John 4:25-26: The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
The woman has been brought back to her knowledge of the Scriptures, which in this case is true understanding, by the very Lord of those Scriptures standing in front of her. He has brought her to this by not answering her questions until He has directed them to be true assertions.
The Samaritan woman has sought to address the proper place of worship by laying claim to the Jewish Fathers, and was corrected; she has sought to show the traditions of men, as worshipping on a certain mountain, were the true place of worship, and has been corrected; now, she has been led to speak the truth of the Scriptures concerning the Messiah, and here, she speaks truly. Her sins have been laid bare, visibly – as she was brought to confess these openly, it shows that we can hide nothing from He who sees all that is in the human heart (1 Samuel 16:7; Psalm 33:13-15; 44:21; 90:8; Hebrews 4:13), and she now confesses that the Messiah is to come and reveal all things to those who wait for Him, and we have one of the most clear and startling statements of our Lord in all the New Testament, and it is not revealed to the Jews!
True, Jesus does reveal this to His chosen disciples in many places, yet often charges them not to tell any that He has done so; here, there is no such prohibition, or even a hint of hiding who He is; here, we have our Lord plainly telling the Samaritan woman “I AM the Messiah – I who speak to you even now.” It should prove of interest that, although the words Ἐγώ εἰμι (I AM) do not appear consecutive in the English translations (the ones I checked, with the exception of The New Revised Version), in the Greek, they do; also, the definite article appears right after, referring to that title of our Lord and God, so that a proper translation would well read “The I AM speaking to you.” John’s gospel is filled with these references to our Lord’s divinity.
To me, this is one of the most wonderful, startling revelations of our Lord of His divinity in all of New Testament Scripture, if not the most startling.
We have a woman – a Samaritan woman, at that – who is not only shunned by the Jews, but comes out at a time to draw water that is not the common time, so sinful was her lifestyle. Even by the standards of the Samaritans, she was a sinner, and to be shunned.
After fully revealing her sinfulness and changing her manner of address and seeing, the Lord places the truth of who He IS right in front of her: “I who speak to you am He.” The light to the Gentiles is also the light to the Samaritans, as He wills, and here He willed to fully reveal Himself.
What is the Samaritan woman’s reaction to this wondrous revelation?
We will find out in a few verses; first, our Lord’s disciples come back, and we have a reaction from them, or lack of a reaction – or both.
Please notice: This is both an evangelical encounter, and an apologetical encounter – the two are seldom separated in Scripture.
Soli Deo Gloria – Bill