John 4:4-15 Commentary

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John 4:4 And He had to pass through Samaria: dei (IAI) de autos dierchesthai (PMN) dia tes Samareias:

  • Matthew 10:5,6; Luke 2:49; 9:51,52; 17:11


Had to (must) (1163)(dei from deo = to bind or tie objects together, put in prison and also root of doulos, bond-servant) refers to what is not optional but needful (binding) out of intrinsic necessity or inevitability. Dei refers to inward constraint which is why it is often translated must. (as in Jn 4:24 = "must worship in spirit and truth") Dei describes that which is under the necessity of happening or which must necessarily take place. Jesus' trek into Samaria was His Father's will and as He stated "I do nothing on My own initiative." (Jn 8:28) Again Jesus clearly stated "I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (Jn 5:30)

Other passages that speak of this sense of divine necessity which under girded Jesus' entire ministry…

(John 3:14) “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must (dei - same verb as in Jn 4:4) the Son of Man be lifted up;

(John 9:4) “We must (dei - same verb as in Jn 4:4) work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.

(John 10:16) “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must (dei - same verb as in Jn 4:4) bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

(John 12:34) The crowd then answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must (dei - same verb as in Jn 4:4) be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”

(John 20:9) For as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that He must (dei - same verb as in Jn 4:4) rise again from the dead.

Later in this chapter Jesus reiterates why He had to pass through Samaria, explaining to His dim disciples (a lot like me much of the time!)…

“My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work." (John 4:34)

Comment: Are you as convicted as I am? Fulfilling His Father's will was more important than filling His stomach! Ouch! Would I (you) have gone through Samaria knowing the "heat" I would take from the "religious crowd?" How often do we miss God's will, because we judge that it will be fraught with feedback of the negative variety?

Indeed, Jesus perfectly, full fulfilled His mission and was able to confidently pray to His Father in heaven

“I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do." (Jn 17:4)

It is notable that here Jesus is not with the masses here in John 4, but is seeking a single person, even a Samaritan woman. Jesus knows like none of us, the precious value of a single soul (cf Lk 15:10) Is there a single soul that God's Spirit has specifically laid on your heart to pray for their salvation or to speak to them of the great Good News? Then pray! Then speak! Accomplish the work for which He has called you to out of darkness and into His marvelous light (1Pe 2:9), for "the night is coming when no one can work." (Jn 9:4)

James Smith - "He must needs go through Samaria." There was a must needs for every word Christ spoke, and for every act that He did. Those Jews, which had "no dealings with the Samaritans," usually avoided going through Samaria when journeying from Judea to Galilee; but Christ's love for sinners constrained Him to go that way (cp Paul - 2Cor 5:14-note). He lived not to please Himself, but to seek and to save the lost. In this He has left us an example that we should follow His steps. Meanwhile let us centre our thoughts on the woman. (John 4-1-30 The Woman Of Samaria)

Spurgeon - It is true that it was the nearest way, yet he might have gone round about; but he would not do so, for there were souls in Samaria who were to be blessed by his presence. He had a constraint upon him, an inward impulse, so that “He must needs go through Samaria.” Dear friends, whenever you feel the drawings of the Spirit in any particular direction, do not resist them, but yield yourself entirely to his gracious influence, even as your Lord did.

Boa - God has divine appointments. He didn’t necessarily leave Judea with any fixed intention of ministering in Samaria, He just planned to pass through but the Spirit will always blow wherever He wishes. True messengers of God are never subject to fixed programs and to prejudices. We need to keep that in mind for ourselves. You don’t know what you’re called to do. You don’t know what ministry you’re going to have and very often your greatest moment might be something that was not planned- something may appear to be an interruption or something that might not seem very productive. (John - Chapter 4)

Rich Cathers makes an interesting comment on going from ministering to many, now to one - Ministry, not numbers It’s easy in ministry to fall into the trap of comparing yourself with other ministries. One of the first ways that pastors measure themselves is by comparing the size of their churches to the other guy. Yet here Jesus purposely pulls out of the “horserace”. He quits the game. Jesus’ priority was actual ministry, actually impacting lives, not being the biggest church on the block. You see this in the life of the early church, as they learned to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. (Ed comment: And although it does not state it in the text, there is little doubt that Jesus is led about by the Holy Spirit - cp Mt 4:1, Lk 4:1, 14, Acts 10:37-39) Philip was an evangelist, having great success in the land of Samaria. (Acts 8:5-6NKJV) Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. {6} And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. It was during this time of great success that God changed Philip’s direction: (Acts 8:26NKJV) Now an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip, saying, "Arise and go toward the south along the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza." This is desert. God would have an appointment with one person for Philip, just like Jesus will have an appointment with a single individual. We might just miss the boat if we begin to think that success in life or success in ministry is all about big numbers. I think it’s probably more important that we learn to have the heart of God, that we would be willing to do the smaller, quieter thing, even if it only involves one small, seemingly insignificant person. (John 4:1-14)

Pritchard on pass through Samaria - Geography is all-important in understanding this story. In Jesus’ day there were three regions stacked on top of one another. There was Galilee in the north, Samaria in the middle, and Judea in the south. The easiest and quickest way to get to Galilee from Judea was to go due north right through Samaria.

Jesus had to go through Samaria
—and so must we!

Ray Stedman - This direct route from Judea to Galilee was about 70 miles, or two and a half days' walk. But many of the Jews chose not to go through Samaria. They traveled the hot desert road from Jerusalem to Jericho, and up the Jordan valley. Thus, because of the terrible prejudice that prevailed against the Samaritan people, they journeyed almost twice the distance on a much hotter and more uncomfortable road. But our Lord cut right through that ignorant, narrow-minded prejudice and went through Samaria.

Deffinbaugh - D. A. Carson, citing Josephus, maintains that Jews much more commonly passed through Samaria. It would therefore seem that only a few strict Jews refused to do so.

Samaria - John Kitto (one of Spurgeon's favorite writers) has this note - Sama´ria (watch-height), a city, situated near the middle of Palestine, built by Omri, king of Israel, on a mountain or hill of the same name, about B.C. 925. It was the metropolis of the kingdom of Israel, or of the ten tribes. The hill was purchased from the owner, Shemer, from whom the city took its name (1Ki 16:24-25). Samaria continued to be the capital of Israel for two centuries, till the carrying away of the ten tribes by Shalmaneser, about B.C. 722. During all this time it was the seat of idolatry, and is often as such denounced by the prophets… It was the seat of a temple of Baal, built by Ahab (1Ki 16:31-32, 21:25-26), and destroyed by Jehu. It was the scene of many of the acts of the prophets Elijah and Elisha, connected with the various famines of the land, the unexpected plenty of Samaria, and the several deliverances of the city from the Syrians. After the exile of the ten tribes, Samaria appears to have continued, for a time at least, the chief city of the foreigners brought to occupy their place; although Shechem soon became the capital of the Samaritans as a religious sect… Augustus (Caesar) bestowed Samaria on Herod; who eventually rebuilt the city with great magnificence, and gave it the name of Sebaste. Here Herod planted a colony of 6000 persons, composed partly of veteran soldiers, and partly of people from the environs; enlarged the circumference of the city; and surrounded it with a strong wall twenty stades in circuit. In the midst of the city—that is to say, upon the summit of the hill—he left a sacred place of a stade and a half, splendidly decorated, and here he erected a temple to Augustus, celebrated for its magnitude and beauty. The whole city was greatly ornamented, and became a strong fortress. Such was the Samaria of the time of the New Testament, where the Gospel was preached by Philip, and a church was gathered by the apostles. (Samaria - Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblical Literature - click for full article) (Samaria - Wikipedia)

The Samaritans (Hebrew: Shomronim) are an ethno-religious group named after and descended from ancient Semitic inhabitants of Samaria, since the Assyrian exile of the Israelites.[25] Religiously, the Samaritans are adherents of Samaritanism, an Abrahamic religion closely related to Judaism. Based on the Samaritan Torah, Samaritans claim their worship is the true religion of the ancient Israelites prior to the Babylonian exile, preserved by those who remained in the Land of Israel. Their temple was built at Mount Gerizim in the middle of 5th century BC and was destroyed by the Macabbean (Hasmonean) John Hyrcanus late in 110 BC, although their descendants still worship among its ruins. The antagonism between Samaritans and Jews is important in understanding the Bible's New Testament stories of the "Samaritan woman at the well" and "Parable of the Good Samaritan". (Wikipedia)

Gary Burge has an excellent summary of Samaritans - The apostasy of the Old Testament northern kingdom of Israel (finally based in the city of Samaria) was well known. When the Assyrians conquered and exiled the northern kingdom in 722 B.C., they repopulated the region with people from throughout their empire (2 Kings 17:23–24). Remnants of the defeated Israelite kingdom now mixed with Persians and other conquered peoples. The paganism known to Jeroboam now was mixed with countless other practices, making the religious impurity of the land infamous (2 Kings 17:25ff.). In time, the monotheism of Judaism prevailed, but it suffered important modifications. The Samaritans rejected the writings of the Prophets (including the histories [1–2 Samuel, 1–2 Kings, 1–2 Chronicles]) and wisdom literature (Proverbs, Psalms, etc.) because of these writings’ emphasis on Judea and David’s line centered on Jerusalem. Their Scriptures were limited to the Pentateuch (Genesis through Deuteronomy), and their worship was centered on a new temple on Mount Gerizim, towering above ancient Shechem, while Jerusalem was rejected as a place of pilgrimage. Following the Babylonian exile when Zerubbabel led the rebuilding of the temple, Samaritan help was adamantly refused (Ezra 4:2–3), which fueled more conflict. When Alexander the Great and later Greek generals controlled Palestine (beginning about 330 B.C.), they made Samaria an important base, knowing that here they could find sympathetic, anti-Jewish allies. When the Jews had their opportunity (128 B.C.) they attacked Samaria, destroyed Shechem, and burned the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim. By Jesus’ day, a smoldering tension existed between the regions of Judea and Samaria. Partly based on race and religion, it echoed many centuries of terrible political fights. (John - The NIV Application Commentary)

Arnold adds that "In Jesus’ day, relations between Jews and Samaritans were generally characterized by bitter hostility (e.g., Pseudepigrapha of the OT = Testament of Levi 7:2, which calls Shechem “City of the Senseless” or "city of imbeciles"). In an apparent attempt to ease the tension, Herod the Great married a Samaritan woman named Malthace, who bore him both Antipas and Archelaus (Josephus, J.W. 1.28.4 §562; Ant. 17.1.3 §20), but to little avail. On the whole, Samaritans were considered to be irremediably impure… Despite their recognition of the five books of Moses, they were suspected of being an idolatrous cult on the basis of their veneration of Mount Gerizim as a holy mountain (cf. m. ?ul. 2:8). The Jewish historian Josephus portrays the Shechemites as a refuge for Jewish religious apostates (Ant. 11.11.7 §§346–47). He also records an occasion (between A.D. 6–9) when some Samaritans tried to desecrate the Jerusalem temple on the eve of the Passover (Ant. 18.2.2 §§29–30) and another instance (in A.D. 52) when they attacked Jewish pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem (Ant. 20.6.1–3 §§118–36). To call someone—especially a fellow-Jew—a “Samaritan” was a gross insult (cf. b. Sotah 22a) (Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary Vol 2)

John 4:1-26 Jesus Three Steps with the Woman at the Well 

1. First, He gave the revelation concerning new life. He stated that He came to give everlasting life.

2. Second, He revealed the spiritual need of the woman. He spoke of her immoral relationship with the man with whom she was living. This caused the woman to suppose Jesus was a prophet. Third, He revealed the nature of the Father declaring that “God is spirit” and consequently can be worshiped in any geographical place.

3. Finally, He revealed Himself to her as the Messiah. (J. Dwight Pentecost in Today in the Word, June 24, 1989)

Wringing Skills - He needed to go through Samaria. —John 4:4 - As a little girl, I disliked some of the chores I had to do, especially washing the dishes. The only pleasure I found in this task was a secret challenge: to see if I could wring the last drop of water out of the dishcloth. My mother, however, always managed to wring more out of it, for years of practice had made her hands strong.

Whatever our age, life is made up of things we must do. While some people oppose these duties, others focus on the challenge—wringing every drop of purpose and opportunity out of them they can.

Jesus faced such a necessity. On His journey from Judea to Galilee, He needed to go through the hostile territory of Samaria (Jn. 4:4). Although His disciples must have wondered why they had to take that route, Jesus knew it was necessary. While He was there, He reached a Samaritan woman and her village with His message of salvation.

A wise person once remarked, “I have learned much more from the things I had to do than from the things I chose to do.” Do you want to be able to say that? Then don’t rebel against the things you have to do. Instead, wring from them great lessons of life. But remember, such “wringing skills” need years of practice. - Joanie Yoder

Help us, Lord, to see potential
In the mundane tasks we do;
May we view them as a challenge
In our quest to follow You.


Duty can be a delight if seen as a divine opportunity.

John 4:5 So He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph: erchetai (PMI) oun eis polin tes Samareias legomen (PPP) Sucar plesion tou choriou o edoken (AAI) Iakob to Ioseph to huio autou:

  • Genesis 33:19; Ge 48:22; Joshua 24:32


Ray Pritchard introduces this fascinating dialogue - The story of Jesus and the woman at the well is very familiar. As I have studied it this week, I have been struck by how simple and profound it is. A man meets a woman in a seemingly chance encounter. In a few brief moments her life is changed forever. There are lessons here about racial prejudice, religious hatred, and dealing with moral outcasts. This story also conveys valuable truth about how to do evangelism. As we begin, I should note that this is the longest recorded conversation anyone ever had with Jesus. It is longer than any recorded conversation with any of his disciples. (The Woman at the Well - Christ Speaks to the Problem of a Guilty Past)

So (oun) - always pause to ponder this term of conclusion, for this discipline will engage your mind (active reading in contrast to far less productive passive reading - See Mortimer Adler's great book - How to Read a Book - Pdf online) and slows you down allowing your Teacher, the Spirit, more time to speak to you (See related discussion of The Bible and Illumination)

Sychar - Located about 30 miles north of Jerusalem, approximately half-way between Jerusalem and Nazareth, at the base of Mt Gerizim, which the Samaritans claimed was the true center of worship of Jehovah. Jacob’s well was about a half mile outside the village. Sychar is "mentioned only once, in connection with the visit of Jesus to Jacob's Well." (ISBE article and location on map). The location appears to be near the ancient town of Shechem in the vicinity of Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim, two mountains famous in Israel's history as the place where Joshua read ALL the words of Moses to the people (Joshua 8:33-35) in preparation for possessing the promised land. The principle still holds - the "law" while not able to save us, is ever able to instruct us in the way of righteousness, and obedience (enabled by the Spirit, not our fallen flesh - to attempt to obey by the latter mode is to fall into the sticky wicket of legalism!) is the way to "possess our promised possessions." (cp The Word, our life in Deut 32:47, see context Dt 32:45-46, see also how Caleb possessed his possessions! Nu 14:24). May God grant all of us a "Caleb-like" mindset that we too enabled by His Spirit, might follow the Lord fully, so that He might bring us into the fullness of our possessions of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ (Eph 1:3). Amen

Parcel of ground Jacob gave to his son Joseph - Beale and Carson note that this "reference reflects the customary inference from Ge 48:21-22 and Josh. 24:32 that Jacob gave his son Joseph the land at Shechem that he had bought from the sons of Hamor (Ge 33:18–19) and which later served as Joseph’s burial place (cf. Ex. 13:19; Josh. 24:32) (Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament)

Ge 33:19 He bought the piece of land where he had pitched his tent from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for one hundred pieces of money.

Ge 48:21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 “I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.”

Joshua 24:32 They buried the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. They became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.

John 4:6 and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour: en (IAI) de ekei pege tou Iakob. o oun Iesous kekopiakos (RAP) ek tes hodoiporias ekathezeto (IMI) houtos epi te pege; hora en (IAI) os ekte.:

  • being - Matthew 4:2; 8:24; Hebrews 2:17; 4:15
  • sat - Luke 2:7; 9:58; 2 Corinthians 8:9
  • sixth- 11:9; Matthew 27:45).

And Jacob's well was there - Where is there? See discussion on preceding passage regarding this geographical area.

Related Resources - Pictures and drawings of this well; Jacob's Well - Wikipedia; Jacobs Well (1); Jacobs Well (2)

Jacob's Well - Jacob's well, at the eastern entrance of the charming valley of Shechem, is still in existence (Ed: This dictionary was published circa 1859), though now little used and often nearly dry. It is covered by a vaulted roof, with a narrow entrance closed by a heavy rock. Around it is a platform, and the remains of a church built over the spot by the empress Gelena. Close at hand is mount Gerizim, which the woman of Sychar no doubt glanced at as she said, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain." On the west is the broad and fertile plain of Mukna, where the fields were "white already to the harvest." The woman intimated that the well was "deep," and had no steps. Actual measurement shows it to be seventy five feet deep, and about nine feet in diameter. Dr. Wilson, in 1842, sent down with ropes a Jew named Jacob, to explore the well and recover a Bible dropped into it by Rev. Mr. Bonar three years before. This was found, almost destroyed by lying in water. As the traveler stands by this venerated well and thinks of the long series of men of a hundred nations and generations who have drunk of its waters, thirsted again, and died, he is most forcibly affected by the truth of Christ's words to the Samaritan woman, and made to feel his own perishing need of the water "springing up into everlasting life," John 4:1-54 . (Wells and Springs - American Tract Society Bible Dictionary)

So (oun) - Always pause and ponder this term of conclusion - you will often be pleasantly surprised at the added illumination the Spirit provides. At the very least, this discipline slows you down and allows you time to better digest the Word. Notice that in this passage (as is often the case) you are forced to go back and read the preceding passage in order to have an accurate context.

Max Alderman - Jesus declared to Nicodemus the necessity of being born again. While speaking to Nicodemus he used the common term of birth. He now uses the common phenomenon of thirst while still relating to man’s greatest need. It was even the rich man in hell, who had enjoyed all that there was on earth yet was pleading for one drop of water to cool his parched tongue while in hell (Lk 16:24). A thirst of that kind, in that place will never be satisfied. The thirst there will never end. (The Gospel of John)

Jesus, being wearied from His journey - The fact of His being wearied is another of a multitude of evidences supporting Jesus' humanity. His ministry was not based on His divinity, but His humanity enabled by divinity. In other words, Jesus' was empowered for ministry by the Holy Spirit, just as we can and should be! (For more detailed discussion of this important truth see The Holy Spirit.) It is vital that believers understand that they are to be imitators of Paul and Jesus (1Cor 11:1) while entails that we be filled with and empowered by the Spirit, just as were Paul and Jesus! The pattern has not changed, but too many believers (I fear even pastors and other Christian leaders) are woefully ignorant of their vital need for the ministry of the Spirit. This ignorance and failure to appropriate the Spirit's power may well account for the large number of men burning out and leaving the pastorate! Just a thought to ponder (Pastor Burnout Statistics)! (Especially if you are being wearied like Jesus! See word study of kopiao below).

Scofield - As we are wearied in His service, though never wearied of it, so was He in His Father’s service… NOTE:—(a) That weariness does not keep the model Servant from working. (b) That the Wise Servant began at some point of common interest, Jn 4:7. (c) That He refused to be drawn into a sectarian discussion, Jn 4:8–10. (d) That He responded to the woman’s first gleam of personal interest by touching her conscience, Jn 4:16–18. (e) That He swept aside ceremonialism and mere religiousness as the resource of an awakened conscience, Jn 4:19–24. Too many moderns would have said: “Join the church, and live right.” (f) That He revealed Himself as the alone resource for a sinner, Jn 4:25–26. (Things New and Old: Old and New Testament Studies - Compiled by A C Gaebelein)

Being wearied (2872)(kopiao from kopos = labor, fatigue, and used in secular Greek of a "beating") speaks of intense, hard, wearisome toil even to the point of utter exhaustion. Kopiao describes not so much the actual exertion as the weariness which follows the straining of all one's powers to the utmost. The person (in this case Jesus) has become physically worn out, weary or faint. In fact the work described by kopiao left one so weary it was as if they had been beaten.

John uses the perfect tense which describes Jesus' weariness beginning at a certain point in time and persisting. It describes not just momentary fatigue, but a state of weariness. Can you identify with this dear reader, dear Christian worker? Then see the discussion of the power Source - The Holy Spirit. The writer of Hebrews reminds us "we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin." (Heb 4:15)

A T Robertson - John emphasizes the human emotions of Jesus (John 1:14; John 11:3, John 11:33, John 11:35, John 11:38, John 11:41.; John 12:27; John 13:21; John 19:28).

Teachings such as Jesus' weariness are strong, clear evidence against the false teaching of Docetism (from Dokeo = to seem), the thought that Jesus only "appeared" to have human body, but was not really incarnate. John directly refuted this false teaching in 1Jn 4:2-3. (cp 2 John 1:7) Docetism was condemned at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 (Chalcedonian Creed A.D. 451).

