|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:27-42 The disciples wondered that Christ talked thus with a Samaritan. Yet they knew it was for some good reason, and for some good end. Thus when particular difficulties occur in the word and providence of God, it is good to satisfy ourselves that all is well that Jesus Christ says and does. Two things affected the woman. The extent of his knowledge. Christ knows all the thoughts, words, and actions, of all the children of men. And the power of his word. He told her secret sins with power. She fastened upon that part of Christ's discourse, many would think she would have been most shy of repeating; but the knowledge of Christ, into which we are led by conviction of sin, is most likely to be sound and saving. They came to him: those who would know Christ, must meet him where he records his name. Our Master has left us an example, that we may learn to do the will of God as he did; with diligence, as those that make a business of it; with delight and pleasure in it. Christ compares his work to harvest-work. The harvest is appointed and looked for before it comes; so was the gospel. Harvest-time is busy time; all must be then at work. Harvest-time is a short time, and harvest-work must be done then, or not at all; so the time of the gospel is a season, which if once past, cannot be recalled. God sometimes uses very weak and unlikely instruments for beginning and carrying on a good work. Our Saviour, by teaching one poor woman, spread knowledge to a whole town. Blessed are those who are not offended at Christ. Those taught of God, are truly desirous to learn more. It adds much to the praise of our love to Christ and his word, if it conquers prejudices. Their faith grew. In the matter of it: they believed him to be the Saviour, not only of the Jews but of the world. In the certainty of it: we know that this is indeed the Christ. And in the ground of it, for we have heard him ourselves.
Verse 32. - But he saith to them, I have food to eat that ye know not; of which you are ignorant, but which you may come to know by and by. Βρῶσιν and βρῶμα are both used. The first denotes, strictly speaking, the act of eating; and the second the material for food; but they are, in Greek literature, generally used almost interchangeably. There were Divine desires and sacred satisfactions which discriminated the Lord's consciousness from that of his disciples. Thoma refers to the mighty fasts of the great lawgiver and prophet as the literary antecedent of this significant event; but this superiority to food is true of every great soul. The men of the spirit are consumed with desires which dwarf the desires of the flesh, and they forget to eat their bread. Nor can we forget that the synoptic narrative places the forty dave' fast in this very epoch of Christ's life, chronologically speaking. (See note at end of this chapter.)
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But he said unto them,.... That is, "Jesus", as the Persic, or the Lord Jesus, as the Ethiopic versions express it:
I have meat to eat that ye know not of: meaning the conversion of the Samaritan woman, and of other Samaritans, who were flocking in great numbers to him, which he knew, though his disciples did not; and the harvest of souls he had a prospect of, see John 4:35, was as meat unto him, delightful and refreshing; and his mind and thoughts were so taken up with these things, that he had no inclination to any corporeal food.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. meat ye know not of—What spirituality of mind! "I have been eating all the while, and such food as ye dream not of." What can that be? they ask each other; have any supplies been brought Him in our absence? He knows what they are saying though He hears it not.
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