"Come and See": A Web Commentary on the Gospel of John: Section 4 Jesus in Samaria: the Living Water

Section 4.4: Conclusion (Jn 4.32-42)

39Many of the Samaritans from that city put their trust in him, because of the account of the woman who bore witness, saying 'He told me everything I'd done!' 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41And many more put their trust in him because of what he said, 42and they said to the woman, 'We no longer have faith because of what you said, for we have heard ourselves and we know that this is truly the saviour of the world!'


The woman's witness (an important word and concept for the Evangelist, as we have already seen in the Prologue) leads the people of the city to seek out Jesus for themselves and that encounter leads to a response in trust. We should take note of the apparent difference in John's eyes between a response based on signs and wonders alone (as in 2. 23-5) and one based on hearing Jesus' teaching, as here. They proclaim him as 'saviour of the world', a title which looks back to 3.16-17, but also represents a challenge to the secular acclamations accorded to kings and emperors (see Koester 1990).

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