As an aside weary is not necessarily a reflection of burnout. Note Paul's weariness and Paul's power as he sought to bring disciples to spiritual maturity (Col 1:27-28), the apostle recording "For this purpose (Always pause and ask "What purpose?" - see Col 1:28b-note) also I labor (kopiao), striving (agonizomai) (HERE IS THE KEY TO AVOIDING BURNOUT EVEN WHEN WE FIND MINISTRY EXHAUSTING!) according to His power, which mightily works (present tense) within me." (Clearly "within me" is a description of the indwelling Spirit, our Enabler for fruitful ministry - cp Jn 15:5) (Col 1:29-note)

Was sitting thus by the well - Alan Carr comments that "All along the way of life Jesus positions Himself directly in our pathway. We kind of cruise through life without much thought for God or His plan. Then, out of the blue, there Jesus is, right in our faces. He establishes these crossroads to bring us to salvation. Thank God for the strategic crossroads of life!" (Sermons and Outlines)

Well (4077)(pege) literally refers to a fountain or well which supplies water. In classic Greek pege was a designation for the source of streams or rivers. The fact that pege was used of "Jacob's well" indicates that it was apparently supplied with running water from an underground source.

Pege is used metaphorically to speak of life–giving truth in John 4:14. It is also used metaphorically in Proverbs 13:14, 14:27. Pege is used several times as a symbol of the highest degree of joy.

Liddell-Scott says pege is "mostly in plural of running waters, streams… metaphorically "streams of tears… metaphorically the fount, source, origin."

TDNTA - pēge occurs some 100 times in the LXX for various Hebrew terms, some of which are also rendered by krenē, which means a “well” (cf. also phréar). The sources of water mentioned in the OT are usually artificial fountains or wells. The aridity of the country means that there is a need to bore for water and also to conserve it in cisterns. Many springs are mentioned either with or without names, and their importance may be seen from the judgments of Hos 13., the promises of Isa 35:7; 41:18, etc., and the eschatological image of Joel 3:18 (cf. also the use of pēge in Jer. 8:23; Song 4:12, 15; Pr 5:16; 10:11). With God himself is the pēge zōes (“the fountain of life”) in Ps 36:9, and God complains that his people have forsaken him, the fountain of living waters, in Jer. 2:13 (cf. Jer 17:13).

Friberg on pege - (1) literally spring, fountain, (living) well, as a source of water; to be distinguished from phrear (cistern or reservoir for storing surface water) (cf. Jn 4.6 and 4.11); (2) metaphorically, the fountain of the water of life, identified in Jn 4.14 as eternal life; (3) figuratively in Mk 5.29 as a hemorrhaging, issue or flow of blood; (4) metaphorically and plural in 2Pe 2.17 presumptuous sinners who resemble dried up springs. (Analytical Lexicon)

NIDNTT notes that in classic Greek, pege could "assume the general figurative meaning of source. Early on in popular Gk. belief, rivers and springs were personified as inferior divinities." Other metaphorical uses include a "fountain" of tears, blood or some other liquid. Liddell-Scott says that some of the metaphorical uses of pege describe "source" or "origin" of something.

BDAG - 1. a source of someth. that gushes out or flows, spring, fountain, flow 2. the place of origin or the cause of a full abundance of someth., fountainhead, fig. ext. of 1

Pege can describe the flow of something (blood - Mk 5:29, Lev 12:7).

In the 5 uses in the Revelation, observe the striking contrast between pege used of the natural world (Rev 14:7) versus the supernatural world (Rev 7:17, 21:6), and pege associated with judgment (Rev 8:10, 14:7) versus the uses associated with life (Rev 7:17, 21:6).

One use in Isaiah is particularly noteworthy as it was a passage that was apparently chanted at the Feast of Tabernacles when the water was drawn from the Pool of Shalom (the waters of which originated from the Gihon Spring) and was transported with great celebration and joy back to the Temple for the priest to pour out. And so the Jews would sing

"Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs (Heb = mayan; Lxx = pege) of salvation (Heb = Yeshuah, cp Name of Messiah Yeshua )." (Isaiah 12:3-note)

Pege - 11x in 10 v - Usage: flow(1), fountain(1), spring(1), springs(5), well(3).

Mark 5:29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

John 4:6 and Jacob's well was there. So Jesus, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour.

14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

James 3:11 Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water?

2 Peter 2:17-note These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.

Wuest - “Springs” is pege, “a spring.” The Greek word for a “well” is phrear. The word pege speaks of an ever-upleaping living fountain. The words “without water” are an oriental expression where the green verdure excites the traveler's hope of water, only to have it often disappointed. Such are these false teachers. Where one looks for a clear spring of water, the living Word of God, there is a spring gone dry.

Revelation 7:17-note for the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their Shepherd (cp Heb 13:20-21-note, 1Pe 2:25-note, 1Pe 5:4-note), and will guide them to springs of the water of life (cp Ps 23:2, Rev 21) and God will wipe every tear from their eyes."

Revelation 8:10-note The third angel sounded, and a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters.

Revelation 14:7-note and he said with a loud voice, "Fear God, and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come; worship Him who made the heaven and the earth and sea and springs of waters."

Revelation 16:4-note Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood.

Revelation 21:6-note Then He said to me, "It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring (pege) of the water of life without cost (dorean - as a gift, without payment, undeservedly).

Tony Garland comments on the phrase spring of the water of life in Revelation 21:6…

The water of life is redemption, portrayed in many different aspects throughout the Scriptures. “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness” (Zec. 13:1). These are the wells of salvation which Isaiah spoke about (Isa 12:3-note). The water of life is only available from God (Jesus), the fountain of life (Ps 36:6). He is the “fountain of living waters” (Jer 2:13).

In the wilderness wandering, Moses’ struck the rock (representing Christ, 1Cor. 10:4) from which life-giving waters came forth (Ex. 17:6). The promise of redemption by the Holy Spirit is compared to life-giving water (Isa. 44:3; John 7:37-38, John 4:10-14)


Those coming out of the Great Tribulation were led by the Lamb to living fountains of waters (Rev. 7:14). During the Millennial Kingdom living water flowed from the Millennial Temple (Ezek 47:1, 8-9; Joel 3:18; Zec. 14:8). A pure river of water of life flows from the throne of God and the Lamb in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 22:1). The final invitation given by the Spirit and the bride in the book of Revelation is to take the water of life freely (Rev. 22:17).

Because redemption is infinitely costly, only God could pay the price. The price was the death of God in the person of the Son of God (Rev. 1:18). It was the Lamb who redeemed (agorazō, purchased) sinners from among men by His blood (Rev. 1:5; 5:9). Since the price has already been paid in full (John 19:30), no man can add to the finished work. To even suggest such a possibility is to devalue the life of the Son of God and declare His purchase inadequate. The joyous result of God’s work is that eternal life, which would otherwise be infinitely expensive, is now available simply for the asking:

Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isa. 55:1)

This is the essential difference between religion and relationship. Religion looks to find, in the puny self effort of man, something of value to present before God by which man may be justified. Relationship sees man’s utter incapability and throws itself upon the grace and mercy of God, accepting that which God has already provided as a remedy. Self-righteousness, which is no real righteousness, is the primary stumbling block leading to God for it recoils at the idea that restoration to God is completely without cost:

Independent, rebellious man says the opposite—“Something in my hand I bring.” This is the one thing common to all systems of religion. They quarrel and fight to the death over the question as to what that “Something” is to be: but they are all at one agreement that it must be something. and as the weary conflict has gone on, and will continue to the end.

If this gift is free, without cost, how can it be that so many refuse to accept it? The answer is found in their lack of thirst. It is free for him who thirsts! Do you know the Lamb as your redeemer? Are you thirsty for this water which will become a fountain in you springing up into everlasting life? It is available for the asking to all who come to Him in humility and need. (A Testimony of Jesus Christ - Commentary on Revelation 21)

Pege - 89x in 79v in the Septuagint (Lxx) - Ge 2:6 (Pege translates "mist"); Ge 7:11; 8:2; 14:7; 16:7; 24:13, 16, 29f, 42f, 45; Ex 15:27; Lev 11:36; 12:7 (Pege translates "flow" cp Mk 5:29); Lev 20:18; Nu 33:9; 34:11; Dt 8:7, 15; 33:13; Josh 15:7, 9; 17:7; 18:15-17; 19:29, 37; 21:29; Jdg 7:1; 15:19; 2Sa 17:17; 1Kgs 1:9; 18:5; 2Kgs 3:19, 25; 2Chr 32:3-4; Neh 2:13; Esther 1:1; 10:3; Job 38:16; Ps 18:15 (pege translates "channels"); Ps 36:9; Ps 42:1; 68:26; 74:15; 104:10; 114:8; Pr 4:21; 5:15f, 18; 6:11; 8:23, 28; 9:18; 10:11; 13:14; 14:27; 16:22; 18:4; 25:26; Eccl 12:6; Song 4:12, 15; Isa 12:3; 35:7; 41:18; Isa 49:10; 58:11; Jer 2:13; 9:1; 17:13; 51:36; Ezek 25:9; Hos 13:15; Joel 3:18.

Notable uses of pege in the Septuagint (Lxx)

Ps 36:9 For with You is the fountain (Hebrew = maqor; Lxx = pege) of life; In Your light we see light.

Spurgeon - From the Lord, as from an independent self-sufficient spring, all creature life proceeds, by Him it is sustained, through Him alone can it be perfected (cp Ro 11:36). Life is in the creature, but the fountain of it is only in the Creator. Of spiritual life, this is true in the most emphatic sense; “it is the Spirit Who gives life,” (Jn 6:63) and " have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col 3:3)


Ps 42:1 For the choir director. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. As the deer pants for the water brooks (Heb = aphiq = channel; Lxx = pege), So my soul pants for You, O God.

Spurgeon - As after a long drought the poor fainting deer longs for the streams, or rather as the hunted deer instinctively seeks after the river to soothe its smoking flanks and to escape the dogs, even so my weary, persecuted soul pants after the Lord my God. Debarred from public worship, David was heartsick. Ease he did not seek, honor he did not covet, but the enjoyment of communion with God was an urgent need of his soul; he viewed it not merely as the sweetest of all luxuries, but as an absolute necessity, like water to a stag. Like the parched traveler in the wilderness, whose leather bottle is empty, and who finds the wells dry, he must drink or die -- he must have his God or faint. His soul, his very self, his deepest life, was insatiable for a sense of the divine presence. As the deer brays so his soul prays. Give him his God and he is as content as the poor deer which at length slakes its thirst and is perfectly happy; but deny him his Lord, and his heart heaves, his bosom palpitates, his whole frame is convulsed, like one who gasps for breath, or pants with long running. Dear reader, do you know what this is by personally having had this same experience? It is a sweet bitterness. The next best thing to living in the light of the Lord's love is to be unhappy till we have it, and to pant hourly after it -- hourly, did I say? Thirst is a perpetual appetite, and not to be forgotten, and is a continual longing of our heart after God. When it is as natural for us to long for God as for an animal to thirst, it is well with our souls, however painful our feelings. We may learn from this verse that the eagerness of our desires may be pleaded with God, and the more so, because there are special promises for the importunate and fervent.


Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain (Heb = maqor = something dug, fountain; Lxx = pege) of life, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.

Pr 13:14 The teaching (torah = original sense of this Hebrew word is "direction" or "instruction") of the wise is a fountain (Heb = maqor = something dug, fountain; Lxx = pege) of life (NET = like a life-giving fountain), To turn aside from the snares (Hebrew = moqesh = bait or lure in a fowler's trap; Lxx = pagis) of death (Death is "personified" as a hunter, a fowler if you will, who lays bait to tempt us and cause us to fall unexpectedly and suddenly as do wary wild animals when they are suddenly ensnared by the noose! Oh my, if they with their finely honed instincts can be trapped, how much great is our danger. Praise God for passages like 1Pe 1:5-note)

Note: How are the teachings a fountain of life? He tells that they (their "instruction" or "directions") turn us aside from the snares of death, which is the opposite of life! When you do your morning Bible reading (you do read your Bible EVERY morning, do you not? See Jesus' loving instruction - Mt 4:4), do you walk away from the "mirror" of the Word, into your workplace, your school, etc, immediately forgetting (Read James 1:21-24-note and contrast with the promise in James 1:25-note) what the wise teaching has told you about yourself and the deceptive snares of the world that lies in the power of the evil one (1Jn 5:19)

Charles Bridges - "Reverence (holy filial fear) for God's commands have just been highlighted (Pr 13:13). Now the blessing of the law or instruction, the teaching of the wise, is shown. It is a fountain of life to a teachable and thirsty heart. There is no safe path to tread except God's way." (Oh, to have that last statement emblazoned on the heart of all God's children, and begin with me!) "Where there is no actual law given, let the spirit of the law keep your heart and life. Do not do anything that is questionable in the law. Think of everything that upsets your praying and your communion with God as unlawful. Never go into any company, business, or situation in which the presence and blessing of God cannot be conscientiously asked and expected. “By the help of these … rules, I soon settle all my doubts and find that many things I have hitherto indulged in are, if not utterly unlawful, at least inexpedient, and I can renounce them without many sighs” (Dr. Payson). Such rules are the spirit of the law and are well worth adopting."

Pr 14:27 The fear of the LORD is a fountain (Heb = maqor = something dug, fountain; Lxx = pege) of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

Pr 16:22 Understanding is a fountain (Heb = maqor = something dug, fountain; Lxx = pege) of life to him who has it, But the discipline of fools is folly.

Isa 49:10 “They will not hunger or thirst (Note: Every human thirst, so this is metaphorical and in context Isa 49:11-12] describes the supernatural, spiritual provision during the Millennium [see description]! Maranatha! Come Quickly!), Nor will the scorching heat or sun strike them down; For He who has compassion on them will lead them And will guide them to springs (Heb = mabbua = spring; Lxx = pege) of water.

Jer 2:13 “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain (Heb = maqor = something dug, fountain; Lxx = pege) of living waters (Lxx = hudatos zoes), To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water.

Comment: Yahweh is here referred to metaphorically as the fountain (or spring in Lxx) of living water.

Spurgeon - If a man should change for the better, his selfishness might be a little excuse for leaving his old love, but when he changes for the worse —leaves a fountain for a cistern — a flowing fountain for a broken cistern that holds nothing — why, there is madness in his sin. “Be astonished, O ye heavens and be horribly afraid.”

Henry Morris - The Samaritan woman had come to draw water out of a public well—Jacob’s well in this case—that was very similar in construction to the cisterns of antiquity, which were pits dug around a ground spring (living water) or an underground water table, then enlarged and plastered to hold a significant quantity of water. Most villages and nearly all cities had such a cistern that was maintained by the responsible government of the area and made available to the local citizens. Some private homeowners built private cisterns, usually on the top of their houses, that were used to catch rainwater or to conveniently store enough for household needs. These private cisterns were rarely used for drinking water since they could easily be contaminated. But the “government cisterns” were constantly cleaned and routinely purged to provide fresh “living water” for the population. The Samaritan woman came to the well to draw the water she needed to live. Jesus told her that He could give her “living water”—an internal spring of water—that would provide eternal life (John 4:11-14; compare John 7:38). That is the sense in which the Lord told Jeremiah that the people of Judah had forsaken the “fountain of living waters” and were attempting to construct “cisterns” that would not, and indeed, could not, hold any of the eternal water that came only from God. Any cistern we create for ourselves will be a broken cistern. (Broken Cisterns -  Read the entire article which also discusses King Hezekiah's provision of "living waters" in preparation for the Assyrian siege - beloved, the only way you or I can withstand the continual, seemingly overwhelming onslaught of godlessness ["Assyrians"- ] daily besieging the fortress of our hearts is by relying on Jesus' provision of Living Water, the empowering Spirit! = excellent!)

Joel 3:18 And in that day (Millennium) the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk, and all the brooks of Judah will flow with water; and a spring (Heb = mayan; Lxx = pege) will go out from the house (Temple) of the LORD (During Millennium = Ezek 47:1-12, Zech 14:8; Cp during the New Earth = Rev 22:1-2) to water the valley of Shittim (Shittim = acacia trees - It is the dry valley near the northern end of the Dead Sea).

About the sixth hour - If this refers to Roman time, it would be about 6 P.M., but considering the context, it is most likely a reference to Jewish time, which would be noon, in the heat of the day. The majority of modern conservative commentators agree with this "Jewish" interpretation of the "sixth hour." Some writers contrast the Samaritan woman meeting Jesus at high noon, with the clandestine meeting of Nicodemus the teacher of Israel under the cover of night! (John 3:1-2)

Köstenberger notes "In an intriguing parallel, Josephus speaks of Moses, who, upon reaching a given town, “sat down on the brink of a well and there rested after his toil and hardships, at midday, not far from the town” (Ant. 2.11.1 §257)." (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)

Ray Stedman sees the sixth hour differently - According to this account, it was "the sixth hour" when Jesus stopped at the well. By Jewish reckoning that would be noon. But according to Roman time, which I think John uses throughout his gospel, it was six o'clock in the evening. So it was no surprise that Jesus was weary. He had been walking in the hot sun all day. He was thirsty, so he sat beside the well to rest while the disciples went into the city to find something to eat. Thus we have here a very beautiful picture of our Lord's humanity.

John 4:7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." : 4:7 Erchetai (PMI) gune ek tes Samareias antlesai (AAN) hudor. Legei (PAI) aute o Iesous, Dos (AAM) moi pein; (AAN):

  • Jn 4:10; 19:28; Genesis 24:43; 2Samuel 23:15-17; 1Kings 17:10; Matthew 10:42


There are two major topics in this dialogue with the Samaritan woman - (1) Living Water (Jn 4:7-18) and (2) Worship (Jn 4:19-26)

Pritchard - As the woman looks at Jesus and He at her, four invisible walls stand between them. There is a religious wall, a gender wall, a racial wall, and a moral wall. Yet our Lord found a way through all of them. He found her … and then she found Him!… Nothing happens by chance in this story. Every detail is part of the outworking of God’s will. And that, I think, is a hugely important point. The woman isn’t looking for Jesus. All she wants is water. But Jesus is looking for her. You have to go to Samaria if you want to reach Samaritans. He doesn’t avoid Samaria and he doesn’t hurry through it. Though she does not know it, this woman has a “divine appointment” with the Son of God. rom this we can take a very important principle for evangelism. Reaching people for Christ is not always comfortable and may at times be difficult. But you have to go where people are if you want to reach them at all. Comfort is not the issue. The firefighter goes into the burning house to rescue those inside. He can’t stand outside and say, “Come on out before the house burns down.” Jesus intended to save this woman so he went where she was… He is tired and thirsty and she has the water he needs. But he has the water she needs. He was thirsty and knew it. She was thirsty and didn’t know it. The woman did not come to the well seeking Christ, but he came to the well seeking her. In his approach we see the great heart of our Lord Jesus is without prejudice. It matters not to him that others would not go to Samaria and others would not speak to this woman. He welcomes all and shuns none. Luke 19:10 tells us that the Lord Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. This story tells us what that means. John 4 is all about sovereign grace. He found her. She didn’t find him. The same is true for all of us. You will never come to Christ until Christ first comes to you. What happens in this chapter looks like a chance encounter but it was nothing of the kind. The time and place and all the circumstances had been arranged by God before the world began. (The Woman at the Well)

There came a woman of Samaria to draw water - Don't miss this clear example of God's providence. While the Samaritan woman had free will, God in His providence somehow arranged for her to be at the well at the same time Jesus was there and His disciples were gone to town! To add to the providential aspect of this chance meeting, the time was most likely noon, when the sun was highest and hottest. Why would this make this scene unusual? Normally, water was drawn early in the morning or at dusk (when it was not as hot), but not on this day for this woman! (cp Ge 24:11, 29:7-8) Unbeknownst to her, she had a divine appointment with the Messiah. Indeed, Jesus seeks sinners who aren’t seeking Him. (cp Lk 19:10)

Matthew Henry: Shechem yielded the first proselyte that ever came into the congregation of Israel (Ge 24:24), and now it is the first place where the Gospel is preached out of the commonwealth of Israel; so Dr. Lightfoot observes.

This unnamed woman reminds me of another despised Moabite woman named Ruth whose "hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz." (Ru 2:3-note) She just happened to arrive at Boaz's field and Boaz just happened to arrive at his field while she was gleaning, leading to a "chance romance" and to birth of a son who would be in the lineage of David and ultimately in the lineage of the Messiah! There is no such thing as chance in God's economy! He is sovereign and in total control of EVERYTHING, no exceptions!

Tasker - The Samaritan woman is a timeless figure – not only a typical Samaritan but a typical human being. As she converses with Jesus, it becomes clear that like most men and women she is almost exclusively concerned with the provision of what will satisfy her physical needs, particularly thirst-quenching water which can often be obtained only by the expenditure of much time and energy.

See study of Providence of God.

Jesus said to her - Jesus a Jew speaking to a woman who even worse was a Samaritan shows us that His mission to save men and women transcends cultural and religious barriers. It did then and it still does!

Brian Bell - The One Who spoke forth Niagara; the One who shaped the Nile with His finger nail in the sand; the One Who could bring forth gallons of wine… now sits thirsty!

Samaritan women, like Gentiles, were considered to be in a continual state of ritual uncleanness. For example the Mishnah stated "Samaritan women are deemed menstruants from their cradle." (Niddah 4:1).

It is interesting to observe the "role reversal" at play in this section - When the conversation begins, Jesus is the thirsty one, and she the one with the water. As the dialogue evolves Jesus spoke as if she were the thirsty one and He the one with the water.

