CHANGING DEATH INTO LIFE
The Need of the Immoral
Scripture Reading: John 4:3-21, 23-26, 28-29, 31-32
John 4:3-21, 23-26, 28-29, and 31-32 say, “He [Jesus] left Judea and…had to pass through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria… and Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from the journey, sat thus by the well; it was about the sixth hour. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me something to drink. For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman then said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask for a drink from me, who am 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 woman said to Him, Sir, You have no bucket, and the well is deep; where then do You get this living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well…? Jesus answered and said to her, Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall by no means thirst forever; but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life. The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water so that I will not thirst nor come here to draw. He said to her, Go, call your husband and come here. The woman answered and said, I do not have a husband. Jesus said to her, You have well said, I do not have a husband, for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly. The woman said to Him, Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, yet you say that in Jerusalem is the place where men must worship. Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me…neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father…The true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truthfulness, for the Father also seeks such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truthfulness. The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when He comes, He will declare all things to us. Jesus said to her, I, who speak to you, am He…Then the woman left her waterpot and went away into the city, and said to the people, Come, see a man who told me all that I have done. Is this not the Christ?…In the meantime, the disciples urged Him, saying, Rabbi, eat. But He said to them, I have food to eat that you do not know about.”
- Samaria /sə’mæriə/ 撒马利亚
- wearied /ˈwɪrid 疲惫的
- bucket /ˈbʌkɪt/ 桶
- Messiah /məˈsaɪə/ 弥赛亚
AN IMMORAL PERSON
In the previous chapter we saw a moral person. In this chapter we will consider an immoral person. The condition of the immoral person in John 4 differs greatly from the condition of the moral person in chapter 3. The moral man was an orthodox Jew. The immoral woman was a Samaritan, a person of mixed race. He was a ruler. She was a commoner. He was moral, reputable, respectable, and admirable. She was immoral, dishonorable, despised, and contemptible. He was a moral man, whose name was recorded in the Bible. She was an immoral woman, whose name was not recorded in the Bible. Nicodemus had a desire to see the Lord. The Samaritan woman had no desire to see the Lord, but the Lord met her. Nicodemus came to see the Lord secretly at night. The Samaritan woman met the Lord in an open area during the day. Nicodemus discussed the truth with the Lord indoors. The Samaritan woman was contacted by the Lord outdoors.
- differ from /ˈdɪfər/ 不同于
- orthodox /ˈɔːrθədɑːks/ 【形】正统的
- Samaritan /səˈmærɪtən/ 撒马利亚人
- mixed /mɪkst/ 混合的
- race /reɪs/ 种族
- commoner /ˈkɑːmənər/ 平民
- reputable /ˈrepjətəbl/ 声誉好的
- respectable /rɪˈspektəbl/ 值得尊敬的
- admirable /ˈædmərəbl/ 令人羡慕的
- dishonorable /dɪsˈɑːnərəbl/ 不光彩的
- despised /dɪˈspaɪzd/ 受轻视的
- contemptible /kənˈtemptəbl/ 可轻蔑的
- secretly 暗暗地，秘密地
- area /ˈeriə/ 地区
- indoors 在户内
- outdoors 在户外
This racially mixed and immoral woman had had five husbands, and the one she was with was not her husband (v. 18). Her behavior ruined her standing as a woman. She was scorned, rejected, and held in contempt, but the Lord Jesus did not reject her. She had no desire to seek the Lord, but He came to seek her. She had no heart for the Lord, but He had a heart for her. She did not know the Lord, but He knew her. The Lord knew where she was, and He knew her kind of living. The Lord knew she would go to the well at that time to draw water. Therefore, He went there to wait for her. This was not a coincidence; this was the Lord’s particular seeking of the immoral woman (v. 23).
- racially /ˈreɪʃəli/ 【副】人种上
- ruin /ˈruːɪn/ 毁坏
- scorn /skɔːrn/ 轻蔑
- hold…in contempt /kənˈtempt/ 认为…不屑一顾
- coincidence /koʊˈɪnsɪdəns/ 巧合
The Lord Jesus came from heaven to the earth in order “to seek and to save that which is lost” (Luke 19:10). The more a person is lost, the more the Lord seeks him. The more a person sins, the more the Lord wants to save him. Most people misunderstand the Lord. They think that He wants good people, not bad people, and that He delights in moral people but rejects immoral people. They do not know that the Lord Jesus has come to seek even bad and immoral people, just as He did in this case.
- delight in /dɪˈlaɪt/ 对……很喜欢
No one is so corrupt that the Lord would reject him, and no one is so immoral that the Lord would refuse him. The Lord is seeking and wants to save those who sense that they are corrupt and are ashamed of their filthy condition, because the Lord needs sinners.
- corrupt /kəˈrʌpt/ 【形】腐败的
- be ashamed of… /əˈʃeɪmd/ 为…感到羞耻
We think that sinners need the Savior. We do not know that the Savior needs sinners. Sinners definitely need the Savior, but the Savior needs sinners more than they need Him. Therefore, John 4 presents the need of two parties, that is, two thirsty parties.
