to this day