Max Alderman comments on give Me a drink - "The most uncommon one of all has a very common need! Yet in that humble request begins one of the greatest encounters of all time. Such a simple request was this. Yet in this simple request, He was able to build a bridge of communication from Himself to her that otherwise may have never taken place. When illustrating the very common aspect of thirst, Jesus was able to teach great spiritual truths. Throughout His ministry the application of common things characterized His teaching ministry. In this study, He uses the concept of thirst to teach how men are thirsty spiritually. He used the wind to teach about the Holy Spirit. He used the sower and the seed to teach evangelism. He identified with the fisherman and said, “I will make you fishers of men.” He performed a miracle involving bread to show that He was the “Bread of Life.” Abraham Lincoln said, “The Lord sure must have loved the common man, for He sure made a bunch of us.” The Lord, in His teachings, always puts the “cookies on the bottom shelf” where anyone who desires may have one. Thanks be unto God for the simple application of truth while using the common things."

Spurgeon on give Me a drink - This was quite a natural way of beginning a conversation; and they will best touch other people’s minds and hearts who do not harshly interject religion, but who wisely introduce it, leading up to it with a holy dexterousness such as our Lord always exhibited. He begins, not with any remarks about the woman’s life, or her sin, or even about his great salvation, but with the simple request, “Give me to drink.”

Paul Apple discusses different aspects of evangelism - Many different types of evangelism: Friendship, Confrontational, Visitation Programs, Crusades, Literature Distribution, etc. But how would you categorize Christ's dealing with the Samaritan woman at the well and her townspeople? Coin a phrase: "Opportunistic Evangelism" - being alert to seize every opportunity for evangelism (for both sowing and reaping) - being creative to turn the occasion towards spiritual things without forcing things - following the leading of the Holy Spirit Def. of "opportunistic" is usually negative: the practice of taking advantage of opportunities or circumstances (fine so far -- we will stop with this) esp. with little regard for principles or consequences We minister with the highest possible regard for principles and consequences -- but we minister aggressively because our confidence is in the God who can change people's hearts. Jn 4:9 - Contact initiated without prejudice. Jn 4:10 - Curiosity stirred. John 4:11-12 - Confusion surfaces. Jn 4:13-14 Contrast defined (between physical and living water). (John Commentary - Believe and Live)

Rich Cathers - He got thirsty. He even got tired. Illustration - Joseph Mallord Turner, English painter, invited Charles Kingsley to his studio to see a picture of a storm at sea. In rapt admiration, Kingsley exclaimed, “It’s wonderful! It’s so realistic! How did you do it?” The artist replied, “I went to the coast of Holland and engaged a fisherman to take me out to sea in the next storm. Entering his boat as a storm was brewing, I asked him to bind me to the mast. Then he steered his boat into the teeth of the storm. “The storm raged with such fury that at times I longed to be in the bottom of the boat where the waves would blow over me. I could not, however. I was bound to the mast. Not only did I see the storm in its raging fury, I felt it! It blew into me, as it were, until I became a part of it. After this terrible ordeal, I returned to my studio and painted the picture.” You could say that Mr. Turner “got it” when it came to storms. Jesus “gets it” when it comes to life. This means that we have someone to turn to when we encounter life’s storms. We have someone we can go to when we get tired. (Heb 4:16NKJV) He knows how to helps us. He understands. (John 4:1-14)

John 4:8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.: oi gar mathetai autou apelelutheisan (PRAI) eis ten polin, hina trophas agorasosin. (AAS):

  • Jn 6:5-7; Luke 9:13

For - A term of explanation - discipline yourself to pause and ponder what (why?, why now?, etc) is being explained. It will literally change the way you read the Bible as there are thousands of terms of explanation. Expositor's says ". This gives the reason for the request."

His disciples had gone away - As noted this is part of God's providential outworking of this incredible divine drama.

Into the city to buy food - This is an interesting, somewhat surprising, statement that the disciples were willing to purchase food from Samaritans, something strict Jews would not have been willing to do. For example, in the Mishnah records this statement - “R. Eliezer used to say, ‘One who eats bread [baked by] Samaritans is like one who eats pork.’ " (Shebiit 8:10 A)

Buy (59)(agorazo from agora = the market place, place of public assembly, town square where things such as slaves were presented for sale or where trials were held) literally means to buy or make purchases in the marketplace, doing business in the agora (Mt 13:44), acquiring something (goods or services) in exchange for money, transferring ownership from seller to buyer.

Introducing a Person to Jesus

(1) Go to where the non-Christians are found (Jn 4:4)

(2) Speak to them with respect and not with a sense of superiority or in a patronizing way (Jn 4:7)

(3) Meet them where they are, focusing especially on any need you can discern in them (Jn 4:10)

(4) Speak about God's great gift (not necessarily quoting verses but just telling them that God has a free gift) (Jn 4:10)

(5) Try to use illustrations or pictures from daily life (Jn 4:10-12)

(6) Tell them of the real satisfaction available to meet one's needs (Jn 4:14)

(7) Give them an opening to be honest about their sin (which speaks of their greatest need) (Jn 4:16)

(8) Don't be sidetracked (Jn 4:11-12, 19-21)

(9) Try to differentiate genuine concerns or questions from those that are not (Jn 4:25)

(10) Answer questions with the truth about Jesus (Jn 4:26)

(11) Don't fear potential results (Jn 4:29-30)

(12) Encourage them to share with others what you have shared with them (Jn 4:39)

(13) Most importantly, imitate the Jesus Way but making people and their need for salvation your highest priority (I have found when I pray for people to be saved, I often get opportunities to share Jesus with them). (Jn 4:34-35).

John 4:9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans): legei (PAI) oun auto e gune e Samaritis, Pos su Ioudaios on (PAP) par' emou pein (AAN) aiteis (PAI) gunaikos Samaritidos ouses? (PAP) {ou gar sugchrontai (PMI) Ioudaioi Samaritais.:

  • Jn 4:27; 8:48; Luke 10:33; 17:16-19
  • 2 Kings 17:24-41; Ezra 4:1-24; Nehemiah 4:1,2; Luke 9:52-56; Acts 1:8; 10:28

Therefore (oun) - To reiterate, it is always a good practice in reading God's Word, to pause and ponder this term of conclusion. This simple discipline serves to engage your mind and causes you to slow down and allow your Teacher, the Spirit, more time to illuminate the Scripture.

A T Robertson on the Samaritan Woman - Different idiom from that in John 4:7, “the woman the Samaritan.” The Samaritans were a mixture by intermarriage of the Jews left in the land (2Chronicles 30:6, 2Chronicles 30:10; 2Chronicles 34:9) with colonists from Babylon and other regions sent by Shalmaneser. They had had a temple of their own on Mt. Gerizim and still worshipped there. (Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament)

How is it… ask me for a drink - Jesus ignores her question and as seen in the next verse immediately shifts the conversation to spiritual matters.

How interesting that the text never mentions her name. We'll meet her in heaven, but for now she remains anonymous.

Max Alderman comments on her anonymity - The unidentified woman at the well could have been anyone. She could symbolize the unknown by-product of this worldly system who has tried many ways to satisfy the deep thirst of her carnal nature. Her name is not important here; her need is! She recognizes that she is perceived as a member of an inferior race… In many ways she was the contaminated scum and the filth of the earth, but Jesus did not label or indict her that way; He simply honored her as a fellow human being and asked for a drink of water. This wonderful trait of Christ revealed in our study shows how sympathetic He is to others. It shows how considerate He is of others and how unprejudiced He is of others.

Boa - The woman is a timeless figure because like most men and women she’s almost exclusively concerned with the provision of what will satisfy physical needs, not spiritual needs- particularly the idea of Christ quenching water which can be obtained only by the expenditure of a good deal of time and energy in that particular culture. As a consequence then she is really more concerned for the welfare of her body more than the welfare of her soul. In that way she points beyond to ourselves because we’re often in that condition too. (John - Chapter 4)

James Smith - An Awakened Questioner. "How is it that Thou… askest of me?" etc. (John 4:9). As soon as she comes into His presence her curiosity is aroused. Whoever could come into touch with Christ without being moved in one way or another. Yet some dare to pronounce Him nothing more than human. This Samaritan knew that He was a Jew, although the Jews, in their hate, declared that He was a Samaritan (John 8:48). It is interesting to note that it was the un-Jewish largeheartedness of Christ that first awakened her interest in Him. This is His chief characteristic as the Saviour of sinners. (John 4-1-30 The Woman Of Samaria)

Ask me for a drink - The woman was shocked that Jesus did not seem to know that even her water jar was considered unclean by His fellow Jews!

You being a Jew - It is ironic that Samaritans in John’s Gospel call Jesus “a Jew,” while the Jews call Him “a Samaritan” (Jn 8:48)! By way of Johannine irony, this attests to Jesus’ otherworldly nature.

For (gar) is a term of explanation (see discussion), which should always prompt at least the question "What is the writer explaining?"

Jews have no dealings with Samaritans - The Greek word for "no" is "ou" which means absolute negation. She understood clearly that Jews totally shunned all contact with Samaritans. The disciples’ astonishment in Jn 4:27 underscores the Jewish aversion of Samaritans.

Gary Burge comments on the fact that she is a woman - In this world men rarely speak to women in public, even if they are married to them. Single men never speak to or touch women at any time… Today in the outlaying villages of the Arab Middle East, these values are still at work. I have mistakenly addressed women in remote Palestinian villages (not far from ancient Shechem), to my own and the woman’s embarrassment and the shock of the village men.

Spurgeon - But our Lord did not come to maintain these distinctions of race and caste. It is altogether foreign to the spirit of Christianity for nationalities to be despised. We sometimes hear people say of a person, “Oh, he is only So-and-so!” mentioning some nation that happens to be in the background. Christ was cosmopolitan, he loved men of every nation, and tribe, and tongue, and people. To him, there was neither Jew nor Samaritan; all such distinctions were banished from his mind. The woman might well say what she did, but her words would have sounded strangely out of place from the lips of Christ.


Generous Receivers - How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? —John 4:9 - In today’s Bible reading, we see Jesus weary, hungry, and thirsty. He was just as human as we are. He was also God and could have met all His own needs. But Jesus didn’t insist on doing everything without the help of others. On this occasion He graciously (and no doubt gratefully) allowed His disciples to go and buy food while He sat by the well to rest and wait. And when a Samaritan woman of questionable character came to draw water, He did what many of us might hesitate to do—He asked her for a drink.

For years I missed an important lesson in our Lord’s vulnerability, until He taught me, through a friend, the subtle selfishness of not letting others help us. One day this friend tried to do a kindness for me, and as usual I resisted. In frustration she said, “You know what? You’re an ungenerous receiver!” Instantly I saw it! Quite rightly, I had always tried to live by Jesus’ words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). The trouble was, in the name of being unselfish, I always had to be the giver. Others desire to experience the blessedness of giving, but we often frustrate their giving by refusing their help. Let’s learn to be generous receivers—just like Jesus. - Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread)

O to be like Thee! Lord, I am coming
Now to receive the anointing divine;
All that I am and have I am bringing—
Lord, from this moment all shall be Thine.

Be as gracious in receiving as you are in giving.


A Matter of the Heart - How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? —John 4:9 - I have a confession to make. From time to time old feelings of prejudice and intolerance well up within me. Even though I seldom express them, and never want to, these sinful thoughts still spring up in my heart. I grew up as a white, lower middle-class, midwestern, blue-collar American. My prejudices came from hearing such absurd statements as: “Rich people are arrogant snobs.” “Minorities just want a handout.” “Women are weak and can’t think rationally.” “Management is out to rip off the working man.” “Jews can’t be trusted in business dealings.” I know that these are untrue stereotypes. I sensed it even before I became a Christian. As a follower of Jesus, I know too that I must treat all people with respect because they have been created in the image of God. The Savior modeled this accepting attitude with the Samaritan woman. She was surprised when He spoke to her and asked her for a drink. Even the disciples marveled when they found Him speaking with her (John 4:27). I’m ashamed to admit my prejudicial thoughts. But I pray that the Lord will keep working in my heart until I am as free of prejudice and intolerance as He is. -- David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread)

Lord, cleanse me from all prejudice,
Remove its subtle lie;
Then help me share Your love with those
For whom You came to die.

Prejudice is a great timesaver:
It enables you to form opinions without getting the facts.


Wisdom For Witnessing - The woman of Samaria said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" —John 4:9 - We can learn a lot about effective witnessing by examining our Lord’s encounter with the woman at the well (John 4:5-26). He broke all social protocol by talking to this Samaritan woman. And asking her for a drink of water was a compliment of sorts. Later, He had a perfect opportunity to condemn her sinful lifestyle, but He didn’t.

Author Paul Little points out that unlike Jesus we are quick to condemn. He writes, “Often we have the mistaken idea that if we don’t condemn a certain attitude or deed, we will be condoning it.” He adds, “Not only must we avoid condemning people, we need to learn the art of legitimate compliment.”

He then related an encounter that writer Charles Trumbull once had on a train. A profanity-spewing, drunken man boarded and lurched into the seat next to him. When the man offered him a drink from his flask, Trumbull didn’t condemn his condition. Instead he replied, “No thank you, but I can see you are a very generous man.” The man’s eyes lit up. As they talked, he heard about the One who offers the satisfying water of life. Later, he gave his life to Christ.

When you share your faith, remember the effectiveness of giving a compliment and avoiding condemnation. - Joanie Yoder (Our Daily Bread)

Lord, help us show compassion
To a world that's lost in sin,
So when we share the gospel,
Hungry souls for Christ we'll win.


Loving the lost is the first step in leading them to Christ.

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, "If you knew the gift of God, and Who it is Who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.": apekrithe (API) Iesous kai eipen (AAI) aute, Ei edeis (PRAI) ten dorean tou theou kai tis estin (PAI) o legon (PAP) soi, Dos (AAM) moi pein, (AAN) su an etesas (AAI) auton kai edoken (AAI) an soi hudor zon. (PAP):

  • If - Jn 3:16; Isaiah 9:6; 42:6; 49:6-8; Luke 11:13; Romans 8:32; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 9:15; Ephesians 2:8
  • Who - Jn 4:25,26; 9:35-38; 16:3; 17:3; 1 John 5:20)(2 Chronicles 33:12,13,18,19; Ps 10:17; Isaiah 55:6-9; Luke 11:8-10; 18:13,14; Luke 23:42,43; Acts 9:11; Revelation 3:17,18
  • Living - Jn 4:14; 6:35,51; 7:37-39; Exodus 17:6; Ps 36:8,9; 46:4; Isaiah 12:3; 35:6; Isaiah 41:17,18; 43:20; 44:3; 49:10; 55:1-3; Jeremiah 2:13; Ezekiel 47:1-9; Zechariah 13:1; 14:8; 1 Corinthians 10:4; Revelation 7:17; 21:6; 22:1,2,17


If - This introduces a condition of the second class, determined as unfulfilled. It strikes me that many people I have shared the Gospel with knew the gift (because I stated it plainly) and even knew (about) the Giver (Jesus), but they, unlike this Samaritan woman, refused to ask for a drink of the only gift that would ever quench their dead, dry soul - living water!

It is interesting to note the role reversals - At first Jesus was the one asking the woman for physical water, but now He becomes the one able to give supernatural water, regarding which He encourages the woman to ask.

If you knew the gift of God - She knew neither the Gift or the Giver! How many nameless souls, like this Samaritan woman, stand on the brink of eternity knowing neither the Gift nor the Giver, for they have never even heard the Name "Jesus" by which they must be saved (Acts 4:12). Consider praying daily for these thirsting, unreached people groups, for Jesus wants to offer them a drink through you! I highly recommend the daily prayer devotional Global Prayer Digest which directly targets the most unreached people groups in the world. Make it part of your daily devotional time - your eternity (and many of those you pray for) will be richer for so doing (see 1Thes 2:19-20-note)

Notice how Jesus drew out the Samaritan woman's curiosity -- (1) He made her curious about the things of God (If you knew the gift of God); (2) He made her curious about who Jesus is (who it is who says to you). (3) He made her curious about what He could give her (He would have given you living water).

Spurgeon on if you knew… you would have asked - Holy knowledge is very advantageous; it often is the means of breeding prayer: “If you knew… you would have asked… and he would have given.” Therefore, beloved, let us teach the truth to all who come in our way, for it may be that we, too, shall meet with many of whom it can be said that, if they know what the gift of God is, they will ask for it; and if they ask for it, Christ will give it to them.

As with the new wine, John 2, and the new birth, John 3, so with the new water and the new worship, John 4. It is the great ‘I AM’ Who is the Supreme Supplier, John 4:26.

Pritchard - Ponder those three little words: “If you knew.” “If you knew who I was, you would ask and I would give you eternal life.” Do you know who He is? If so, will you ask Him for Living Water? If you want to go to heaven, all you have to do is ask. That’s how simple salvation is. It’s like asking for a refreshing drink of cool, clear water. (The Woman at the Well)

Hendricksen has an interesting comment - When Jesus spoke about "the gift of God," he meant "living water." But "living water" could mean spring-water (Gen. 26:19), which bubbles up by itself, in distinction from rain water, which must be collected in a cistern or reservoir. Of course, it happens at times that a shaft is sunk into the earth until a spring is reached. Jacob's Spring illustrates the point exactly. Hence, when Jesus said, "he would have given you living water," the woman interprets this to mean, "he would have given you not the water which has for some time been standing in the well but the spring-water at the bottom of it.

As with His interaction with Nicodemus in John 3, Jesus immediately shifts the conversation from the literal physical to the metaphorical spiritual! Jesus uses this statement to draw the woman deeper into the conversation. Who wouldn't want a gift from God? Ultimately Jesus was speaking of Himself as the Divine Gift (Jn 3:16), the inexpressible gift (2Corinthians 9:15, Eph 4:17-note)!

James Smith - A Carnal Reasoner. Jesus answered the woman's inquiry with a revelation of Himself, as the Giver of "living water." He sought to make her conscious of her need of the "Gift of God" (Jn 4:10). Her answer shows that she was in total darkness as to spiritual things. "Sir," she said, "Thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep" (Jn 4:11). As if this life-giving water was to come out of Jacob's well. But she was not more blind than Nicodemus was when he said, "How can a man be born when he is old?" Through sin, the descent of man from God is so great that, without a miracle of grace he cannot receive the things of the Spirit of God (1Cor. 2:14). Carnal reason has never yet understood the Word of God. (John 4-1-30 The Woman Of Samaria)

James Smith on if you knew the gift of God - Out of the great depths of UNFATHOMABLE LOVE. God so loved the world that He gave His Son. This stream gushing out from the heart of God is as broad as the world, and as deep as human need for time and eternity.

College Press NIV Commentary - What was the gift of God? Numerous answers have been offered to this question: (1) For the Jews God’s greatest gift was the Torah or law.27 (2) In Gnostic thought the gift of God was the life-giving revelation, e.g., Corpus Hermeticum 4:5.28 (3) The gift of God is Jesus himself and his ability to transmit eternal life to those who receive him (see 2 Cor. 9:15). This verse thus is identical with the thought of John 3:16. Some refer the gift to the Holy Spirit30 but it is Jesus who gives the Spirit (Acts 2:33).

Marcus Dods - The woman stands on the brink of the greatest possibilities, but is utterly unconscious of them.

Ironside comments on the gift of God - What a wonderful revelation concerning the gift of God! Do you know the gift of God? Do you know that salvation is the gift of God? Do you know that eternal life is a gift? Do you know that God is not a merchantman seeking to bargain with people, but God is a Giver, offering everything freely? It is so hard for people to understand that, and so they have devised all kinds of ways and means whereby they hope to earn salvation and thus to win, at last, a place in God’s heaven. My dear friend, the God of this Bible is too rich to sell His salvation to anyone, and if He put a price on it in any degree comparable with its value, you and I are altogether too poor to purchase it. But, thank God, it is a gift. “If thou knewest the gift of God.” (Ironside's Notes)

Boa - She was ignorant of three important facts… She was ignorant of Who He was. She was ignorant of what He had to offer. She was ignorant of how she could receive it. When you stop to think about it, that’s the Gospel. Who is this Jesus? What does He have to offer? How do you receive Him? That’s the essence of the Good News. (John - Chapter 4)

Gift (1431)(dorea from didomi = to give) refers to a free gift and emphasizes the gratuitous character of the gift. Dorea carries the sense of a bountiful, free, honorable gift which is bestowed freely, without price or compensation. The Gift primarily refers to the Living Water or salvation, but in a real sense Jesus is the ultimate Gift from the Father. This gift however was not free to God for He first had to pay in sinless blood before He could say "Finished! (Tetelestai!) Paid in Full!" (Jn 19:30-note) This Gift cannot be earned by depraved sinners, but only received from God by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9-note, Jn 1:11-13).

What can we say but "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!" (2Cor 9:15)

Cole - One of the most common spiritual errors is that we get into heaven by our good works. Every religion, except for biblical Christianity, operates on the principle that you must work for or earn salvation… In total contrast, the Bible states (Ro 4:4-5-note): “Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favor, but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.”… Actually, it’s often good, religious people who exclude themselves from receiving this gift. They’re proud of their accomplishments and want some reward for what they’ve done. They don’t want to associate with people like this sinful woman or admit that they need living water from Jesus just as much as she did. But the gift is freely offered to notorious sinners and to self-righteous religious sinners. Both equally need the gift. (Living Water for a Thirsty Woman)

Alford who sees the gift primarily as the living water explains "The water is, in this first part of the discourse, the subject, and serves as a point of connection, whereby the woman’s thoughts may be elevated, and her desire aroused. The process of the discourse in this particular is similar to that in Acts 14:17." (Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary)

Alford on Who it is - These pregnant words form the second step in our Lord’s declaration. He who speaks with thee is no ordinary Jew, nor any ordinary man, but One who can give thee the gift of God; One sent from God, and God Himself.