- definitely /ˈdefɪnətli/ 肯定地
- party (契约或争论的) 一方
TWO THIRSTY PARTIES
The picture in John 4 presents a Savior, a sinner, a well, and water. The Savior and the sinner met in front of the well and conversed with each other concerning water. The Savior sat by the well and waited in order to ask for water to drink. The sinner came to the well to draw water in order to quench her thirst. A thirsty Savior met a thirsty sinner by the well. Therefore, this picture shows the thirst of two parties in the universe: the Savior and the sinner.
The Savior’s Thirst
The Savior was thirsty and asked the sinner for water to drink. According to John 1, this Savior is the God who created all things. He is the Lord of the universe, but He is also thirsty. He is thirsty because He lost man. Man is His delight and satisfaction. He created the universe in order to gain man. However, man sinned and became lost, and the Savior became thirsty. The Savior is thirsty to gain man. Only man can quench His thirst. He has no satisfaction apart from man. Thirst is a need within man that can be quenched by water. Within God there is also a need that can be quenched only by man. God needs man; man is the water that can quench God’s thirst.
- delight /dɪˈlaɪt/ 高兴
- apart from 除了…外
God became flesh and lived on the earth among men because He was thirsty to gain man. He “had to pass through Samaria” because He had to gain the immoral Samaritan woman. He disregarded His weariness from the journey and the hot afternoon sun and sat by the well, waiting for the Samaritan woman. He was a Jewish man, but He was bold to ask a Samaritan woman for water to drink because He wanted to gain her. He wanted to drink from her, not the water she drew from the well. Only a sinner such as she could quench the thirst of the Savior. This is what the Savior wanted.
- disregard /ˌdɪsrɪˈɡɑːrd/ 不理会
- weariness /ˈwɪrinəs/ 疲倦
- drew /druː/（draw的过去式）拉
The Savior was thirsty to gain sinners when He came to the earth. If there were no sinners on earth or if He could not gain sinners on earth, His thirst would not be quenched. Many people think that the Savior will not accept sinners like themselves. They do not know that they are exactly what the Savior needs; they are what the Savior wants. Without them the Savior is not satisfied, and His thirst is not quenched. They are the water that the Savior wants to drink. The Savior needs sinners like you and me. The Savior wants you to quench His thirst; He wants you to give Him water to drink. He is still thirsty today. He is thirsty to gain you.
- If there were 这里使用过去式，作虚拟语气，表示“不可能”的假设
- accept /əkˈsept/ 接受
The Sinner’s Thirst
In John 4 the Savior is thirsty, and the sinner is also thirsty. The thirsty Savior asked the sinner for water to drink, and the thirsty sinner came to draw water from the well. The universe is a place of thirst, in which there are a thirsty Savior and thirsty sinners. Who is not thirsty? Who is satisfied with his human life and feels no lack? Regardless of whether a person is rich or poor, noble or base, he is dissatisfied and discontent. The human life is a life of thirst, and human history is a record of thirst. Every human culture is a reflection of an attempt to satisfy thirst.
- regardless of… /rɪˈɡɑːrdləs/ 不管…
- noble /ˈnoʊbl/ 高尚的
- base /beɪs/ 卑鄙的；不道德的
- discontent /ˌdɪskənˈtent/ 不满足的
- reflection /rɪˈflekʃn/ 反映，反射
- attempt /əˈtempt/ 试图；尝试
People in every part of society are thirsty. People thirst for knowledge, position, money, fame, a spouse, and children. There is no one who does not thirst, and there is no one who does not want to quench his thirst. Some people study, work, conduct business, or become government officials because they are thirsty and want to quench their thirst. Everything that man does, including his striving and struggling, is governed and driven by his thirst. The thirst within man pushes him to be busy night and day and to run everywhere, both physically and mentally. Man is busy because he wants to quench his thirst.
- thirst for 【动】渴望
- fame /feɪm/ 名声；声誉
- spouse /spaʊz/ 配偶
- government official /əˈfɪʃl/ 政府官员
- strive /ˈstraɪvɪŋ/ 【动】努力
- struggle /ˈstrʌɡl/ 【动】奋斗
- be driven by… 为……所驱使
Man is busy doing many things because of his thirst, and he also sins because of his thirst. Man seeks amusement and entertainment to quench his thirst. Amusement and entertainment have led countless people astray into sin and have trapped countless people in the deep pit of sin. People are trapped in sin because they want amusement and entertainment to quench their thirst. Moreover, many people do not hesitate to sin in an attempt to quench their thirst. Many sins are derived from man’s thirst and from man’s desire to quench his thirst. A man who is satisfied, not thirsty, does not commit sin. Every sinner is thirsty, not satisfied. People lead a dissolute life by indulging in eating, drinking, fornication, adultery, gambling, and smoking because they are thirsty and dissatisfied. They want to quench their thirst and be satisfied.
