New Defender's Study Bible Notes
4:7 woman of Samaria. Apparently in order to talk to this woman, Jesus deliberately took this route through Samaria to get to Galilee, even though, normally, “the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (John 4:9). He knew her need and that of the other people of the region (John 4:18,39), and “must needs go through Samaria” (John 4:4). In so doing, He was “leaving us an example, that (we) should follow His steps” (I Peter 2:21), both of personal soul-winning and of rejecting ethnic prejudice.
4:14 shall never thirst. The “living water” (John 4:10) of which Christ spoke was, of course, symbolic of the salvation He would provide. The waters of Eden (Genesis 2:10) and the New Jerusalem (Revelation 22:1) also speak of this.
4:22 of the Jews. The religion of the Samaritans was a corrupt offshoot of the Jews’ religion, but it had no saving efficacy. The Jews had the temple of God, where the atoning sacrifices were offered, as well as the “oracles of God” (Romans 3:2). Most importantly, it was of them “as concerning the flesh Christ came” (Romans 9:5).
4:23 in truth. True worship and saving faith no longer are mediated through types or require physical aids, now that Christ has come to bring full and free salvation. The truth in Christ, received through the Spirit by faith, is the worship the Father seeks (compare II Chronicles 16:9).
4:23 seeketh such to worship him. How could the omniscient God ever have to seek anything?! Yet the Lord Jesus affirmed that He does. Furthermore, Christ said that He Himself had “come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10). In some inscrutable way, bound up in the humanly impenetrable balance between divine election and human responsibility, it satisfies the infinite heart of God when we respond to His sacrificial love in gratitude and worship.
4:26 I that speak unto thee. Even though the Samaritan religion was very deficient in many areas, they did believe in the Messianic promises, and it is significant that Jesus used His contact with this woman to convey the news of their fulfillment to these people. It is a common opinion that the Samaritans only used the Pentateuch, but they were obviously familiar with the doctrine of the coming Messiah, which is developed mostly in the books of Psalms and Prophets.