Asked (154) (aiteo) means to ask for something with a sense of urgency and even to the point of demanding. In contrast to the related verb erotao, aiteô more frequently suggests attitude of a suppliant, the petition of one who is lesser in position than the one to whom the petition is made. For example, aiteo is used of men in asking something from God = Mt 7:7 Jas 1:5 1Jn 3:22; a child from a parent = Mt 7:9-10; a subject from a king = Acts 12:20; priests and people from Pilate = Lk 23:23; beggar from a passer by = Acts 3:2.

Spurgeon - What does a thirsty man do to get rid of his thirst? He drinks. Perhaps there is no better representation of faith in all the Word of God than that. To drink is to receive-to take in the refreshing draught-and that is all. A man’s face may be unwashed, but yet he can drink; he may be a very unworthy character, but yet a draught of water will remove his thirst. Drinking is such a remarkably easy thing, it is even more simple than eating.” (Good News for Thirsty Souls)


Living water - Jesus uses this phrase again in John 7:38 to refer to the Holy Spirit flowing into, through and out from (so to speak) the believer. In the context of the arid water starved nation of Israel (and Samaria) the expression "living water" conveys the highly desirable water flowing fresh from springs (as it "bubbled" from the ground it seemed alive!), in contrast to the still, stagnant water in cisterns (cp this sense in Ge 26:19 = "flowing water" where Hebrew for "flowing" = chay = alive, life, live and Lxx = zao = living; Lev 14:6 = "running water" - also chay and zao.) In the Wilderness Wanderings, God (Jesus) had provided living water from a rock (which Paul says was a "spiritual rock" = Christ - 1Cor 10:3) as in Nu 20:8-11.

A Jew familiar with the OT Scriptures would have (or should have) understood that the Lord Himself was the spiritual fountain or source for in Jeremiah, Jehovah lamented the poor "water" choices of His people declaring “My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain (Lxx = pege = same word for "well" Jesus used in Jn 4:14) of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water." (Jer 2:13)

Again in Jeremiah we read words Jews should have been familiar with - "O LORD, the hope of Israel, All who forsake You will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be written down, Because they have forsaken the fountain (Lxx = pege = same word for "well" Jesus used in Jn 4:14) of living water, even the LORD." (Jeremiah 17:13)

Spurgeon - The Samaritan woman "had caught the Lord’s meaning so far as the perpetuity of the water was concerned, but still she did not know what the living water was. It was all a riddle to her, as I am afraid it is to some of you. There is many a Doctor of Divinity who cannot explain what the living water is."… Oh, that I might be like a well of living waters in my speech at all times; and that you, my beloved brethren and sisters in Christ, whenever you are dealing with others, might be a well of living waters to every thirsty soul! Speak of Jesus wherever you go; talk of Jesus whenever you can. You have been shut up, and Christ has been in you; now be opened to give forth to others what he has given you… Hence he will always be contented. He who has grace in his heart is a happy man; he grows more and more satisfied with the grace as it wells up increasingly in living power in his character and life. Oh, if you have never received that living water, may God give it to you just now! You shall never regret receiving it; but you shall rejoice over it evermore.

Jesus was clearly speaking metaphorically, accusing the Jews in Jeremiah of forsaking and foregoing the "spiritual water" that gives true life in lieu of putrid "religious water" that only brings death to one's soul! So here in John 4 Jesus is stating to the woman that He Himself is the Source of this life giving water, but she misunderstood Him to be speaking of fresh, flowing, physical water as from a spring or fountain (Gk = pege).

As an aside some Rabbinic teachings associated the provision of water in the OT passages with the coming of the Messiah: “As the former redeemer made a well to rise [cf. Nu. 21:17–18], so will the latter Redeemer bring up water” (Eccl. Rab. 1:9).

Henry Alford on living water - Designedly used in a double sense by our Lord, that the woman may lay hold of the material meaning, and by it be awakened to the higher (spiritual) one. The words bring with them, and in our Lord’s inner meaning involved, the performance of all such prophetic promises as Ezekiel 36:25; Zechariah 13:1 (cp Jer 2:13); but, as regarded the woman, the ordinary sense was that intended for her to fasten on, which she does accordingly. On the question, how this living water could be now given, before Jesus was glorified, see John 7:38-39-note. (Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary)

Augustine - Water issuing from a spring is what is commonly called living water. Water collected from rain in pools and cisterns is not called living water. It may have originally flowed from a spring; yet if it collects in some place and is left to stand without any connection to its source, separated, as it were, from the channel of the spring. It is not called “living water.” Water is designated as “living” when it is taken as it flows. This is the kind of water that was in that fountain. Tractates on the Gospel of John 15.12.21

A T Robertson - Running water like a spring or well supplied by springs. This Jacob‘s Well was filled by water from rains percolating through, a sort of cistern, good water, but not equal to a real spring which was always preferred (Genesis 26:19; Leviticus 14:5; Numbers 19:17). Jesus, of course, is symbolically referring to himself as the Living Water though he does not say it in plain words as he does about the Living Bread (John 6:51). The phrase “the fountain of life” occurs in Proverbs 13:14. Jesus supplies the water of life (John 7:39). Cf. Revelation 7:17; Revelation 22:1. (Robertson's Word Pictures)

Steven Cole on living water - By “living water,” Jesus is referring to the eternal life that the Holy Spirit gives… “Living water” is the same thing as the “new birth,” but just a different analogy.


Scriptural Chain for Living (running, flowing) water - The Hebrew phrase in each of the following passages is literally "'al-mayim hayyim" = "water living" and in the Lxx the word for "living" (Hebrew = hayyim) is translated with the verb zoa = to live. And so we see this beautiful phrase scattered from Genesis to Revelation. First use = Ge 26:19 = "a well of living water" (Young's Literal) > Lev 14:5-6, 50, 51, 52, Lev 15:13 = "running water" > Nu 19:17 = "flowing water" > Song 4:15 = "fresh water" > Jer 2:13 "living waters" > Jer 17:13 = "living water" > Zec 14:8 = "living waters" > Jn 4:10 = "living water" > Jn 4:14 = " well of water springing up to eternal life" > Jn 7:38 "living water" > Rev 7:17 = "springs of the water of life" > Rev 21:6 = "the spring of the water of life without cost" > Rev 22:1 = " river of the water of life" > Rev 22:17 = "take the water of life without cost."

Living (alive) (2198)(zao) refers literally to natural physical life, but in this passage Jesus uses zao to refer to supernatural, spiritual life (cf Jn 11:25, 26). In Ro 1:17 zao refers to the new birth.

God is not a dead god like the idols but is the "Living Father" (Jn 6:57) and the "Living God" (Mt 16:16, Acts 14:15, Ro 9:26, 2Cor 3:3, 6:16, 1Ti 3:15, 4:10, Heb 3:12, Heb 9:13, 10:31, 12:22, Rev 7:2). Jesus is referred to as the "living One" (Luke 24:5, Rev 1:18) and the "Living Bread" (Jn 6:51) which all must "eat" (clearly speaks of belief as explained in Jn 11:25. Eating probably speaks of entering an unbreakable union of eternal covenant with Jesus - pictured by married couples feeding each other cake) of Him will live (Jn 6:51, 57). His Word is more life giving than physical bread (Mt 4:4, Lk 4:4). Living water (Jn 4:10,11) in context describes Jesus' message of salvation, the Gospel. In the future we will drink from "springs of the water of life" (NIV = "Living water" = Rev 7:17) Jesus is our living Stone (1Pe 2:4 and because of our union with him, we are "living stones" 1Pe 2:5). In John 7:38 living water refers to the Holy Spirit. Believers are to present themselves to God as a living… sacrifice (Ro 12:1) which is our act of worship. God's word is described as living (living oracles = Acts 7:38, living and active = Heb 4:12; living and abiding Word of God = 1Pe 1:23). "Living creatures" describes those around the Throne of God (Rev 4:9, 5:14, Rev 15:7).


LIVING WATER - The Bible frequently pictures spiritual life as water.

• Jesus is the source of this living water

“Jesus answered her [the Samaritan woman], ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.’ ” John 4:10

• This living water reaches our deepest needs. Jesus said:

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” John 7:38

• This living water is like a spring which never dries up:

“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.” Revelation 7:17

• This living water produces a fruitful life:

“On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22:2

(The Gospel of John made easy)


Ray Pritchard on the Holy Spirit as Living Water - Water is one of the most common symbols for the Holy Spirit in the Bible. Since water is indispensable for human life, the phrase “living water” is an apt metaphor for the Spirit’s work in the human heart. Zechariah 14:8 looks forward to a time after the return of Christ when the climate and geography of earth will be changed as Jesus Christ sets up His kingdom on the earth. There will be a great earthquake, splitting the Mount of Olives in two (Zech 4:4), followed by enormous changes in the normal pattern of daytime and nighttime (Zech 4:6–7). On that day “living water” will flow from Jerusalem. This is no doubt both literal and symbolic. There will be a literal river, but the river will symbolize the free flow of the Spirit throughout the entire earth. Jesus used this word picture in John 4 during His conversation with the woman at the well. Although she came seeking literal water, He promised to give her “living water” which would satisfy her thirst forever (John 4:10). That “living water” becomes a “spring of water” within the heart of the believer, welling up to eternal life. As the water rises rapidly in the well, it comes to the surface and flows over the edges. What a wonderful picture of how the Spirit works in the human heart. Those who come to Christ find “living water” that satisfies the deep thirst within. Through the indwelling Holy Spirit, that “living water” produces a new life that eventually bubbles to the surface and becomes evident to others. Living water won’t become stagnant. It always produces a dynamic, abundant, exciting new life. Water is also necessary for cleansing. Ephesians 5:26 pictures this aspect of the Spirit’s work when it mentions the “washing with water through the Word.” The Word is the cleansing agent; the Spirit is the cleansing power. As the Spirit applies the Word to our lives, we are cleansed from the stain of sin and the filth of the world. The Holy Spirit flows through believers like a mighty river of living water, bringing new life and providing deep, inner cleansing. As we yield ourselves to Christ, the abundance of His life (the “living water”) flows out to those around us. River of God, I live in a dry, barren land. All around me men and women die of thirst. Make me a channel of living water to those who desperately need it. Amen. (Names of the Holy Spirit)


F B Meyer - Our Daily Homily - If thou knewest the gift of God…. - There are wonderful contrasts here! He who gives rest sits weary on the well-head; He who was the Jews’ Messiah utters his deepest lessons to a woman of Samaria; He that gives living water asks for water from the dark, cool depths that lay beneath them.
God’s best things are gifts. — Light, air, natural beauty, elasticity of the spirits, the sense of vigorous health, human love, and, above all, his only begotten and beloved Son. Among all other gifts is there one to be compared to this? The living spring of eternal life, which Jesus opens up in our hearts, and which so greatly differs from the pit of outward ordinance, is an altogether unspeakable bestowment. Nothing can purchase it. If a man would give all the substance of his house for it, it would be utterly contemned. It must be received as a gift, or not at all.
God’s gifts must be asked for. — “Thou wouldest have asked, and He would have given.” This is the law of Heaven. Prayer is a necessary link between the Divine hand that gives and the human heart that receives. We have not, because we ask not. There is nothing in our Lord’s words of the dreamy and languid pietism which refuses to ask because it will not dictate to the perfect wisdom of God.
If we had fuller knowledge we should pray more. — “If thou knewest … thou wouldest ask.” If thou knewest who He is that stands beside thee, in thy hours of private prayer — if thou knewest all the possibilities of the life of prayer — if thou knewest what gains would accrue to thee on thy knees, thou wouldest give thyself to prayer, as though it were the main object of thy life.


Anne Ortlund - Fix your eyes on Jesus and not on the church - Have you noticed how when you "talk church" to Christians you don't know, you've immediately built a wall between you?
But if you "talk Jesus" -- if you fix your eyes on Him -- you're united?
The Samaritan woman who talked to Jesus at the well (John 4) fell into the "talk church" trap. Jesus was talking about "living water" -- Himself -- and she didn't know what to make of it except that it must be related to organized religion.
So she brashly waded in: "Our [Samaritan] fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
See how when we "talk church," we put labels on each other and we're immediately divisive?
"You Jews, we Samaritans."
"You're charismatic, we're not."
"You're Lutheran, we're Baptist."
"You worship on Sunday, we worship on Saturday."
"You raise your hands, we never do that."
"You're independent, we're denominational."
"You're formal, we're informal."
"You ordain women, we don't allow that."
And on and on.
No church is good enough to be on a level with Jesus. No "denominational distinctives" are important enough to overshadow Him. No cause, no creed, no baptism, no party, no ministry, no customs, no rules, no doctrine, no doctrine teacher, no movement, no movement leader, no local pastor, no vision, no specialty -- no aspect of Christianity, whatever it is and however good it may be, can be on a par with the firstness of Jesus.
Ray was asked one Sunday to preach at a church in San Diego, no far from where we live. He and Nels and I got the brilliant idea of going for the weekend and incorporating the preaching into a little mini-vacation.
Settled in our motel on Saturday, we bought a newspaper and discovered that Sunday afternoon the San Diego Symphony Orchestra was going to be giving a free concert on the campus of the University of California at San Diego. It sounded great.
So after Ray preached, we dropped by a cafeteria for some lunch and then headed for the campus. We hauled a blanket out of the trunk of the car, and spread it on the grass in the sunshine -- along with thousands of others.
Some had obviously come, as we had, from church; the guys peeled off their coats and ties, and the gals kicked off their heels …
Some had just as obviously come from the beach; they had on their cut-offs and thongs or their bikinis and bare feet … Some got out their beer bottles …
But when the orchestra began playing, nobody thought any more about how each other looked or what each other did. We were all concentrating beyond ourselves; we were all caught up in the same beauty. For Christian unity in the midst of Christian variety, fix your eyes on Jesus.
Prayer: O Lord, we Christians tend to get confused in the midst of diversity! Like Peter on the Mountain of Transfiguration, we start to build three tabernacles, or more. Father, to make my heart broad, keep my vision narrowed. Help me to look up and see no one except Jesus (Matthew 17:8).
In His matchless name, amen. (Fix Your Eyes On Jesus - Chapter 41 - Anne Ortlund) (Index)

John 4:11 She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?: legei (PAI) auto [e gune], Kurie, houte antlema echeis (PAI) kai to phrear estin (PAI) bathu; pothen oun echeis (PAI) to hudor to zon? (PAP):

  • John 3:4; 1 Corinthians 2:14

She said to Him - She replies as if Jesus had been speaking of natural water, failing to understand He was speaking of supernatural water! Paul well described this woman (and all who fail to comprehend Jesus' words of life) writing "a natural man (or Samaritan woman!) does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him (her); and he (she) cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." (1Cor 2:14-note)

Sir (also in Jn 4:15, 19) (2962)(kurios) normally means the supreme one, one who is sovereign and possesses absolute authority, absolute ownership and uncontested power. Indeed, her addressing Jesus as kurios with the sense of "sir" would soon turn to addressing Him as kurios in the sense of Lord and Master! Note that her first mode of address was "you being a Jew" (Jn 4:9) suggesting that her use of kurios reflects an increasing degree of respect. See similar uses of kurios in Jn 4:49; 5:7; 6:34; 9:36; 12:21.

The NET Bible notes on this use of kurios agree that "there is probably a gradual transition from one ("sir") to the other ("Lord") as the woman's respect for Jesus grows throughout the conversation." (Jn 4:11, 15, 19)

You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep - Jacob's well is today reported to be over 75 feet deep and it likely was even deeper 2000 years ago! How would Jesus draw this water?

NET = "Sir," the woman said to him, "you have no bucket and the well is deep; where then do you get this living water?" - Comment - The NET is somewhat more accurate than NAS because the Greek text has the noun antlema (used only here in the NT) and referred to "a bucket for drawing water." (BDAG)

Barclay on no bucket to draw with - When people were on a journey they usually carried with them a bucket made from the skin of some beast so that they could draw water from any well at which they halted. No doubt Jesus' band had such a bucket; and no doubt the disciples had taken it into the town with them. The woman saw that Jesus did not possess such a traveler's leather bucket, and so again she says in effect: "You need not talk about drawing water and giving it to me. I can see for myself that you have not a bucket with which to draw water." H. B. Tristram begins his book entitled Eastern Customs in Bible Lands with this personal experience. He was sitting beside a well in Palestine beside the scene of the inn which figures in the story of the Good Samaritan. "An Arab woman came down from the hills above to draw water; she unfolded and opened her goatskin bottle, and then untwined a cord, and attached it to a very small leather bucket which she carried, by means of which she slowly filled her skin, fastened its mouth, placed it on her shoulder, and bucket in hand, climbed the mountain. I thought of the woman of Samaria at Jacob's well, when an Arab footman, toiling up the steep path from Jericho, heated and wearied with his journey, turned aside to the well, knelt and peered wistfully down. But he had 'nothing to draw with and the well was deep.' He lapped a little moisture from the water spilt by the woman who had preceded him, and, disappointed, passed on." It was just what the woman was thinking of when she said that Jesus had nothing to draw water from the depths of the well. (William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)

Living water - It is of note that in the Samaritans' own liturgy it is said of the Taheb (means "Restorer" and is the Samaritan "equivalent" of the Messiah) that "water shall flow from His buckets." (Nu 24:7) Here is a quote from Wikipedia "Many Samaritans believe that at the end of days, the dead will be resurrected by Taheb, a restorer (possibly a prophet, some say Moses)." (Samaritans - Wikipedia) Here is another related quote…

“Moreover, for the Samaritans, Moses is the Taheb (“Restorer”), the expected messiah-like eschatological figure who will bring about a golden age and will pray for the guilty and save them. The Samaritans alone give prominence to the title “man of God” for Moses…Moses is a second God, God’s vice-regent upon earth (Memar Marqah 1.2), whose very name includes the title “Elokim” (God) (Memar Marqah 5.4), so that he who believes in him believes in his LORD (Memar Marqah 4.7).” (p. 397, footnote 47, Feldman, Josephus’s interpretation of the Bible) (Taheb – The Samaritan Messiah - Think Hebrew)

This historical information (if indeed accurate), helps us gain some understanding of the Samaritan woman's later statement "he woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet." (Jn 4:19). The Samaritans considered "Taheb" as a Moses-like figure (based on their reading of Dt 18:15, 18 - keeping in mind that they believed only in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible - See Samaritan Pentateuch). And in light of the fact that the Samaritans were looking for a "Messiah like" figure in the Taheb, it is interesting that she asks Jesus if He is the Messiah -- "The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” Jesus *said to her, “I who speak to you am [He]." (John 4:25-26)

Well (5421)(phrear) describes a relatively deep pit or shaft in the ground. It is in essence a hole in the ground and could be a cistern (a place to store runoff water, especially rain water), something made by man. Or it could be a well. In Revelation, John uses it to describe an abyss or "bottomless pit" (Rev 9:1-2), probably representative of a prison.

BDAG - (1) a construction consisting of a vertical shaft, covered with a stone, for water supply, a well (2) an opening that leads to the depths of the nether world, pit, shaft.

Friberg - (1) as a place for storing runoff water cistern, reservoir, a sealed-in well, distinguished from pege, (spring, fountain) (Jn 4.11); (2) as the opening into a deep hole in the ground shaft, pit (Analytical Lexicon)

The wordplay pegephrear sets the stage for the saying in Jn 4:13-14, and the shift to phrear in Jn 4:11 is made to focus on the depth of the shaft, which requires use of a bucket. In contrast, Jesus supplies water that ‘wells up’ or jumps up as it were. The former speaks of human effort, the latter speaks of divine provision. When the woman spoke of the well she used the word phrear (Jn 4:11-12), but Jesus use the word pege (Jn 4:14).

Phrear - 7x in 5v -Usage: pit(4), well(3).

Luke 14:5 And He said to them, "Which one of you will have a son or an ox fall into a well, and will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?"

John 4:11 She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?

12 "You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?"

Revelation 9:1 Then the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star from heaven which had fallen to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit was given to him. 2 He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke went up out of the pit, like the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the pit.

Phrear - 48v in the Septuagint - Ge 14:10; 16:14; 21:14, 19, 25, 30-32; 22:19; 24:11, 20, 62; 25:11; 26:15, 18-20, 25, 32-33; 28:10; 29:2-3, 8, 10; 46:1, 5; Ex 2:15; Nu 21:16-18, 22; 1Sa 19:22; 2Sa 3:26; Ps 55:23; 69:15; Pr 5:15; 23:27; Song 4:15; Isa 15:8; Jer 14:3; 41:7, 9; Amos 5:5

Ge 14:10 Now the valley of Siddim was full of tar pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and they fell into them. But those who survived fled to the hill country.

Where then do You get that living water? - The woman knew there was no free flowing spring or stream in Shechem would qualify as living water.

The NET Note states that "The woman's reply is an example of the "misunderstood statement," a technique appearing frequently in John's Gospel. Jesus was speaking of living water which was spiritual (ultimately a Johannine figure for the Holy Spirit, see Jn 7:38–39), but the woman thought he was speaking of flowing (fresh drinkable) water. Her misunderstanding gave Jesus the opportunity to explain what he really meant."

