Bible Study-St Johns Gospel
St John's Gospel.
Commentries for Sunday 19th March 2023
John 9:1 - 41 Jesus the Light of the World
V. 1: ‘As he went along,’ i.e. in Jerusalem; ‘blind from birth.’, to stress that Jesus will
give light to someone who has never had it, as a free gift of God through Jesus Christ
and not as a right in itself.
V. 2: ‘’who sinned,’, following the Jewish belief that any infliction was a punishment for
sin, committed either by the person in question,or their forebears.
V. 3: ‘’so that the works of God might be displayed.’’, the situation serves as an
opportunity to witness God’s work.
V. 4: ‘As long as the day lasts’’, another example of Joannine contrast, i.e. work is done
during the day not during the night; ‘’I must carry out the work …,’’ should read as ‘We
must .. ‘ according to the Greek, by which John teaches his readers that they have the
duty to carry on God’s work.
V. 6: ‘he spat’, spittle was deemed to have medicinal properties; ‘put this over’, literally,
‘anointed’ and therefore the sacramental symbolism of Baptism.
V. 7: ‘’Siloam’’, the pool located at the southern point of Jerusalem from which water
was drawn out during the Feast of Tabernacles, which symbolised the blessings of the
messianic age. Jesus is now the source of these blessings, as the one sent by the
V.11: ‘’The man called Jesus’’, the man does not understand who Jesus is at this stage.
V.16: ‘’he does not keep the sabbath.’’, in Judaism, healing was considered work, and
was forbidden by the Law to be done on the Sabbath.
V.17: ‘’He is a prophet’, the next stage of recognition by the man of who Jesus really is.
V.22: ’to expel from the synagogue’, allusion to later Christian times, when Christian
Jews were excommunicated for their belief in Jesus as the Messiah.
V.24: ‘’Give glory to God!’’, i.e to make a solemn oath to God to tell the truth; an
example of Johannine irony, for by telling the truth the man is indeed giving glory to
God; ‘’we know that this man is a sinner.’’, the Jews are seeking the man’s testimony
that Jesus is a sinner, because he cured on the Sabbath.
12th March 2023
John 4:5 - 42 The Water of Life
V. 5: ‘Sychar’, either the ancient town of Shechem,or the present village of Askar at the
foot of Mount Ebal, about ¾ mile from ‘Jacob’s Well’, which although not mentioned in
Genesis lies between the site of the town and the village.
V. 6: ‘sixth hour’, i.e. noon.
V. 9: ‘What? You are a Jew and you ask me,a Samaritan, for a drink?’, the woman’s
reaction is caused by Jesus having overridden the scruples of the time by, as a rabbi,
speaking with familiarity to a woman and asking for water from a Samaritan whom the
Jews considered as unclean and ,therefore, their utensils for eating and drinking as
V.10: ‘what God is offering’, the dialogue shifts from the material ‘a drink’, to the
spiritual, God’s gift which is Jesus himself.
V.11: ‘this living water’, i.e., running water,as distinct from that obtained from the well.
V.12: ‘Are you a greater man than our father Jacob … ?’, the woman’s ironic question
defies Jesus’ ability to get water if not from this well, which having been given to the
Samaritans by the patriarch Jacob, contains ‘the water of Judaism’.
V.13: ‘will thirst again;’, refers to the insatiable thirst for wisdom as in Ecclesiasticus
V.15: ‘give me some of that water’, the woman still fails to understand.
V.18: ‘you have had five’, the five husbands symbolise the five pagan groups from which
the Jews attributed the origin of the Samaritans (see 2 Kings 17:24 - 41), who retained
some of their loyalty to the old Gods.
V.20: ‘on this mountain’, i.e. Mount Gerizim (Mount Ebal), where the Samaritans had
built a temple to rival the one in Jerusalem, as it was here the patriarchs had sacrificed
(see Genesis 12: 7 and 33;20) and according to their version of Deuteronomy 27:4, the Isrealites had
set up their first altar in Palestine.
V.21: ‘neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.’, as salvation progresses, the Samaritan-Jewish
controversy will become irrelevant.