John 4:15 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentThese words set forth unto us, 1.What manner of person this woman was, whose conversion Christ sought so industriously after.
2. The means he used in order to that end.
Observe, 1. What manner of person this woman was; besides that she was an idolater, as being a Samaritan, she was also an adultress, and lived now in the sin of uncleanness with one that was not her husband, after she had five husbands before.
Whence we learn, That the ice of old age will not quench the fire of lust, concupiscentia non senescit: such is the pollution of our nature, that lust will be insatiable, if grace doth not restrain it. This woman, after five marriages, yet lives in the sin of uncleanness.
Observe, 2. The way and manner our Lord takes, the method and means our Lord uses, in order to her conversion.
1. He deals very tenderly and gently with her; he doth not call her whore, nor upbraid her for her impudent lewdness, in living with a man that was none of her husbands, but only gives her to understand that he knew the sin she lived in; yet this he did likewise with all imaginable privacy, whilst his disciples were away, and no body by but they two only.
Hence learn, 1. That private sins are not to be reproved publicly.
2. That, in reproving sin, all sharpness and bitterness of expression must be avoided; the pill of reproof must be wrapped up in sugar; for if they to whom it is given, taste the bitterness of gall and passion mixed with it, they will certainly spit it out before, it may be upon, our faces. Our Lord's practice here instructs us, that sin is to be so reproved, as that the credit and estimation of the sinner may be preserved as much as may be.
Note, 2. That as Christ dealt with this woman tenderly and gently, so he discovers her sin to her particularly, and sets her secret sin before the face of her conscience distinctly. If ever the ministry of the word works upon the minds of men to their conversion, it must be by a particular and close application of the word to every man's conscience: generals will not affect.
Note, 3. What the particular sin is, which Christ charges home upon the conscience of this woman: it is the sin of uncleanness, that the man she kept with, was not her husband.
Learn hence, That, amongst all sins, the sin of uncleanness will lie heaviest upon the conscience, and wound the soul most deeply, when the Spirit of God once effectually discovers it, and charges it home upon the conscience. For there is no sin so directly opposite to sanctificaton and holiness, as this sin: no sin that quenches the Holy Spirit of God like this.
Consult other comments:
Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.