Where (4159) (pothen) is an adverb used to introduce questions especially questions that begin with "Where?" or "How?".

Pothen - An "interrogative adverb; (1) of place from where? from what place? (Jn 3.8); (2) of origin from what source? born of what parentage? (Jn 7.27); (3) of reason how is it that? in what way? (Mk 12.37); in a question expressing surprise why? (Luke 1.43)" (Friberg)

Pothen is used 13 times in John and points to the source or origin of things. Thus pothen is a key term in John's Gospel. Most persons in John did not know from where Jesus came, as the woman here did not know from whence Jesus received this living water.

BDAG summarized - 1. interrogative expression of extension from a local source, from what place? from where? (Mt 15:33, Mk 8:4) 2. interrogative expression of derivation from a source, from what source? brought about or given by whom? born of whom? (Mt 13:27, 54, 56) 3. interrogative expression of cause or reason, how, why, in what way? (Mk 12:37)

Thayer - Pothen is an adverb (from Homer down), whence; a. of place, from what place: Mt. 15:33; Luke 13:25,27; John 3:8; 6:5; 8:14; 9:29,30; 19:9; Rev. 7:13; from what condition, Rev. 2:5. b. of origin or source, equivalent to from what author or giver: Mt. 13:(27),54,56; 21:25; Mark 6:2; Luke 20:7; John 2:9; James 4:1; from what parentage, John 7:27f (cf. 6:42), see Meyer at the passage, c. of cause, how is it that? how can it be that? Mark 8:4; 12:37; Luke 1:43; John 1:48; 4:11.

Pothen - 29x in 26v - NAS translates - how(3), what(1), what… source(1), what sense(1), where(22).

Matthew 13:27 "The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, 'Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?'

54 He came to His hometown and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?

56 "And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?"

Matthew 15:33 The disciples said to Him, "Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?"

Matthew 21:25 "The baptism of John was from what source, from heaven or from men?" And they began reasoning among themselves, saying, "If we say, 'From heaven,' He will say to us, 'Then why did you not believe him?'

Mark 6:2 When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands?

Mark 8:4 And His disciples answered Him, "Where will anyone be able to find enough bread here in this desolate place to satisfy these people?"

Mark 12:37 "David himself calls Him 'Lord'; so in what sense is He his son?" And the large crowd enjoyed listening to Him.

Luke 1:43 "And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord would come to me?

Luke 13:25 "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, 'Lord, open up to us!' then He will answer and say to you, 'I do not know where you are from.'

27 and He will say, 'I tell you, I do not know where you are from; DEPART FROM ME, ALL YOU EVILDOERS.'

Luke 20:7 So they answered that they did not know where it came from.

John 1:48 Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."

John 2:9 When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom,

John 3:8 "The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit."

John 4:11 She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?

John 6:5 Therefore Jesus, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these may eat?"

John 7:27 "However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from."

28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.

John 8:14 Jesus answered and said to them, "Even if I testify about Myself, My testimony is true, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.

John 9:29 "We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from."

30 The man answered and said to them, "Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes.

John 19:9 and he (Pilate) entered into the Praetorium again and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer.

James 4:1 What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?

Revelation 2:5 'Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place-- unless you repent.

Revelation 7:13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, "These who are clothed in the white robes, who are they, and where have they come from?"

Pothen - 27x in 27v in the Septuagint - Gen 16:8; 29:4; 42:7; Num 11:13; Josh 9:8; Jdg 13:6; 17:9; 19:17; 1 Sam 25:11; 30:13; 2 Sam 1:3, 13; 2Kgs 5:25; 6:27; 20:14; Job 1:7; 2:2; 28:12, 20; 38:24; Ps 121:1; Pr 22:27; Isa 39:3; 41:24, 28; Jer 15:18; 36:17; 48:9; Jonah 1:8; Nah 3:7;

Barclay on living water - Just as Nicodemus did, the woman took the words of Jesus quite literally when she was meant to understand them spiritually. It was living water of which Jesus spoke. In ordinary language to the Jew living water was running water. It was the water of the running stream in contradistinction to the water of the stagnant cistern or pool. This well, as we have seen, was not a springing well, but a well into which the water percolated from the subsoil. To the Jew, running, living water from the stream was always better. So the woman is saying: "You are offering me pure stream water. Where are you going to get it?"… But the Jews had another way of using the word water. They often spoke of the thirst of the soul for God; and they often spoke of quenching that thirst with living water. Jesus was not using terms that were bound to be misunderstood; he was using terms that anyone with spiritual insight should have understood… Sometimes the Rabbis identified this living water with the wisdom of the Law; sometimes they identified it with nothing less than the Holy Spirit of God. All Jewish pictorial religious language was full of this idea of the thirst of the soul which could be quenched only with the living water which was the gift of God. But the woman chose to understand this with an almost crude literalism. She was blind because she would not see. (William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)

Jesus' use of living water should not surprise us, nor should it have surprised a Biblically literate Jew, for the OT repeatedly refers to living water in non-literal, spiritual sense. Of course, the Samaritan woman would not have been familiar with these passages for her "Bible" was only the Pentateuch and did not include the Psalms or the Prophets, the latter books being an especially rich source of teaching on living (spiritual) water…

In Isaiah we read the promise to the chosen people "Therefore you will joyously draw water From the springs of salvation." (Isa 12:3). Most commentaries on the "living water" at the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7:37-39 have noted that this passage was daily on the lips of the jubilant Jewish crowd as they carried water from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple.

The Psalmist spoke of spiritual (soul thirst "As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God." (Ps 42:1).

Again in Isaiah Jehovah promised "I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants." (Isa 44:3)

The summons was "Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost." (Isaiah 55:1)

Jehovah's complaint through His mouthpiece Jeremiah was "My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13, cp Jer 17:13).

Ezekiel describes a future time when "water was flowing from under the threshold of the house (the Millennial Temple) toward the east." (Ezekiel 47:1-12).

The prophet Zechariah also gives us a description of the living waters in the Millennium - "And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter." (Zechariah 14:8).

Gary Burge explains living water - As with Nicodemus, earthly questioners cannot understand heavenly things. They stumble over misunderstandings, which lead to humorous, ironic double meanings. As a resident of Shechem, the woman knows the location of every water source. But here Jesus says something unexpected: He is able to provide “living water” (Jn 4:10b). “Living water” refers to water that flows as in a spring, river, or stream, that is, moving water. Other water stood still, and one could find it in a well, cistern, or pond (A cistern is an underground reservoir or cavity generally dug into the soft limestone and lined with plaster. Rainwater is directed into the cistern’s small opening and a lid keeps out light thereby keeping algae from growing. Villages throughout Palestine still use cistern systems today. Some were small for a household. Masada’s 12 cisterns on its western slope held 1.5 million cubic feet of water.). Living water was precious and valued and, according to rabbinic law, was the only water that could be used in ritual washings to make pure unclean worshipers. (A good example of this is found at Qumran where numerous ritual baths are fed by the requisite amounts of “running water” caught from the mountain valley just west of the site.) Everyone knew that Shechem had no rivers or streams. Even Jacob had to dig a well in order to water his flocks here (Jn 4:12). How could a Jewish outsider, someone who barely knew the terrain, offer water that no one else had found? There is no living water in Shechem. (The NIV Application Commentary)

Henrietta Mears summarizes Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well - Jesus brought an immoral woman face to face with Himself and showed her what kind of life she was leading. Christ did not condemn her or pass judgment upon her, but He did reveal to her that He is the only One who could meet her needs. Christ revealed the wonderful truth to her that He is the water of life. He alone can satisfy. The wells of the world cannot provide satisfaction. This woman’s loose view of marriage is not unlike the view of marriage held by many people today. People try every kind of well—money, power, clothes, food, possessions, drugs—but they still are unhappy and unsatisfied. Did the woman believe Christ? What did she do? Her actions spoke louder than any words could have. She went back to town, and by her simple testimony brought a whole town to Christ (see John 4:1–42). This story gives us Christ’s estimate of a single soul. (Discover Jesus in the Pages of the Bible: Amazing Facts About the Greatest Person Who Ever Lived).


Oswald Chambers - Inferior misgivings about Jesus - Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with. John 4:11. - ‘I am impressed with the wonder of what God says, but He cannot expect me really to live it out in the details of my life!’ When it comes to facing Jesus Christ on His own merits, our attitude is one of pious superiority—‘Your ideals are high and they impress us, but in touch with actual things, it cannot be done.’ Each of us thinks about Jesus in this way in some particular. These misgivings about Jesus start from the amused questions put to us when we talk of our transactions with God—‘Where are you going to get your money from? How are you going to be looked after?’ Or they start from ourselves when we tell Jesus that our case is a bit too hard for Him. ‘It is all very well to say “Trust in the Lord,” but a man must live, and Jesus has nothing to draw with—nothing whereby to give us these things.’ Beware of the pious fraud in you which says—‘I have no misgivings about Jesus, only about myself.’ None of us ever had misgivings about ourselves; we know exactly what we cannot do, but we do have misgivings about Jesus. We are rather hurt at the idea that He can do what we cannot. My misgivings arise from the fact that I ransack my own person to find out how He will be able to do it. My questions spring from the depths of my own inferiority. If I detect these misgivings in myself, let me bring them to the light and confess them—‘Lord, I have had misgivings about Thee, I have not believed in Thy wits apart from my own; I have not believed in Thine Almighty power apart from my finite understanding of it.’ (My utmost for his highest)

Oswald Chambers - The impoverished ministry of Jesus - From whence then hast Thou that living water? John 4:11. - “The well is deep”—and a great deal deeper than the Samaritan woman knew! Think of the depths of human nature, of human life, think of the depths of the ‘wells’ in you. Have you been impoverishing the ministry of Jesus so that He cannot do anything? Suppose there is a well of fathomless trouble inside your heart, and Jesus comes and says—“Let not your heart be troubled”; and you shrug your shoulders and say—‘But, Lord, the well is deep; You cannot draw up quietness and comfort out of it.’ No, He will bring them down from above. Jesus does not bring anything up from the wells of human nature. We limit the Holy One of Israel by remembering what we have allowed Him to do for us in the past, and by saying—‘Of course I cannot expect God to do this thing.’ The thing that taxes almightiness is the very thing which as disciples of Jesus we ought to believe He will do. We impoverish His ministry the moment we forget He is Almighty; the impoverishment is in us, not in Him. We will come to Jesus as Comforter or as Sympathizer, but we will not come to Him as Almighty. The reason some of us are such poor specimens of Christianity is because we have no Almighty Christ. We have Christian attributes and experiences, but there is no abandonment to Jesus Christ. When we get into difficult circumstances, we impoverish His ministry by saying—‘Of course He cannot do any thing,’ and we struggle down to the deeps and try to get the water for ourselves. Beware of the satisfaction of sinking back and saying—‘It can’t be done’; you know it can be done if you look to Jesus. The well of your incompleteness is deep, but make the effort and look away to Him. (My utmost for his highest)

John 4:12 "You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?": me su meizon ei (PAI) tou patros hemon Iakob, os edoken (AAI) hemin to phrear kai autos ex autou epien (AAI) kai oi huioi autou kai tathremmata autou?:

  • Jn 8:53; Isaiah 53:2,3; Matthew 12:42; Hebrews 3:3

You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You - Is she asking a sincere question or is she expressing a degree of cynicism? Unfortunately we cannot discern the "tone" of her voice! Why did she ask this question is the question? While we cannot be dogmatic, the context suggests that she presumed Jesus could tap into a better source of living (running) water, one that was not so deep that it could only be reached by letting down a bucket. So the Jesus well would be better than a Jacob well and thus Jesus would be greater than Jacob. She seems to imply that Jesus was either a truth teller or a deceiver, although the Greek order of the question expects a negative answer. The woman clearly did not understand that the living water Jesus referred to was spiritual water and that He indeed was greater than Jacob! (cp similar question by the Jews to Jesus in Jn 8:53).

Gospel for Asia uses this concept as a means of spreading the Gospel (the real "living water") among unreached people groups in India (many of these groups also be veritable outcasts from their society, like the Samaritan woman!) by digging wells referred to as "Jesus Wells."

As Vincent says "The interrogative particle indicates that a negative answer is expected: Surely thou art not." But notice that Jesus does not even answer this question, refusing to be side tracked from His main objective which was to give her the "Good News" of "living water." I fear that too often when I am sharing the Gospel with others, I (unlike Jesus) allow myself to be side-tracked from the main objective of clearly and simply speaking the Gospel!

Brian Bell - "Jesus doesn’t always answer our questions… but our needs!… She tries to mildly put Jesus in His place w/her “who-do-you-think-you are” question. Jesus patiently appeals to her immediate desire for physical water. In doing so He appeals to her greater, though less obvious, spiritual thirst."

Barclay on our father Jacob - She goes on to speak of "our father Jacob." The Jews would, of course, have strenuously denied that Jacob was the father of the Samaritans, but it was part of the Samaritan claim that they were descended from Joseph, the son of Jacob, by way of Ephraim and Manasseh. The woman is in effect saying to Jesus: "This is blasphemous talk. Jacob, our great ancestor, when he came here, had to dig this well to gain water for his family and his cattle. Are you claiming to be able to get fresh, running stream water? If you are, you are claiming to be wiser and more powerful than Jacob. That is a claim that no one has any right to make." (William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)

Alford on greater than Jacob - for his (Jacob’s) gift was of water which cannot satisfy: but the water which He should give has living power, and becomes an eternal fountain within. This however, ‘that He was greater than Jacob,’ lies only in the background: the water is the subject, as before. (Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary)

Ironside on greater that our father Jacob - Jesus might have said to her, “Greater than Jacob! My poor woman, did you ever read in the first book of Moses the story of your father Jacob, as you call him. How one night he had sent his family and flocks across the ford, and he was bowed in prayer alone when there came to him a mysterious personality with whom Jacob struggled all night. Then the unknown one said, ‘Let me go, for the day breaketh,’ and Jacob said, ‘I will not let thee go, except thou bless me’“ (Ge 32:26). Jesus might have said to the woman, “Do you remember that story? Well, I am the One who met Jacob there in the darkness and overcame his stubborn will.” But I am afraid that if He had told her that, she would have shrunk from Him, thinking that He was insane. Instead of alarming her, He sought to reach her heart and conscience. (Ironside's Notes)

In John 8, the "believing" Jews (see the "fruit" of their belief - compare Jn 8:30 and John 8:42-44, especially Jn 8:45, 59) asked Jesus “Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?” Later, in this same scene Jesus declared to them "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am" (John 8:58), which would mean that He was also "before" (greater than) Jacob, because Abraham was the first great patriarch, and preceded Jacob. Elsewhere, John clearly differentiates Jesus' ministry from Moses (Jn 1:17) and also states that Jesus was greater than Jonah and Solomon (Mt 12:41-42)

Jacob… who gave us the well - Arnold notes that her statement "is sheer tradition. The book of Genesis does not record Jacob ever digging a well, much less drinking from it himself or giving it to any of his sons. Mention is merely made of Jacob’s buying and giving Shechem to Joseph (Ge 33:19; 48:22), in the vicinity of which Jacob’s well is located." (Ibid)

The well - Jesus used a different Greek word (pege) for well in Jn 4:14, which means as discussed above refers to a spring or fountain. On the other hand, the woman was talking about what is in essence a hole in the ground. What a striking contrast - a hole in the ground (temporal, natural, sustaining physical life) versus a bubbling spring (eternal, supernatural, giving spiritual life)! Jesus way is ALWAYS THE BEST!

Well (5421)(phrear) see above. It speak so a man-made cistern.

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again: apekrithe (API) Iesous kai eipen (AAI) aute, pas o pinon (PAP) ektou hudatos toutou dipsesei (FAI) palin;:

  • Jn 6:27,49; Isaiah 65:13,14; Luke 16:24


Everyone (whoever in Jn 4:14) - We can go for weeks without food, but only a few days without water. Everyone needs to periodic rehydration in order to sustain physical life. But on the spiritual plane Jesus is alluding to the vanity of all earthly things to satisfy our spiritual need.

Drinks (present tense = continually drinks) of this (physical) water. Note the striking contrast between "two drinks" - here Jesus describes continually drinking from the world's water, which can never fully satisfy, versus just one drink (aorist tense in Jn 4:14) of the water Jesus offers, which satisfies and gives life for all eternity! What a contrast! Have you partaken of the "drink that refreshes" today and forever? In

Alan Carr comments on Jesus' use of different tenses for drinks, explaining that "This is the nature of salvation. One can drink of the pleasures of this world, like this poor woman, and will still have to try to find more ways to satisfy themselves. However, one trip to the fountain of living water will forever satisfy the thirsty soul. Coming to Jesus will forever meet the needs of life and of the heart." (Sermon)

This water - This refers to physical water. Robertson is probably correct writing that "Jesus pointed to the well (“this water”)."

Thirst (1372) (dipsao from dipsa = thirst) is used to refer to literal thirst (Mt 25:35, 37, 42, 44; Jn 19:28) and figurative thirst (Mt 5:6, Jn 4:13, 14, 6:35, 7:37, Rev 7:16, 21:6, 22:17). And so we see that dipsao is used to describe both physical thirst and the deep spiritual longing that is in every heart.

Max Alderman on will thirst again - This illustrates thirst from a Biblical position. The world also has its own ways of expressing its thirst. When I was a teenager, the words of a popular rock song went something like this, “I can’t get no satisfaction …” This group was expressing not only its thirst, but also its inability to quench that thirst. The world thirsts after so many different things. There are those thirsting after money, sex, fame, popularity and a host of many other things yet not having that thirst quenched. Satan offers many "oases" in this dry thirsty world (Ed comment: I would prefer to refer to them as mirages or, if water, pools of poison water at best!). But the thirst always returns. Though Jesus was referring to drinking water when He said, “Whosoever drinks of this water shall thirst again,” the results are the same when man attempts to satisfy his thirst apart from the Lord’s living water.

Alford on thirst again - The words apply to every similar quenching of desire by earthly means: the desire springs up again—is not satisfied, but only postponed. The manna was as insufficient to satisfy hunger,—as this water, thirst, see Jn 6:49; 6:58. It is only the living water which can satisfy.

Brian Bell on thirst again - Love, success, wealth, fame but a few of the countless springs at which men had stooped to drink. Imagine a handful of stickers that read “will thirst again!” and placing them everywhere you went. On the TV set; on bars & pubs; on bottles of alcohol; on a joint; on a prostitute; on the desk of the business exec who made it to the top… “you will thirst again!” It seems like we all have to “test the waters” ourselves though. No, we can’t learn from Adam & Eve who tried the forbidden fruit that didn’t satisfy… it made them thirst again! Samson saw a woman in Timnah (“go get her for me”); took a Gaza strip harlot; then Delilah… and still died a thirsty man. We don’t know if Solomon ever quenched his thirst? (700 wives; 300 concubines) (Ed comment: See Eccl 1:2-3)

Barclay - Jesus went on to make a still more startling statement that he could give her living water which would banish her thirst for ever. The point is that again the woman took this literally; but in point of fact it was nothing less than a Messianic claim. In the prophetic vision of the age to come, the age of God, the promise was: "They shall not hunger or thirst" (Isa49:10). It was with God and none other that the living fountain of the all-quenching water existed. "With thee is the fountain of life," the Psalmist had cried (Ps 36:9). It is from the very throne of God that the river of life is to flow (Rev 22:1). It is the Lord who is the fountain of living water (Jer 17:13). It is in the Messianic age that the parched ground is to become a pool and the thirsty ground springs of water (Isa 35:7). When Jesus spoke about bringing to men the water which quenches thirst for ever, he was doing no less than stating that he was the Anointed One of God who was to bring in the new age. Again the woman did not see it. (William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)

Rich Cathers - Jesus is talking about the deepest thirst man has, the thirst for eternal life, the thirst for God. Pascal said there was a “God shaped vaccum” inside every person. We try all sorts of things to fill that emptiness inside. Some try physical things – It might be sensual pleasures like sex. Others will venture into drugs or alcohol, all trying to fill that void inside. Some try spiritual things – venturing into Eastern mysticism, occult practices, or even joining a church. Some try to fill that emptiness by doing good things – joining the Peace Corps or volunteering at a homeless shelter. Others try to fill the hole by attaining greatness – getting a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, becoming the boss of a Fortune 500 company, becoming President of the United States. Jesus said that if we drink from this well, we will thirst again. None of these things will fill that emptiness that only God can fill. (John 4:1-14)

Franzmann (Bible history commentary: New Testament) on will thirst again applies this principle to every life noting that "no one can ever satisfy the thirst of the soul with what the world has to offer. Profit, pleasure, power, prestige—all leave the soul thirsty. As an extreme case, I take the words Lord Byron, a famous poet, but a worldling and a wastrel, wrote on his thirty-third birthday:

Through life’s dull road, so dim and dirty,
I have dragged to three and thirty.
What have these years left to me?
Nothing—except thirty-three.
Through life’s dull road, so dim and dirty,
I have dragged to three and thirty.
What have these years left to me?
Nothing—except thirty-three.
But Jesus with his living water
can quench the thirst of every heart:

J R Miller - There is said to be a strange plant in South America which finds a moist place and rests there for a while, sending its roots down and becoming green. When this bit of earth dries up, the plant draws itself together and is blown along by the wind until it finds another moist spot, where it repeats the same story. On and on it rolls, stopping wherever it finds a little water, and staying until the water is exhausted. But after all its journeyings, it is nothing but a bundle of dead roots and leaves. The life of this plant, tells the story of those who drink only at this world's springs. They go from spring to spring, and at the last, at the end of the longest life—they are nothing but bundles of unsatisfied desires and burning thirsts. (Devotional Hours with the Bible)

“I tried the broken cisterns, Lord,
But ah! the waters failed!
E’en as I stooped to drink they’d fled,
And mocked me as I wailed.

