From the life drawing water of satisfaction to eternal life in Jesus Christ

Posted by admin on 22 January 2023 in Isaiah, John, Revelation |

John 4:11–18 (NIV 2011) [1]:

11 ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’

13 Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’

15 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’

16 He told her, ‘Go, call your husband and come back.’

17 ‘I have no husband,’ she replied.

Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.’

I. Are you greater? (11-12)

See v11-12.

11 ‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’

The Samaritan woman called Jesus ‘Sir’. In v9, she called Jesus a Jew. Now she called Him Sir (11, 15, 19). Later she recognised Him as a Prophet (19) and then finally Christ (25, 26, 29).

Here, the woman thought that living water (John 4:10) was physical water as Nicodemus thought that the rebirth was physical rebirth (John 3:4, 9).

The Samaritan woman asked, “Are you greater than our father Jacob…?” (12). The great servant of God Moses caused an instant spring from the rock [2]. Water gushed out from the rock when Moses raised his arm and struck the rock with his staff, and the community and their livestock drank (Numbers 20:11).

II. Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst (13-14)

What is the answer of Jesus? See v13-14.

13 Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’

Jesus explained why the water He would give was better than the water from the well.

There is a limitation of water from the well. The limitation is its satisfaction is temporary (“thirsty again” (13)), requiring repetition. But the water Jesus gives satisfies forever (“never thirst” (14a)). See v14b.

Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

The living water becomes a spring of water inside its drinker, welling up to eternal life.

Eternal life is defined in John 7:3.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Here, the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ is not just necessary information but the experiential relationship with them.

Eternal life may be translated to be “real life which never ends” to emphasize the qualitative significance of eternal life, rather than merely its duration [3].

For your reference, verses related to v14 are John 6:35, 7:38, Isaiah 55:1-5, 49:10 and Revelation 7:16, 21:6.

III. Give me this water (15)

What is the answer of the Samaritan woman? See v15.

15 The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’

Her answer shows she wanted living water (“Sir, give me this water”) and she was tired of her life drawing water (“I won’t … have to keep coming here to draw water”).

IV. Go, call your husband and come back (16-18)

What is the answer of Jesus? See  v16.

16 He told her, ‘Go, call your husband and come back.’

Jesus suddenly asked her to call her husband and come back. To receive living water from Jesus and have a spring of water in her heart, she had to repent of her sin.

What was the answer of the woman? See v17a.

17 ‘I have no husband,’ she replied.

She tried to hide her sin. But Jesus knew the truth. See v17b and 18.

Jesus said to her, ‘You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.’

Jesus didn’t say she lied. If he said so, she could close her heart. Instead, he acknowledged her statement being ‘quite true’ so that he would continue to help her. She had five husbands in her past. Now she was living with her sixth man.

Her sharp responses and comparison in John 4:7 and John 4:11-12 show her heart was filled with scars from her past. Men are selfish and they can hurt. After breaking up with each man, she had to look for another man. She repeated this multiple times. Her heart was filled with more and more scars. She was shunned by other women and avoided others due to her past (John 4:6-7) which she wanted to hide (John 4:17). She was tired of her life drawing water of satisfaction (John 4:15). This woman shows the reality of pursuing satisfaction in this world. The solution is ‘living water’ that gives true and eternal satisfaction. Let us continue to study John 4:19-26 to learn how this woman met Christ (the true husband) she was waiting for.

References

  1. The Holy Bible: New International Version. Anglicised. Revised and updated. ed. 2011: London: Hodder & Stoughton.
  2. Lange, J.P.S., Philip, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: John. Logos Research ed. 2008, Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  3. Newman, B.M., and Eugene Albert Nida, A Handbook on the Gospel of John. Logos Research ed. UBS Handbook Series. 1993: New York: United Bible Societies.

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