The Gospel of John #14

By Robert Guenther

We are continuing our look at the Gospel of John chapter 4. In our last issue we said we would look further into the appointment the Lord had to meet a woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well and living water.

Verse 10 states: “Jesus answered and said unto her, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and Who it is That saith to thee, ‘Give Me to drink;’ thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water.” It is obvious that the Lord is using a figure a speech by the term “Living Water”. The next verse indicates that woman does not realize this.

Verse 11 states: “The woman saith unto Him, “Sir,Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast Thou that living water?” Her question indicates that she wanted to know the source of this living water.

Verse 12 reads: “Art Thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children and his cattle?” We need to note here that this woman claims a relationship with Jacob that is not disputed by our Lord. This would indicate that she was identifying herself with Israel’s inheritance.

Verse 13: “Jesus answered and said unto her, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:”

Verse 14: “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Verse 15: “The woman saith unto Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.” The Lord is using a figure of speech concerning this water. In Dr. Bullinger’s book Figures of Speech Used in the Bible he states: “All language is governed by law; but, in order to increase the power of a word, or the force of an expression, these laws are designedly departed from, and words and sentences are thrown into, and used in, new forms, or figures. Applied to words, a figure denotes some form which a word or sentence takes, different from it ordinary and natural form.”

So the Lord is using this word water in away that increases the way in which this word is commonly understood. In plain words we know we cannot exist without water. This present earth and everything living on it depends on water to sustain life.

What this woman needed to understand and believe was that she would not see life in resurrection without being a partaker of the Lord who is the “Living Water”. The Lord desires us to think beyond this present life. We pray that are readers would have a greater appreciation for this “Living Water”, the Lord Jesus Christ, and accept His offer.

Verse 16 reads: “Jesus saith unto her, “Go call thy husband, and come hither.” The Lord is asking this woman to do what a first glance would seem to be a very simple task. How she replies to His request and how He answers her back leads her to believe that this Man is true prophet who is sent or commissioned from God.

Verses 17 and 18 read: “The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said unto her, “Thou hast well said, ‘I have no husband’: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.” We need to note what is said about this woman at the well and what is left out of this conversation. Jesus is stating a truth about this woman’s marital status (Five marriages, but she is now single and living with a man). A stranger would not be aware of these facts when meeting her for the first time. He does not condemn her for having five husbands and we have no clue as to why she had so many.

Verse 19 states: “The woman saith unto Him, “Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet.” The Lords’ ability to reveal these facts about her life is enough to convince her that this Man is sent from God.

Verse 20 reads: “Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship the Father.” It is very important that we know the place and manner of worship that God will accept. We have read many examples in the Old Testament where offerings were not accepted because the things that were offered were not received because they were not what God said that He wanted. The child often asks, “Why do we want them to do something? Does it have to be done in this manner? We as a parent will say because we said so. We are trying to teach the child obedience and that we care about their welfare. Our heavenly Father is teaching His children in a similar fashion. The cost for rejecting what God has said results in a rejection of our offering.

Verse 21: “Jesus saith unto her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the father.” We should be able to see that there is a change in the place where God the Father will accept worship. Shortly after this book was written the temple where the Jews worshiped in Jerusalem is destroyed. Thus it is impossible for them to worship in the same place.

Verse 22: “Ye worship ye know not what: We know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.” In our next issue we will point out that both the place and the manner of worship that is acceptable to God have changed. Whosoever will worship Him must now do it in spirit and in truth.