Now none but Christ can satisfy,
None other name for me;
There’s love, and life, and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee.”

John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.": os d' an pie (AAS) ek tou hudatos ou ego doso (FAI) auto, ou me dipsesei (FAI) eis ton aiona, alla to hudor o doso (FAI) auto genesetai (FMI) en auto pege udatos allomenou (PMI) eis zoen aionion.:

  • never - Jn 6:35,58; 11:26; 17:2,3; Isaiah 49:10; Romans 6:23; Revelation 7:16
  • Jn 7:38,39; 10:10; 14:16-19; Romans 5:21; 8:16,17; 2Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13,14; Ephesians 4:30; 1Peter 1:22; 1John 5:20


But - A strategic, even dramatic term of contrast, which radically and plainly brings out the difference between physical water and living, spiritual water. Whenever you encounter a term of contrast, it is a good practice to pause and ponder, asking what is being contrasted? What is the writer's "change of direction?"

Observe three facts that set Jesus' water apart from all other water - (1) Will never thirst again, (2) the one drinking this water has a veritable spring within and (3) it gives eternal life.

Marcus Dods - Jesus contrasts the water of the well with the water He can give; and the two characteristic qualities of His living water are suggested by this contrast. The water of Jacob’s well had two defects: it quenched thirst only for a time, and it lay outside the town a weary distance, and subject to various accidents. Christ offers water which will quench thirst lastingly, and which will be “in” the person drinking… The living water lastingly quenches human cravings and is within the man, inseparable from him, and always energetically and afresh shooting up. (The Expositor's Greek Testament)

Drinks - Here the verb is aorist tense which speaks of a one time action, and clearly in context speaks of the initial belief in Jesus which results in regeneration of our dead spirit (Eph 2:1, Titus 3:5-6). The active voice calls for the subject to make a volitional choice, a choice of their will. Drinks is a key point - you can know water is available and you can be thirsty, but if you fail to take a drink of the water, you will remain thirsty! Many people in the "reached people groups" know about Jesus and they are spiritually thirsty (as evidenced by their endless quest to try to satisfy their spiritual need) but they refuse to come and drink of Jesus!

Whoever drinks (cp parallel passages = anyone in Jn 7:37, every one in Isa 55:1) - The fountain of living water is open to whoever, regardless of race, creed, color, sordid past, etc. There is one requirement - they must "drink," which in the context of the NT means they must believe the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus, for that "water" alone can give life that endures eternally.

The impartiality of the Gospel is repeated emphasized in Scripture, Paul for example writing…

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” (Ro 10:12-13)

I will give - It is a gift. It cannot be earned or merited. Jesus is the Giver, just as He had alluded to in John 4:10.

Shall never thirst (1372) (dipsao) speaks here primarily of spiritual thirst. When one "drinks" of Jesus, His thirst is forever quenched. O yes, we can never get enough of Jesus, the Infinite One, but we will never suffer from spiritual thirst that we did when we did not believe in Jesus.

Never (ou me) - Notice this is a double negative = never, not ever, by no means! The Amplified Version has "shall never, no never, be thirsty any more." This statement alone indicates that this water is "other worldly" for worldly water (including the "trinkets and baubles" of this passing world) can never satisfy our recurring thirst! Why? Because it is "spiritual water," supernatural "water," the only "water" that can penetrate into our deepest, innermost being and therein nourish our soul! Only Jesus gives this "brand" of water! Belief in Jesus equates with "drinking" from this ever flowing, supernatural stream, the "living waters" that come bubbling out being a beautiful picture of the Holy Spirit in us! Oh my, thank God for the Spirit's inspiration of such precious word pictures which open the eye of our heart to the beauty and greatness of our salvation in Christ! Amen.

Notice also that the phrase never thirst conveys to some degree an element of eternal security for the believer.

Alford on shall never thirst - shall never have to go away and be exhausted, and come again to be filled;—but shall have the spring at home, in his own breast,—so that he can “draw water with joy out of the wells of salvation” (Isaiah 12:3) at his pleasure. “

Cole on shall never thirst - He means that we who have drunk this living water are satisfied with Him in the sense that we know that He has rescued us from sin and judgment (Ro 8:1). He has given us eternal life and that nothing can separate us from His love (Ro 8:31-39). We’re His children, under His loving care in every situation (1John 3:1). He has given us every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3). We have His Word, which is like water to our soul. Jesus does not mean that our thirst is forever quenched in the sense that we cease to long for more and more of Him. We still hunger and thirst after righteousness (Mt. 5:6). Our hearts still pant after God like the thirsty deer for the water brook (Ps. 42:1). We still pray (Ps. 63:1), “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” John Calvin sums up both sides of this (Calvin’s Commentaries [Baker], p. 151): “Although we thirst throughout our whole life, yet it is certain that we have not received the Holy Spirit for a single day, or for any short period, but as a perennial fountain, which will never fail us.” (Living Water for a Thirsty Woman)

Ironside - No one has ever yet found satisfaction in the things of the world. They cannot satisfy a heart that has been created for eternity.

Ray Stedman - How do we keep from thirsting? We have water piped in, available to us all the time, so that when we feel even a little thirsty we take a drink of it. This is what Jesus means here. The water he would give would be available constantly so that when one was thirsty one could drink immediately and so would never get terribly thirsty.

Marvin Vincent on the strong negative shall never thirst - It must not be understood, however, that the reception of the divine life by a believer does away with all further desire. On the contrary, it generates new desires. The drinking of the living water is put as a single act, in order to indicate the divine principle of life as containing in itself alone the satisfaction of all holy desires as they successively arise; in contrast with human sources, which are soon exhausted, and drive one to other fountains. Holy desire, no matter how large or how varied it may become, will always seek and find its satisfaction in Christ, and in Christ only. Thirst is to be taken in the same sense in both clauses, as referring to that natural craving which the world cannot satisfy, and which is therefore ever restless. Drusius, a Flemish critic, cited by Trench (“Studies in the Gospels”), says: “He who drinks the water of wisdom thirsts and does not thirst. He thirsts, that is, he more and more desires that which he drinks. He does not thirst, because he is so filled that he desires no other drink.” The strong contrast of this declaration of our Lord with pagan sentiment, is illustrated by the following passage from Plato: (Vincent's Word Studies)

In John 6 Jesus again alludes to the promise of supernatural "water" that alone is able to eternally quench the deep God-given thirst of one's soul. Notice that He was addressing the crowd who was following Him seeking physical bread! It seems that Jesus is ever trying to pry our eyes from the paltry portions of this passing planet and focus them on the things above where He is seated at the right hand of God (Col 3:1-note, Col 3:2-note)

(John 6:35) Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me (come = believing in Him as the context shows) will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never (Gk = "ou me" = strong double negative conveying the thought that he will NEVER, EVER) thirst.

Shall… thirst (1372) (dipsao from dipsa = thirst) is used to refer to literal thirst (Mt 25:35, 37, 42, 44; Jn 19:28) and figurative thirst (Mt 5:6, Jn 4:13, 14, 6:35, 7:37, Rev 7:16, 21:6, 22:17). And so we see that dipsao is used to describe both physical thirst and the deep spiritual longing that is in every heart.

Vincent on will become in him - "A supply having its fountain-head in the man's own being, and not in something outside himself." While I agree in part with Vincent, the truth is that the Source is the Spirit of Christ and while He does indwell a believer, ultimately He is from outside of us.

Alford on a well springing up to eternal life - All earthly supplies have access only into those lower parts of our being where the desires work themselves out—are but local applications; but the heavenly gift of spiritual life which Jesus gives to those who believe on Him, enters into the very secret and highest place of their personal life, the source whence the desires spring out;—and, its nature being living and spiritual, it does not merely supply, but it lives and waxes onward, unto everlasting life, in duration, and also as producing and sustaining it. It should not be overlooked, that this discourse had, besides its manifold and wonderful meaning for us all, an especial moral one as applied to the woman,—who, by successive draughts at the ‘broken cistern’ of carnal lust, had been vainly seeking solace:—and this consideration serves to bind on the following verses (John 4:16ff.) to the preceding, by another link besides those noticed below.

This is an old chorus based on this story of the woman at the well in John 4…

Fill My Cup, Lord

Like the woman at the well
I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy
And then I heard my Savior speaking,
“Draw from the well
that never shall run dry.”

Fill my cup, Lord
I lift it up, Lord.

Come and quench
This thirsting of my soul

Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more.
Fill my cup, fill it up
And make me whole.

Well - Jesus used a different Greek word for well (pege) in contrast to the word the woman had used for well (phrear). The former is alive, dynamic, active, a spring, a fountain, but the latter is but a hole in the ground, more like a cistern, with water at the bottom.

Spurgeon (John 4:14 Life’s Ever-Springing Well) - Not a pool (or cistern) of water standing still and becoming stagnant, nor even a stream of water gently gliding on, but a spring perpetually forcing itself upward. You have seen springs at work, and you have noticed that they never cease, they never pause, there is never a moment in which they are quiet. Let all things else change its occupation, the spring could fairly say—“Men may come, and men may go, But I go on for ever.” In the silent night watches, when no eye gazes upon them, the springs bubble on; and when the hot and broiling sun is parching the meadows, cool and clear is the up-leaping, ever-flowing springs. Springs are in perpetual motion, and no known power could stop them. If for mischief heaps of rubbish are piled upon them, they somehow percolate the mass, upheave and find a vent for themselves at last, for their force must win a course for itself. So brethren, when God puts the new life into a man, it is a very active and vigorous principle… The divine life is such a thing of force, that surrounding circumstances do not operate upon it as you might have supposed. In frosty weather, when we have seen the rivers frozen across, we have been told by peasants, that the old spring-head on the side of the hill was flowing on the same as ever. Decorated with icicles up to the edge of the old spout, still the stream gushes out. So a Christian may be placed in the worst imaginable circumstances; he may live in a family so ungodly, that the name of Christ is only used to blaspheme with; he may scarcely ever meet with a Christian associate, he may even be denied the means of grace, the Bible itself may be taken from him, but if the inner life be there, such is its native heat, that you cannot freeze it; such is its constant force and power, that it will continue flowing still. It might have been more happy with the man, it certainly would have been more for his comfort and usefulness, if he had been under other conditions, but here is joy for our heart to recollect that under the worst possible conditions, such is the energy of the grace which God implants, that it will continue to spring upward into everlasting life… I tell you the living spring cannot be stayed in its action. If you have but a cistern full of water, it will be quiet enough, but if it be a spring, it is for ever seething, bubbling, gushing. When I have watched certain springs, I have seen them apparently casting up little particles of sand and dust, making and casting down little circular mounds of earth; and so the inner life within the spirit often brings to light to our own minds our faults and our imperfections, so that nothing appears to be so active as our corruptions, and we anxiously ask, “Is it living water that is bubbling up, or is it only the sand of my sin that is so full of energy?” Beloved, grace lives and aspires; it is an up-going flame, a springing well, and not a down-going cataract. It is a great mercy when the master principle within our spirits is not a going down, but a springing up. Be thankful for upward tendencies, and say unto the Lord:—

Thou of life the fountain art—
Freely let me take of thee;
Spring thou up within my heart,
Rise to all eternity.


It is fascinating that the verb hallomai which Jesus choose for springing up is the same verb used in the OT (Septuagint = Lxx) to describe the Holy Spirit coming upon ("leaping upon" as it were) Samson (Jdg 14:6, 14:19, 15:14) and Saul (1Sa 10:10). Vine writes that in John 4:14 hallomai is used as a "figurative of the Holy Spirit in the believer." How interesting also to note that in both the Old and New Testament the Spirit is described in terms of pouring out, as one does with literal water…

Isaiah 32:15 Until (Note this important expression of time! Pentecost was a partial fulfillment but the latter part of this prophetic promise has not been fulfilled - It will be in the Millennium) the Spirit is poured out upon us from on high, and the wilderness becomes a fertile field and the fertile field is considered as a forest.

Isaiah 44:3 ‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring (Ed: Sounds like "thirsty souls" in a "thirsty land"!) and My blessing on your descendants;

Ezekiel 39:29 "And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD.

Joel 2:28-29 (Acts 2:17-18) "And it will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. "And even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Henry Morris (Defender's Study Bible - an excellent conservative resource) - This great promise of the Holy Spirit was precursively fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:14-21), though He was not given to "all flesh" at that time. The remaining parts of this prophecy (Joel 2:30-31) were not fulfilled at that time, but all will be fulfilled as Christ's return draws near. (Online Source - click notes in right margin)

Zechariah 12:10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that (a strategic terms of purpose or result) they will look on Me whom they have pierced (When the Deliverer returns, He will remove ungodliness from Israel before He establishes His Messianic Kingdom on earth - see Ro 11:25-27-note); and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.

Acts 2:33 "Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear.

Acts 10:45 And all the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out upon the Gentiles also.

Romans 5:5-note and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out (ekcheo - perfect tense which speaks of the effect as lasting, indeed lasting throughout eternity!) within our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who was given to us.

Titus 3:5-6-note He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 Whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior

Gary Burge observes that "Jesus’ image is dramatic: The woman in search of a well discovers that the Spirit could transform her life into a well that does not require reaching and dipping, but which roils and gurgles with water until it spills over its rim. (The NIV Application Commentary)

Steven Cole on will become in him a well of water spring up - In him shows that true Christianity is not primarily a matter of rituals and ceremonies, but rather an inward, personal relationship with the living God. It must be in each person’s heart. The picture of this living water springing up points to the continual source of life that the indwelling Holy Spirit supplies to believers. It’s active and always flowing. There may be times of greater and lesser flow, but it never dries up, as so many Arizona rivers do. (Living Water for a Thirsty Woman)

Spurgeon on a well of water spring up - Hence he will always be contented. He who has grace in his heart is a happy man; he grows more and more satisfied with the grace as it wells up increasingly in living power in his character and life. Oh, if you have never received that living water, may God give it to you just now! You shall never regret receiving it; but you shall rejoice over it evermore.

James Smith - On the sands at Saltcoats there is a spring of fresh water, but as it is within the tide-mark, it is frequently buried beneath the briny waves. But every time the tide recedes the spring appears as fresh and full as ever. If there is within us what our Lord offers to give us, "a well of living water springing up within," it will manifest itself. The billows of temptation or the flood-tide of sorrow and affliction may overflow for a season, but as sure as every living thing must move, so sure will it spring up again untainted by the contact. Its source is not in its surroundings, but deep in the heart of God, the Fountain of eternal life and love (John 4:14). (Handfuls on Purpose)

The world offers a stagnant cistern.
Christ offers a satisfying well.

Springing up (242) (hallomai - Vine say akin to halma = "a leap") means to leap, leap up, jump, spring, spring up, to gush. "Used of quick movement by living beings like jumping." (Brown). To leap, to dance, to rejoice much with song and dance! The two literal uses in Acts (Acts 3:8, 14:10) describe men lame from birth who jump up after being healed by one of the apostles (first Peter, then Paul). Jesus applies hallomai metaphorically to the picture of water bubbling up as from an underground spring. There are 3 uses in the NT (see below) and 8 in the Septuagint with 4 of these uses referring to the Holy Spirit "leaping upon" individuals (Samson in Jdg 14:6, 19, 15:14 and Saul in 1Sa 10:10)! The use in Isaiah 35:6 refers to the Millennium when the lame will leap! Given these "supernatural" uses of hallomai in both the OT and the NT, it is not surprising to see Jesus use it in a similar context describing the supernatural effects of "drinking" the "living waters," which in context means to believe in Him.

What a glorious picture of the Holy Spirit - inward, irrepressible, inexhaustible!

Louw-Nida Semantic Domains on Hallomai - The action of water forming bubbles and welling up from underneath the ground. (UBS)

Keri Wyatt - Even a sacred well, when compared to the living water of Jesus, becomes a mere cistern. The things we think will bring us life are dry and lifeless in comparison to the wellspring of life that we can find in relationship with Him. (Deeper into the word: reflections on 100 words from the new testament)

A derivative is ephallomai which means to leap upon and describes the demoniac in Acts 19:16!

Another great derivative of hallomai (see also below) is the verb exallomai which means to leap out (as from a house), to leap up or forth as from the place where one sat (All uses in Scripture = Isa 55:12; Joel 2:5; Mic 2:12; Nah 3:17; Hab 1:8; Acts 3:8).

Hallomai was used in classic Greek work Homer's Iliad to describe an arrow "leaping" from the string ("the bow twanged, and the string sang as the arrow flew gladly on over the heads of the throng.").

The derivative verb is agalliao which means to leap for joy. Agalliao means to experience a state of great joy and gladness, often accompanied by verbal expression and appropriate bodily movements. It speaks of great rejoicing and exultation. The idea is this person shows their excessive, ecstatic joy by leaping and skipping. It describes jubilant exultation, a quality of joy that remains unhindered and unchanged by what happens. Barclay writes that agalliao "is the joy which leaps for joy. As it has been put, it is the joy of the climber who has reached the summit, and who leaps for joy that the mountain path is conquered." (Daily Study Bible) For example it is used as a command by Jesus to "be glad" continually when you are persecuted! Clearly this response is ONLY possible as we are filled with the "well of living water springing up", the Holy Spirit! (See Mt 5:12-note),

Hallomai is in the present tense signifying that this source of "living water" will be continually leaping, jumping, gushing, bubbling up within the believer for eternal life! This is "supernatural water" and in context (and comparison with Jn 7:38-39) is a description of the Holy Spirit in believers! This water will endure eternally, echoing Jesus' promise to the disciples that the Spirit "may remain with your forever." (NLT = "Who will never leave you.") (Jn 14:16) Hallelujah! Thank God we have such a sure promise from Jesus of a permanent reservoir of spiritual strength for the long journey, a journey marked by many trials and tribulations!

Boa says springing up is "a beautiful metaphor. It’s like an artesian well that springs up and it has no boundaries, no limits. It continues to spring from the inside to the outside. This is a marvelous metaphor of the Spirit of God Who is ultimately going to be given."

Hallomai - 3x in the NT -

John 4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

Acts 3:8 (After Peter spoke to the man lame from his mother's womb) With a leap (exallomai [ex + hallomai] = to spring up to a standing position. Only here in NT but 5x in Lxx = Isa 55:12, Joel 2:5, Mic 2:12, Nah 3:17, Hab 1:8) he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping (hallomai) and praising God.

Comment on the related verb exallomai - exallomai was an ancient medical term for the socketing of the heel and ankle. The process, which would have taken corrective surgery and months of prolonged healing and learning to walk, took place in a split second. (Lloyd Ogilvie - Preacher's Commentary Series)

Acts 14:10 (Paul to the man lame since birth - Acts 14:8-9) said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he leaped up (hallomai) and began to walk (imperfect tense).

Hallomai - 8v in the Lxx - Jdg 14:6, 19; 15:14; 1Sa 10:2, 10; Job 6:10; 41:25; Isa 35:6. Here are several interesting uses in the OT…

Judges 14:6 The Spirit of the LORD came upon (Hebrew = tsalach = rushed; Lxx = Hallomai ~ "jumped upon" or "leapt upon" - same phrase in Jdg 14:19, 15:14) him (Samson) mightily, so that he tore him as one tears a young goat though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother what he had done.

1 Samuel 10:10 When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and the Spirit of God came upon (Hebrew = tsalach = rushed; Lxx = Hallomai ~ "jumped upon" or "leapt upon") him mightily, so that he prophesied among them.

Isaiah 35:6 (Read context - Isa 35:1-10 which describes the time of Messiah's earthly reign) Then (Note: Whenever you spot a "then" ask what leads up to it and what follows - it is a very important time phrase in prophetic passages, as it often marks the sequence of events in a succession) the lame will leap (Heb = dalag = to leap; Lxx = hallomai) like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah.

ESV Study Bible on Hallomai - A rare word (Gk. hallomai), which is found in the Septuagint (Greek OT) of Isa. 35:6 with reference to the Messianic Age.

Eternal life - We need to remember that eternal life does not begin when you die, but when you believe. Notice in Jn 5:24 where "has eternal life" in context is clearly referring to our present possession! How can you lose what is your eternal possession? You can't and it logically, clearly follows that you cannot lose your salvation! Thus even this phrase supports the doctrine of eternal security!

Eternal life - This exact phrase 41x in 41v in the NAS with almost 50% of uses by John in his Gospel and first epistle which helps understand his purpose in John 20:31 - Mt 19:16, 29; 25:46; Mk 10:17, 30; Luke 10:25; 18:18, 30; John 3:15-16, 36; 4:14; 5:24, 39; 6:27, 40, 47, 54, 68; 10:28; 12:50; 17:2-3; Acts 13:46, 48; Rom 2:7; 5:21; 6:22f; Gal 6:8; 1Tim 1:16; 6:12; Titus 1:2; 3:7; 1John 1:2; 2:25; 3:15; 5:11, 13, 20; Jude 1:21.