- amusement /əˈmjuːzmənt/ 消遣，娱乐
- entertainment /ˌentərˈteɪnmənt/ 娱乐；消遣
- led /led/ （lead 的过去分词） 导致，造成（后果）
- countless /ˈkaʊntləs/ 无数的
- astray /əˈstreɪ/ 【副】迷途地
- trap /træp/ 使陷入困境
- pit /pɪt/ 深洞；深坑
- hesitate /ˈhezɪteɪt/ 【动】犹豫
- attempt /əˈtempt/ 试图；尝试
- derive from /dɪˈraɪv/ 源于，来自
- commit sin 犯罪
- dissolute /ˈdɪsəluːt/ 放纵的；放荡的
- indulge /ɪnˈdʌldʒ/ 沉湎，沉迷
- fornication /ˌfɔːrnɪˈkeɪʃn/ 【名】通奸
- adultery /ˌfɔːrnɪˈkeɪʃn/ 【名】通奸
- gambling /ˈɡæmblɪŋ/ 【名】赌博
Some people go to movie theaters because they are thirsty. Some people go to dance halls because they are thirsty. Some people are involved in fornication because they are thirsty. Some people gamble because they are thirsty. Even though all these activities are poisonous, people drink this poison in order to quench their thirst. They are driven by their thirst and disregard the terrible consequences because they hope that such activities can quench their thirst and satisfy their empty feeling.
- movie theater 电影院
- involve /ɪnˈvɑːlv/ 牵涉
- poisonous /ˈpɔɪzənəs/ 有毒的
- disregard /ˌdɪsrɪˈɡɑːrd/ 不顾；漠视
- consequence /ˈkɑːnsɪkwens/ 结果；后果
Man is thirsty because he does not contain God. Just as God needs man, man also needs God. Man is God’s satisfaction, and God is man’s satisfaction. Without man God is thirsty, and without God man is thirsty. Man’s existence is for God because God created man for Himself. If man does not gain God and does not exist for God, man cannot find his proper place or fulfill his function. People feel that their human life is empty, because they have not gained God; their life is not for God.
- existence /ɪɡˈzɪstəns/ 【名】存在
- exist /ɪɡˈzɪst/ 【动】存在
Without man God has a great lack, and without God man has a great void. In order for God to be satisfied, He must gain man; and in order for man to be satisfied, he must gain God. Man is for God, and God is for man. In order for God to be satisfied and to quench His thirst, He must gain and enjoy man; and in order for man to be satisfied and to quench his thirst, he must gain and enjoy God.
- void /vɔɪd/ 空白；空虚
The Samaritan woman is an example of thirst. She represents every thirsty person. The Samaritan woman brought her waterpot under the hot sun at noon to draw water. How could she not have been tired or thirsty? It was the custom during that time for women to go in groups to draw water at dusk, or at sunset, when it was cool. Drawing water was a tiring task, but going as a group and chatting together made it pleasant. This woman, however, had an immoral living and was held in contempt. She dared not go with others to draw water, because she was ashamed of her filthy living. In order to avoid being mocked, she went alone to draw water at noontime, when the sun was hot and everyone was resting at home. Under such circumstances, how could she not feel lonely? How could she not be thirsty?
- dusk /dʌsk/ 黄昏；傍晚
- hold…in contempt 认为…不屑一顾
- dare /der/ 胆敢
- filthy /ˈfɪlθi/ 肮脏的；污秽的
- avoid /əˈvɔɪd/ 避免；防止
- mock /mɑːk/ 嘲笑
This woman had had five husbands, and the man she was currently with was not her husband. This proves that she was dissatisfied and discontent with her human life. She had her first husband because she was neither satisfied nor content. She was not satisfied or content with her first husband, so she had a second one. She was not satisfied or content with the second husband, so she had a third one. She was still not satisfied or content after the third husband, so she had a fourth, fifth, and sixth husband. Such a dissatisfied life speaks of the empty sense in her spirit and shows her great thirst.
The Samaritan woman was thirsty in every respect. She was thirsty physically, she was thirsty psychologically, and she was thirsty spiritually. Her whole being was thirsty, and she had been thirsty her whole life. She was a thirsty person. No wonder the Spirit chose her as a representative of the immoral.
- respect /rɪˈspekt/ 【名】方面
- physically /ˈfɪzɪkli/ 生理上地
- psychologically /ˌsaɪkəˈlɑːdʒɪkli/ 心理上地
The Samaritan woman was thirsty because she did not have God. Her life was not satisfying, because she had not gained God. She had gained many husbands, but she had not gained God. She had her waterpot, the well, and water, but she did not have God. She was thirsty for God, not for other things. Her thirst was not because she lacked other things but because she lacked God.
- satisfying 令人满意的
Therefore, John 4 presents a thirsty Savior and a thirsty sinner. The Savior was thirsty, and the sinner was thirsty. The thirsty Savior came to the well in order to get water to drink, and the thirsty sinner came to the well in order to get water to drink. The Savior was thirsty because He needed a sinner. The sinner was thirsty because she needed the Savior. The Savior wants to drink, to gain, sinners, and sinners should drink, gain, the Savior.
The Samaritan woman was thirsty, but she did not know the reason for her thirst. She sensed a need, but she did not know what she needed. She did not know that she needed God, nor did she know the gift of God and Christ.