A T Robertson - "The woman's curiosity is keenly excited about this new kind of water." (That's an understatement!)

Barclay speaks of the inner longing in every man for something eternal - At the heart of all this there is the fundamental truth that in the human heart there is a thirst for something that only Jesus Christ can satisfy. Sinclair Lewis in one of his books draws a picture of a respectable little business man who kicked over the traces. He is talking to the girl he loves. She says to him: "On the surface we seem quite different; but deep down we are fundamentally the same. We are both desperately unhappy about something--and we don't know what it is." In every man there is this nameless unsatisfied longing; this vague discontent; this something lacking; this frustration.

In Sorrell and Son Warwick Deeping tens of a conversation between Sorrell and his son. The boy is talking about life. He says that it is like groping in an enchanted fog. The fog breaks for a moment; you see the moon or a girl's face; you think you want the moon or the face; and then the fog comes down again; and leaves you groping for something, you don't quite know what. Wordsworth, in the Ode on the Intimations of Immortality, speaks of,

Those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realized.

Augustine talks about "our hearts being restless till they find rest in thee."

Part of the human situation is that we cannot find happiness out of the things that the human situation has to offer. As Browning had it:

Just when we're safest, there's a sunset touch,
A fancy from a flower-bell, someone's death,

A chorus ending from Euripides--

And that's enough for fifty hopes and fears

As old and new at once as Nature's self.

To rap and knock and enter in our soul.


We are never safe from the longing for eternity which God has put in man's soul (Eccl 3:11KJV). There is a thirst which only Jesus Christ can satisfy. (Daily Study Bible)


At The Well - With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. —Isaiah 12:3 A guide in Israel was preparing to lead a tour into the desert. His instructions to the group were simple and clear: “If you do not have these two items, I will not allow you to accompany us. You must have a broad-brimmed hat and a full bottle of water. These will protect you from the sun, and from the thirst caused by wind and dryness.”

Water. It’s essential to survival. That’s why a woman came to the well in Samaria (John 4:7). She came at noon, when few people were there. She was startled when a young Jewish man asked her for something to drink. Jesus broke huge barriers with His request—she was a woman, had been married many times, and wasn’t a Jew.

Jesus offered her water far better than that from the well. He had “living water,” which only He could give (John 4:10,13-14). I believe she took that water and was spiritually cleansed, for she told everyone what she had experienced: “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (John 4:29).

Are you at the well? Is your soul thirsting for God? Do you need the cleansing and refreshment He offers? He is waiting there to satisfy you with the “living water” of salvation and the gift of everlasting life. - David C. Egner

Gracious and Almighty Savior,
Source of all that shall endure,
Quench my thirst with living water,
Living water, clear and pure.

Jesus is the only fountain who can satisfy the thirsty soul.


Spoil Yourself - Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain. —John 4:14 - The old saying “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” is true. We can’t prove the quality of something until we’ve tried it. If we find it to be superior, we become spoiled and can never again be satisfied with less.

That’s the discovery the Samaritan woman made as she talked with Jesus (Jn. 4). When He offered her “living water” (Jn 4:10), she thought He was referring to better drinking water. She was convinced that the water from the well was the best available—until she met the One who offered her spiritual water. Her testimony led many others to put their trust in Christ (Jn 4:39).

The late Malcolm Muggeridge, English journalist and broadcaster, made a similar discovery. Before meeting Christ, he had been drinking from the finest earthly fountains—fame, success, pleasure, and fulfillment. “Yet I say to you,” he once testified, “and I beg of you to believe me, multiply these tiny triumphs by a million, add them all together, and they are nothing, less than nothing, measured against one draught of that living water that is offered to the spiritually hungry.”

Are you drinking from earthly fountains and still feeling thirsty? Turn to Christ, and drink so deeply that you’ll be spoiled forever from wanting anything less. - Joanie Yoder (Spoil Yourself - Our Daily Bread)

Now none but Christ can satisfy,
None other name for me;
There's love and life and lasting joy,
Lord Jesus, found in Thee.

Only Jesus, the Living Water, can satisfy the thirsty soul.


Desert Pete - In the 1960s, the Kingston Trio released a song called “Desert Pete.” The ballad tells of a thirsty cowboy who is crossing the desert and finds a hand pump. Next to it, Desert Pete has left a note urging the reader not to drink from the jar hidden there but to use its contents to prime the pump. The cowboy resists the temptation to drink and uses the water as the note instructs. In reward for his obedience, he receives an abundance of cold, satisfying water. Had he not acted in faith, he would have had only a jar of unsatisfying, warm water to drink. This reminds me of Israel’s journey through the wilderness. When their thirst became overwhelming (Ex. 17:1-7), Moses sought the Lord. He was told to strike the rock of Horeb with his staff. Moses believed and obeyed, and water gushed from the stone. Sadly, Israel would not consistently follow Moses’ example of faith. Ultimately, “the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith” (Heb 4:2). Sometimes life can seem like an arid desert. But God can quench our spiritual thirst in the most unlikely circumstances. When by faith we believe the promises of God’s Word, we can experience rivers of living water and grace for our daily needs. - Dennis Fisher (Desert Pete - Our Daily Bread)

Drink deep of God’s goodness, His faithfulness too,
Leave no room for doubting and fear;
His Word is the water of life pure and true,
Refreshing and cooling and clear.

Only Jesus, the Living Water,
can satisfy our thirst for God.


Bibles And Buckets (Read: Isaiah 12:1-6) - With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. —Isaiah 12:3 - At a women’s retreat, one person was carrying a Bible and a bucket. It’s easy to understand why she was carrying the Bible, but why the bucket? With a twinkle in her eye, she explained, “The bucket reminds me to draw all the living water I possibly can.” Pointing to a crack in the bucket, she said, “Like me, my bucket leaks, reminding me to keep coming back to the Lord for more!”

Isaiah 12 is a hymn of praise to God, our source of living water—the water that forever quenches spiritual thirst (Jn. 4:14). The prophet said we could freely draw this water from God’s “wells of salvation” (Isa. 12:3).

Believers of all generations can testify: “The Lord is my strength … [my] song … my salvation” (Isa 12:2). F. B. Meyer wrote, “The little possessive pronoun my is the bucket with which we draw water from the depths of God. Our pilgrimage way is lined by these wells of saving help.”

Yet how often we seem oblivious to God’s desire to provide for us! Joanie Yoder (Bibles And Buckets - Our Daily Bread)

Nancy Spiegelberg has expressed her own unawareness of that lavish provision:

Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to You
with my empty cup, uncertain in asking
any small drop of refreshment.

If only I had known You better,
I’d have come running with a bucket.
© 1974 Nancy Spiegelberg


The Waggle Dance (Read: John 4:27-36) - Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. —John 4:29 - How do bees lead one another to nectar? Scientists say it’s all about the “waggle” dance. The theory was regarded with skepticism when it was first proposed by Nobel Prize-winning zoologist Karl von Frisch in the 1960s. But now, researchers in the United Kingdom have used tiny radar responders attached to worker bees to support von Frisch’s theory. They’ve confirmed that the bee orients its body toward the food source and uses the intensity of its waggle dance to signal the distance to other bees. The woman who met Jesus at Jacob’s well also found a way to lead the rest of her community to what she had found—living water (John 4:10). They were drawn to discover why this woman with five ex-husbands and a current live-in was saying, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did” (Jn 4:29).As the crowd was on its way, the One who on other occasions had called Himself “the bread of life” (Jn 6:48) was telling His disciples that His food was found in doing the will of God (Jn 4:32,34). Jesus is living water and food for our soul. Joining Him to do the will of God and finish the work He has given us to do is the ultimate source of nourishment. - Mart De Haan (The Waggle Dance - Our Daily Bread)

Keep your witness bright and clear,
So the world may see and hear
God’s salvation far and near,
That others too may know Him.

When you have found food for your soul lead others to the Source.


Barriers And Blessings (Read: John 4:27-39) Many… believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” —John 4:39

What did Jesus see when He looked at the woman at the well in John 4? He saw someone who wanted acceptance and desperately needed to know she was loved. Most of all, He saw someone who needed what only He could give—a new heart.

It was no accident that the disciples had all gone to town to buy food. Surely, they would have tried to warn Jesus not to talk to this person—a woman, a Samaritan, and someone with a bad reputation.

Not being one to follow protocol, however, Jesus used this encounter to bless her with the truth of “living water” (John 4:10). In just one conversation, He broke down barriers of old hostilities, of gender bias, of ethnic and racial divides. And this woman became the first of many Samaritans to confess that Jesus was the Messiah (Jn 4:39-42).

When she told others of her encounter with a Man who knew “all that I ever did,” she was already practicing the principle of “sowing and reaping” that Jesus was teaching His followers (John 4:35-38). Many believed that day, and later Philip, Peter, John, and others would preach in Samaria and lead many more to Christ (Acts 8:5-14; 15:3).

When we tell others of our own “encounter” with Jesus, we bless them with living water. Cindy Hess Kasper (Barriers And Blessings - Our Daily Bread)

From sinking sand He lifted me,
With tender hand He lifted me;
From shades of night to plains of light,
O praise His name, He lifted me!

A faith worth having is a faith worth sharing.


Are You Depleted? - Mexico City is sinking. According to a New York Times article, “So much water has been pumped out from the aquifer beneath [the city] to satisfy [its] 18 million residents that the ground is collapsing at a stunning rate.” The city has sunk 30 feet in the past century.

Is a similar thing happening to you spiritually? You’ve given so much to others that your energy is gone. You feel drained, depleted, as if your life is collapsing in on itself. What started as a noble venture to help thirsty people has become a journey through the desert for you.

Jesus said, “‘If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, … out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive” (Jn. 7:37-39). Jesus painted a picture of abundant supply—not a trickle but rivers of living water produced by the Holy Spirit, who is given to everyone who trusts in Christ.

What are you thirsting for? Do you need the forgiveness and peace of God? Or do you need your spiritual reservoir replenished so you can refresh the parched souls around you? Jesus invites all of us to find our deep satisfaction and inexhaustible supply in Him. -- David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread)

The Lord wants us to come to Him
To quench our thirsty soul,
For from Him flow life-giving streams
To heal and make us whole.
— Sper


F B Meyer - Spring up, O well (Nu 21:17), in our hearts. — Too long has the soil been arid and bare. A great drought has smitten it, and devoured every green thing. The flowers wither, the fruit falls. But Jesus promised to open in believing hearts a well, the waters of which should spring up unto eternal life. Not a stagnant pool, but a spring. Not a failing Cherith, but a perennial Siloam. Let that promise be realized in us here, and now; and if we have permitted rubbish to accumulate, or the weeds to grow rank, may we have grace to put them away, that there may be a clear course for the living water to flow through us and refresh the lives of all with whom we come in contact.

Spurgeon on Nu 21:17 - Spring up, O Well - Famous was the well of Beer in the wilderness, because it was the subject of a promise: “That is the well whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.” The people needed water, and it was promised by their gracious God. We need fresh supplies of heavenly grace, and in the covenant the Lord has pledged himself to give all we require. The well next became the cause of a song. Before the water gushed forth, cheerful faith prompted the people to sing; and as they saw the crystal fount bubbling up, the music grew yet more joyous. In like manner, we who believe the promise of God should rejoice in the prospect of divine revivals in our souls, and as we experience them our holy joy should overflow. Are we thirsting? Let us not murmur, but sing. Spiritual thirst is bitter to bear, but we need not bear it—the promise indicates a well; let us be of good heart, and look for it. Moreover, the well was the centre of prayer. “Spring up, O well.” What God has engaged to give, we must enquire after, or we manifest that we have neither desire nor faith. This evening let us ask that the Scripture we have read, and our devotional exercises, may not be an empty formality, but a channel of grace to our souls. O that God the Holy Spirit would work in us with all his mighty power, filling us with all the fulness of God. Lastly, the well was the object of effort. “The nobles of the people dug it with their staves.” The Lord would have us active in obtaining grace. Our staves are ill adapted for digging in the sand, but we must use them to the utmost of our ability. Prayer must not be neglected; the assembling of ourselves together must not be forsaken; ordinances must not be slighted. The Lord will give us his peace most plenteously, but not in a way of idleness. Let us, then, bestir ourselves to seek him in whom are all our fresh springs.

Place Of Water- (Read: Psalm 42:1-5) - The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. —John 4:14 - East Africa is one of the driest places on earth, which is what makes “Nairobi” such a significant name for a city in that region. The name comes from a Masai phrase meaning “cold water,” and it literally means “the place of water.”

Throughout history, the presence of water has been both life-giving and strategic. Whether a person lives in a dry climate or a rainforest, water is a nonnegotiable necessity. In a dry and barren climate, knowing where to find the place of water can mean the difference between life and death.

Our spiritual life also has certain nonnegotiable elements. That is why Jesus, upon encountering a spiritually thirsty woman at a well, declared to her that He alone could provide living water. He told her, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Like the deer mentioned in Psalm 42:1-2 who pants for water, our souls thirst for God and long for Him (Ps 63:1). We desperately need the sustenance that comes only from Jesus Christ. He is the source of living water that refreshes our hearts. By Bill Crowder (Our Daily Bread)

Rivers of living water,
Rivers of life so free,
Flowing from Thee, my Savior,
Send now the rivers through me.


Jesus is the fountain of living water.


Drink Lots Of Water - Read: John 4:7-14 - The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. —John 4:14

Visitors to Colorado often become dehydrated without realizing it. The dry climate and intense sun, especially in the mountains, can rapidly deplete the body’s fluids. That’s why many tourist maps and signs urge people to drink plenty of water.

In the Bible, water is often used as a symbol of Jesus as the Living Water who satisfies our deepest needs. So it’s quite fitting that one of Jesus’ most memorable conversations took place at a well (John 4:1-42). It began with Jesus asking a Samaritan woman for a drink of water (v.7). It quickly progressed to a discussion of something more when Jesus said to her: “Whoever drinks of this [physical] water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

As a result of this conversation, the woman and many people in the village where she lived came to believe that Jesus was “the Christ, the Savior of the world” (v.42).

We can’t live without water. Nor can we truly live now or eternally without the living water we receive from knowing Jesus Christ as our Savior. We can drink of His life-giving water today. - David C. McCasland (Our Daily Bread)


Looking For Water - Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. —John 4:14 -
The United States has spent millions of dollars looking for water on Mars. A few years ago, NASA sent twin robots, Opportunity and Spirit, to the red planet to see if water was present or had been present at one time. Why did the US do this? The scientists who are poring over data sent back from those two little Martian rovers are trying to figure out if life ever existed on Mars. And for that to have happened, there had to be water. No water, no life.

Two thousand years ago, a couple of “rovers” set out across the countryside of an Earth-outpost called Samaria looking for water. One was a woman who lived nearby. The other was a man from Galilee. They ended up meeting at a well near the village of Sychar. When they did, Jesus found the water He was looking for, and the woman found the water she didn’t know she needed (John 4:5-15).

Water is essential for both physical and spiritual life. Jesus had a surprise for the woman at the well. He offered her the Water of Life—Himself. He is the refreshing, renewing “fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Do you know anyone looking for water? Someone who is spiritually thirsty? Introduce that person to Jesus, the Living Water. It’s the greatest discovery of all time. - Dave Branon

Gracious and Almighty Savior,
Source of all that shall endure,
Quench my thirst with living water,
Living water, clear and pure.

Only Jesus, the Living Water,
can satisfy the thirsty soul.


Broken Cisterns - They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water. —Jeremiah 2:13 - Picture yourself swinging a pick, digging from dawn to dusk, chiseling a cistern out of the hard, unyielding stone. You stay on the job, working through the biting cold of winter and the blazing heat of summer. After years of strenuous effort you finally complete the task. Then you step back and wait for your cistern to fill—and it leaks. You discover—too late—that all cisterns, no matter how well constructed, will leak. The story is a picture of the futility of our attempts to find satisfaction in life. It’s an age-old problem. God told the prophet Jeremiah that His people “have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters.” Instead, they had expended their efforts on “broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

Are you driven by soul-thirst, yearning for satisfaction? There is a spring of living water, rising from hidden depths, pouring into our hearts, satisfying us even as it makes us thirst for more. Stoop down and drink. Only God can satisfy your heart. Everything else will deceive and disappoint. “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst,” said Jesus. “But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). - David H. Roper

Only Living Water can quench the driving thirst of the soul.


Drink Up! (Read: John 4:7-14) - Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. —John 4:14 - In 1981, Ida’s Pastry Shoppe in Jenison, Michigan, advertised this special offer: “Buy one of our coffee mugs for $4.79 and fill up your cup for a dime each time you visit.” But the owners never expected that 25 years later, four longtime customers would still be getting their cup of java every day—for 10 cents. You won’t find many deals like that anymore. But Jesus offered something far greater to the woman at the well (John 4:10). He said, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but … the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (vv.13-14). The woman at the well was ready to listen. None of her many personal relationships had ever filled up her emptiness. Then Jesus offered her “water” that would soothe her parched life and give her something more—the promise of eternal life. That same promise is ours as well. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). God’s grace and love come from a bottomless reservoir. Drink from the water He offers, and you will never thirst again. By Cindy Hess Kasper


Really Thirsty (Read: Psalm 42) - As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. —Psalm 42:1

Have you ever been really thirsty? Years ago, I visited my sister Kathy in Mali, West Africa. During an afternoon of seeing the sights, the temperature had risen far above 100ºF. Parched, I told her, “Hey, I need something to drink.” When Kathy told me she had forgotten to bring along a supply of filtered water, I began to get a bit desperate. The longer we drove, the more I wondered what it was like to truly die of thirst. Finally, Kathy said, “I know where we can go,” as she drove up to the gate of an embassy. Inside I beheld the most beautiful sight—a water cooler! I grabbed one of the tiny paper cups and filled it again and again. My body had been deprived too long and now required lots of liquid to reverse the effects of dehydration. The psalmist compared physical thirst with spiritual thirst: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God” (Ps. 42:1). His thirst was that of a desperate longing for God—the one and only living God (Ps 42:2).

Do you long for something this world can’t provide? This dissatisfaction is a thirst of the soul for God. Run to the One who alone can quench that thirst. “He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Ps. 107:9). By Cindy Hess Kasper (Our Daily Bread)

My hunger for the truth He satisfies;
Upon the Word, the Living Bread, I feed:
No parching thirst I know, because His grace,
A pool of endless depth, supplies my need.

Only Jesus, the Living Water, can satisfy the thirsty soul.


At The Well (Read: John 4:5-26) - With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. —Isaiah 12:3 - A guide in Israel was preparing to lead a tour into the desert. His instructions to the group were simple and clear: “If you do not have these two items, I will not allow you to accompany us. You must have a broad-brimmed hat and a full bottle of water. These will protect you from the sun, and from the thirst caused by wind and dryness.”

Water. It’s essential to survival. That’s why a woman came to the well in Samaria (John 4:7). She came at noon, when few people were there. She was startled when a young Jewish man asked her for something to drink. Jesus broke huge barriers with His request—she was a woman, had been married many times, and wasn’t a Jew.

Jesus offered her water far better than that from the well. He had “living water,” which only He could give (vv.10,13-14). I believe she took that water and was spiritually cleansed, for she told everyone what she had experienced: “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” (v.29).

Are you at the well? Is your soul thirsting for God? Do you need the cleansing and refreshment He offers? He is waiting there to satisfy you with the “living water” of salvation and the gift of everlasting life. By David C. Egner (Our Daily Bread)


Showers Of Blessing - Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? —Psalm 85:6 - When it rains, most people go inside to avoid getting wet. But I remember a summer day in Texas when people ran outside their offices and homes to stand in a downpour. Some shouted, others danced, and everyone was happy. After months of scorching temperatures and crippling drought, the sheer joy of a life-giving rain made getting soaked a pleasure.

Just as a physical drought teaches us that there is no substitute for rain, a time of spiritual dryness burns into us the truth that we cannot live without God’s renewing Spirit. Hymn writer Daniel W. Whittle expressed his longing for spiritual revival in these words: “Showers of blessing, showers of blessing we need; mercy drops round us are falling, but for the showers we plead.”

During times of spiritual dryness, when we long for a sense of the presence and power of God, we echo the psalmist’s prayer: “Will You not revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You? Show us Your mercy, Lord, and grant us Your salvation” (Psalm 85:6-7).

The spiritual refreshing we crave comes only from above. Christ alone can satisfy our spiritual thirst with the “living water” He promised to all who come to Him (John 4:14). —David C. McCasland

I reached for God's hand full of blessings,
Because I was needy and sad;
And, oh, what a shower He gave me
From all the rich treasure He had!

Only Christ the living water can quench our spiritual thirst.


The Unfailing Spring - Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink." —John 7:37 - Joseph Campbell, a well-known authority on mythology, said that his friends were living “wasteland lives.” He said they were “just baffled; they’re wandering in the wasteland without any sense of where the water is—the Source that makes everything green.”

That could also be said—and with deepest sorrow—about countless people today. They try one thing after another to quench the thirst of their souls. Many people even resort to an empty spirituality, which Campbell did so much to popularize. But as the prophet Jeremiah said, they’ve made for themselves “broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jer. 2:13).

Whatever Campbell himself may have believed, “the Source that makes everything green” is Jesus Christ our blessed Savior. He is the One who gives “living water,” which becomes “a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (Jn. 4:10,14).

If you have responded to the gospel and personally received Jesus Christ as your Savior from sin, you have that fountain springing up within your soul (Jn. 7:37-38). Now you can pray for the “baffled” people around you, and offer the “living water” to those who are thirsty and wandering in a parched, Christless wasteland. - Vernon C. Grounds

I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.

Only Jesus, the Living Water, can satisfy our thirst for God.


Big Spring - The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. —John 4:14 - In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is a remarkable natural wonder—a pool about 40 feet deep and 300 feet across that Native Americans called “Kitch-iti-kipi,” or “the big cold water.” Today it is known as The Big Spring. It is fed by underground springs that push more than 10,000 gallons of water a minute through the rocks below and up to the surface. Additionally, the water keeps a constant temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that even in the brutally cold winters of the Upper Peninsula the pool never freezes. Tourists can enjoy viewing the waters of Big Spring during any season of the year.

When Jesus encountered a woman at Jacob’s well, He talked to her about another source of water that would always satisfy. But He did not speak of a fountain, spring, river, or lake. He said, “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

Far greater than any natural spring is the refreshment we have been offered in Christ Himself. We can be satisfied, for Jesus alone, the Water of Life, can quench our thirst. Praise God, for Jesus is the source that never runs dry.

Father, it seems that I drink far too often from the waters of the world that cannot satisfy. Forgive me,
and teach me to find in Christ the water that can quench the thirst of my heart and draw me ever closer to You.

The only real thirst-quencher is Jesus— the living water.


Water For The World - He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. —John 7:38 - Although 70 percent of the world is covered by water, less than 1 percent of it is drinkable by humans. Water conservation and sanitation are crucial matters in many parts of the world, as all life depends on having sanitary water.

Jesus went out of His way to introduce a lost woman to another kind of life-giving water. He deliberately chose to go to a town in Samaria, a place where no respectable rabbi would set foot. There, He told this woman about “living water.” Those who drink of it, He said, “will never thirst.” It will “become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).

The living water is Jesus Himself (Ed: Yes, but in Jn 38 Jesus says the Living Water is His Spirit). Those who receive Him have eternal life (Jn 4:14). But the living water He provides also serves another function. Jesus said of those who receive it: “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (Jn 7:38). The living water that refreshes us is to refresh others also.

As fresh-water distribution is uneven in the world, so too is the distribution of living water. Many people do not know followers of Jesus who really care about them. It is our privilege to share Him. Christ is, after all, the living water for whom people are thirsting.

Lord Jesus, I want to live for You. May Your life and love flow through me as I go about my duties today so that others may see You through me and be drawn to the living water. Jesus is a never-ending supply of living water for a parched world. - C. P. Hia


James Smith - THE LIVING WATER. - These words of Jesus Christ about the "Living Water, spoken as they were to the sinful Samaritan, are deeper and more lasting than the well of Jacob. This well is unfathomable! This Water is everlasting!
I. The Nature of It. Our Lord calls it "Living Water" (1Jn 4:10). It is living in the sense that it is life-giving. That which Christ gives is not something to keep us alive, but something to make us alive. This water of "grace and truth," which came by Jesus Christ (Jn 4:1-17), is the water which saves and satisfies (Eph. 2:8). It is not given merely to refresh, but to regenerate. The elements of eternal light and life are in it.
II. The Source of It. "Thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee." He Himself is the disposer of this living water. Unto Him has been "given power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life" (John 17:2). "This is the pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb" (Rev. 22:1). The original source of this grace and truth is the gracious heart of the eternal God, and has been manifested to us in the life and sufferings of the Lamb.
III. The Efficacy of It.
1. IT QUENCHES THIRST. "Whosoever shall drink of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst" (Jn 4:14). They never thirst for the muddy waters of sin who have drank, and keep drinking, of the water that Christ gives. They shall never thirst for any other drink, neither in this life not in the life which is to come. "They shall not thirst for ever" (Newberry).
2. IT BECOMES A SPRING WITHIN. "The water that I shall give him shall become in him a spring of water" (Jn 4:14, Newberry). The idea here is that, when any one drinks this water, or, in other words, receives this grace and truth offered in Christ, there is opened up within that one a fountain of new life and blessedness—a secondary source, within the heart, of perennial joy and satisfaction. Every saved soul is a citadel of God, and although constantly besieged by the sins and sorrows of earth, they have an unfailing source of supply within. This fountain flows on for ever, springing up into the ocean of eternal life and praise, in the presence of God and the Lamb.
IV. The Conditions of It. "If thou knewest the gift of God, thou wouldest have asked of Him" (Jn 4:10). The conditions are knowing and asking. As soon as we know what the Christ has to give us, this knowledge should surely lead to asking and receiving. How will sinners ask of Him the greatest of all gifts, if they do not know that the gift of God is eternal life? They were blessed who knew the joyful sound of the jubilee trumpet, because they believed and received their liberty through it. If thou knewest the gift of God thou wouldest not frequent those streams which have their source in this sin-poisoned world, and which can never reach down to the thirst of a human spirit. This is eternal life to know Him. Ask and ye shall receive.
V. The Freeness of It. "Whosoever drinketh of this water" (Jn 4:14). "Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely" (Rev. 22:17). Christ Himself, as the Fountain of Living Water; is the Gift of God to a world perishing with a thirst that is unquenchable apart from Him. Whosoever, is the choice word of the infinite grace of God. It was among the first and the last words" used in connection with the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (John 3:15, 16; Rev. 22:17). Does your soul thirst for these waters as the hart panteth after the water brooks? (Ps 42:1) Then here is your hope: "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye" (Isa. 55:1). It was on the last and greatest day of the feast that Jesus stood and cried, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." (Jn 7:37) (Handfuls on Purpose)


Jewish Background on the phrase living water - The rabbis used to distinguish between the cleansing power of different types of water according to two criteria:33 “living” water ranked above “drawn” water,34 and cold above hot. According to these criteria, six grades were established (enumerated in Mishnah, Mikwaot 1:1–8, from the lowest to the highest):
1. the water in ponds, cisterns, etc., containing less than forty seahs of undrawn water
2. the water of a rain-pond before the rain-stream has stopped
3. standing water in a pool of forty seahs or more
4. the water of a well, even if it has to be enriched with drawn water to reach forty seahs
5. smitten waters when running [“smitten”: meaning salty or from a hot spring]
6. running water directly from a natural source
Category 6 was the real “heavy duty” cleansing water; it was required for the cleansing for flux (Lev 15:13: “He must immerse himself in living water”, [author’s translation]), for leprosy (Lev 14:5: cleansing by “living water”), and for the production of the cleansing water with ashes of the red heifer (Num 19:17). For ordinary immersion of men and women, water down to category 3 was acceptable; the same held true for proselyte baptisms. (In the Shadow of the Temple)


Jesus promises we will be springs of water bubbling forth - Are our lives truly like this? Do fresh springs flow out of us day after day? If not, why not? The answer is simple—there can be no outflow unless there is an intake. This is the rhythm of the Holy Spirit—intake and outflow. If there is more intake than outflow, then the intake stops; if there is more outflow than intake, then the outflow stops. The doors open inward to receive, only to open outward to give. When we come to talk about life in the Spirit, we are not to think in terms of a reservoir which has only limited resources. Life is a channel, attached to infinite resources. The more we draw on these resources, the more we have. There is no danger of exhausting one's resources. We do not have to hold back—for the more we give, the more we have. Living on the overflow is what many of us lack today. A sign could be put up over our individual and collective lives saying, "Life Limited." According to Jesus' promise, however, when the Spirit comes, life is unlimited: "From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water." Not rivulets, not trickles, not brooks, not streams—but rivers. Rivers! O God, help me to link my channel to Your infinite resources. Flow through me until I become a flowing river—no, an overflowing river. In Jesus' name. Amen. (Selwyn Hughes - Every Day with Jesus)


J Knap - With endless patience Christ admonished the dull Samaritan woman, to create in the woman, whom the Father placed upon His way, the thirst after the living waters of the Spirit of which He is the generator and distributor. She only saw the deep well that father Jacob had dug, and of which the water only laved the physical thirst for a short time. Over against this He placed the grace of the Spirit and called it a fountain of water, that is in the believer, springing up into everlasting life. First of all a fountain compared to a dug pit. The difference between the two is quite obvious. The water was obtained by the Samaritan woman from the honorable Jacob’s well with difficulty. She came with her water vessel from the city, and had to repeat daily the same trip to not be parched with thirst. What Christ offers to His disciples is infinitely greater. His grace does not stay outside of them, but enters into their innermost recesses; it becomes a fountain there from which the waters spring continually, because it is fed by the Spirit continuously. For ever a springing fountain of comfort within us. An incessant rushing vein of the water of grace in our heart. Never without Christ, because He lives by the Holy Spirit within us. Never without His peace, that He commands uninterruptedly in our soul! We bear everywhere that overflowing fountain within us, in days of joy and in days of sorrow, in the wedding apparel and in the garments of mourning. We do not dip for water with the one. We do not seek our comfort with another. All that we need, does descend from above, but it also springs from the depths of the soul, because in those barren depths the Holy Spirit is poured out,—what a life of spiritual freedom, the blessed freedom of the children of God! Furthermore, it is a well springing up into everlasting life. This means not only that it saturates us incessantly inwardly till eternity begins, but also that the grace of the Spirit works like an elevating force within us. A fountain does not flow out, but brims its waters springing upward. All other waters flow to the depth but water from a fountain rises up. This is how grace works in the heart of God’s children. Blessed, if our soul knows of that springing up, and if it feels itself to be lifted up towards the eternal light by the power of the Spirit. Blessed, if inwardly from higher impulse such a springing up may be found, an arising in faith, a lifting up in prayer, an eager reaching towards Him, who made this fountain to spring within us, a fountain, that is only sealed up by our wilful sins, but that otherwise springs up into eternal life! (The Loins Girded)


Spurgeon - Morning, October 6 Go To Evening Reading - “Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” — John 4:14 - He who is a believer in Jesus finds enough in his Lord to satisfy him now, and to content him for evermore. The believer is not the man whose days are weary for want of comfort, and whose nights are long from absence of heart-cheering thought, for he finds in religion (Christ) such a spring of joy, such a fountain of consolation, that he is content and happy. Put him in a dungeon and he will find good company; place him in a barren wilderness, he will eat the bread of heaven; drive him away from friendship, he will meet the “friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” Blast all his gourds, and he will find shadow beneath the Rock of Ages; sap the foundation of his earthly hopes, but his heart will still be fixed, trusting in the Lord. The heart is as insatiable as the grave till Jesus enters it, and then it is a cup full to overflowing. There is such a fulness in Christ that he alone is the believer’s all. The true saint is so completely satisfied with the all-sufficiency of Jesus that he thirsts no more—except it be for deeper draughts of the living fountain. In that sweet manner, believer, shalt thou thirst; it shall not be a thirst of pain, but of loving desire; thou wilt find it a sweet thing to be panting after a fuller enjoyment of Jesus’ love. One in days of yore said, “I have been sinking my bucket down into the well full often, but now my thirst after Jesus has become so insatiable, that I long to put the well itself to my lips, and drink right on.” Is this the feeling of thine heart now, believer? Dost thou feel that all thy desires are satisfied in Jesus, and that thou hast no want now, but to know more of him, and to have closer fellowship with him? Then come continually to the fountain, and take of the water of life freely. Jesus will never think you take too much, but will ever welcome you, saying, “Drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.” (Morning and Evening)


Quenching the Eternal Thirst - Many years ago, a crew of Peruvian sailors were heading up the Amazon River when they happened upon an unusual sight. A Spanish ship was anchored off the coast and all the sailors were stretched out weakly on the deck of the ship. As the Peruvians drew closer, they saw that the Spaniards were in terrible physical condition. They looked as if they were one step away from death, their lips parched and swollen. Here, in this ship, these Spanish sailors were literally dying of thirst. "Can we help you," shouted the Peruvians? The Spaniards cried out, "Water! Water! We need fresh water!" The Peruvian sailors, surprised at this request, told them to lower their buckets and help themselves. The Spaniards, fearing they'd been misunderstood cried back, "No, no we need FRESH water!" Again the Peruvians told the Spanish sailors to lower their buckets. Finally, the sailors did as the Peruvian sailors commanded and when their buckets were brought up to the surface, they discovered fresh water. Little did they know that they were at the mouth of the fresh-water Amazon River. All they had to do was take a drink and their thirst would be quenched. Jesus Christ offers Living Water to quench man's spiritual thirst. Man doesn't have to do anything but drink this Water. Sadly, many will die thirsty, because they do not know about Jesus Christ, the Living Water. It is our job to tell them. (James Scudder - Living Water)

Oswald Chambers - Springs of benignity - The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water. John 4:14. The picture Our Lord gives is not that of a channel but a fountain. ‘Be being filled,’ and the sweetness of vital relationship to Jesus will flow out of the saint as lavishly as it is imparted to him. If you find your life is not flowing out as it should, you are to blame; something has obstructed the flow. Keep right at the Source, and—you will be blessed personally? No, out of you will flow rivers of living water, irrepressible life. We are to be centres through which Jesus can flow as rivers of living water in blessing to everyone. Some of us are like the Dead Sea, always taking in but never giving out, because we are not rightly related to the Lord Jesus. As surely as we receive from Him, He will pour out through us, and in the measure He is not pouring out, there is a defect in our relationship to Him. Is there anything between you and Jesus Christ? Is there anything that hinders your belief in Him? If not, Jesus says, out of you will flow rivers of living water. It is not a blessing passed on, not an experience stated, but a river continually flowing. Keep at the Source, guard well your belief in Jesus Christ and your relationship to Him, and there will be a steady flow for other lives, no dryness and no deadness. Is it not too extravagant to say that out of an individual believer, rivers are going to flow? ‘I do not see the rivers,’ you say. Never look at yourself from the standpoint of—‘Who am I?’ In the history of God’s work you will nearly always find that it has started from the obscure, the unknown, the ignored, but the steadfastly true to Jesus Christ.


James Denney - The decay of the outward man in the godless is a melancholy spectacle, for it is the decay of everything; in the Christian it does not touch that life which is hid with Christ in God, and which is in the soul itself a well of water springing up to life eternal.


J R Miller on a well of water springing up to eternal life -Thus every Christian becomes a fountain of blessing in this world. As from the great Fountain, Christ, all the streams of life flow—so from the little fountain in the heart of each believer, flows a stream of the water of life to give drink to those who are thirsty. Blessed ourselves, our thirst quenched, our life stratified—we become in turn centers or sources of blessing to others. Are we indeed wells of water at which others quench their thirst? Does our life make us a blessing to all who come near to us? Do we give forth kindness, patience thoughtfulness, gentleness and all helpful influences? Or do we pour out bitterness, impatience, angry words, ill temper, selfishness, and thoughtlessness? (Devotional Hours with the Bible)


Springs of Living Water - In 1896, Sherwood Eddy enthusiastically began his ministry as a missionary to India. But after just a year he was ready to quit—his energy depleted, his spirit broken.

One morning after a sleepless night he begged God for help. Then he remembered the promise of Jesus to the woman at Jacob’s well, “The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (Jn. 4:14).

Eddy wrote, “I resolved to stop drawing on myself so constantly and begin instead drawing on God.” From then on he daily set aside time for prayerfully drinking from the well that never runs dry—the inexhaustible, soul-renewing wellspring of God’s grace. “Since that day,” Eddy said, “I have known not one hour of darkness and despair. The eternal God has been my refuge, and underneath me I have felt the everlasting arms.” (Dt 33:27)

No matter how much energy or talent we have, sooner or later we discover that the well of our personal resources is running dry. But when Christ, the source of living water, indwells our lives, we aren’t locked into the drudgery of drawing on our human abilities. Jesus becomes our unfailing source of spiritual renewal. We find that when we have nothing left, He is the well that never runs dry. By Vernon C. Grounds (Our Daily Bread)

You may have to lose everything
to find that God is everything you need.


Woodrow Kroll - The importance of water can never be underestimated. Sixty percent of a lean, adult body is composed of water. A person can fast from food for 40 days or longer, but the human body can go only for about 7 days without water even under ideal circumstances. It's no wonder, then, that the Israelites were getting desperate. The wilderness was far from ideal. It was a hot, desert-like stretch of land dotted with huge rocks but little vegetation. Without water they would quickly perish. So God instructed Moses to strike a rock, and out of this flinty hardness flowed sufficient water to meet the needs of all the people and their livestock. The Bible writers later saw this rock as a symbol of Christ (1Cor 10:4). In the midst of a sin-parched life, Christ offers a well of living water that never runs dry, no matter how often we drink from it. Have you received Christ as your Savior? If not, trust Jesus today and you will never thirst again. If you want eternal water, come to Jesus who said, "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).


Beth Moore - Christ's encounter with the woman at the well introduces us to some realities of life we desperately need to remember:
1) Our insatiable need or craving for too much of anything is symptomatic of unmet needs or “empty places.”
2) Salvation does not equal satisfaction. You can be genuinely saved and still be unsatisfied.
3) Satisfaction comes only when every empty place is filled with the fullness of Christ.
4) While salvation comes to us as a gift from God, we find satisfaction in Him as we deliberately surrender all parts of our lives to Him. (Breaking free day by day: a year of walking in liberty)


Spurgeon - The seasons change and thou changest, but thy Lord abides evermore the same, and the streams of his love are as deep, as broad and as full as ever. The heats of business cares and scorching trials make me need the cooling influences of the river of His grace; I may go at once and drink to the full from the inexhaustible fountain, for in summer and in winter it pours forth its flood… The tracks of ancient rivers have been found all dry and desolate, but the streams which take their rise on the mountains of divine sovereignty and infinite love shall ever be full to the brim.

Spurgeon - “I in them.” — John 17:23 If such be the union which subsists between our souls and the person of our Lord, how deep and broad is the channel of our communion! This is no narrow pipe through which a thread-like stream may wind its way, it is a channel of amazing depth and breadth, along whose glorious length a ponderous volume of living water may roll its floods.


C I Scofield offers an interesting spiritualized interpretation of these events, but the reader needs to be a good Berean - "The heart of this lesson is to be found in the contrast between Jacob’s well and the upspringing fountain. Jacob’s well is the Law, the old order of laborious ceremonial, the old legal system of personal merit by obedience. The water in the well was good, but the well was deep (Jn 4:11). Every drop gained from that well cost effort. Bucket by bucket, a little at a time—that was the law of the Well at its very best. But Jacob’s well had come to stand for mere traditionalism in religion, for mere intolerance of new light. “Art thou greater than our father Jacob?” was the woman’s answer to him who was speaking of the upspringing water. As a matter of fact, Jacob was the father of the Samaritans in no real sense. The Samaritans of our Lord’s time were a hybrid race, outside of real Judaism. Jesus was careful to set that right: “Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.” Spiritually, the Samaritans drawing water from Jacob’s well were precisely in the position of modern Gentile believers who put themselves under the Law; conceiving that as Christians, the Law is their rule of life. That is the very error against which the Spirit by Paul wrote the Epistle to the Galatians. The upspringing fountain is, first of all, the Holy Spirit Himself, indwelling the believer; and then the nine-fold “fruit of the spirit,” which is “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” And that fruit of the Spirit is Christian character. Under the Law, character is sought to be formed by habits of obedience to a rule of life—thou shalt, and thou shalt not. The formula is: “Our choices make our habits, and our habits form our characters.” That is drawing water out of Jacob’s well. It is that “other” Gospel, of which the Apostle speaks in Galatians. It is Samaritanism—that is, neither pure Judaism nor pure Christianity. Christianity is not a kind of pump in Jacob’s well, helping us to draw life out of the law; it is the Spirit of life, and the life of the Spirit implanted in, and outflowing from the believer himself. That is the least understood fact of Christianity to-day, after nineteen hundred years of preaching. “The water that I shall give shall be in him a fountain of water, springing up into everlasting life.” The contrast between Jacob’s well and the upspringing fountain is just the contrast between Romans 7 and the Romans 8. In the former, a believer is in an agony of effort to do something under the law of merit, the goodness of God. In the later, a believer is, by the indwelling Spirit, made “free from the law,” and so finds that the righteous ness of the law is fulfilled (not “by,” but) “in” him as he walks after the Spirit. It is very remarkable that the Epistle to the Ephesians, after stating in the first three chapters the exalted position into which the believer is brought by grace through faith, in turning to the walk that should characterize one in such a position, gives as the test of the walk, and as that which gives it its distinctive character, not the law, but the new position: “Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called”; “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth.” The transformation of Christian experience from the average one of painfully drawing blessings out of Jacob’s well, to the triumphant one of bearing the fruit of the Spirit, is effected by two acts, one of faith, one of the will. The act of faith is just to believe that the Spirit does dwell within (1Cor 6:19). The act of the will is just to live in yieldedness to the Spirit. (Things New and Old: Old and New Testament Studies)

John 4:15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw": legei (PAI) pros auton e gune, Kurie, dos (AAM) moi touto to hudor, hina me dipso (PAS) mede dierchomai (PMS) enthade antlein. (PMN):

  • Jn 6:26,34; 17:2,3; Ps 4:6; Romans 6:23; 8:5; 1Corinthians 2:14; 1John 5:20; James 4:3

The woman - Her response was logical, but not spiritual.

As Spurgeon says "Up till now she has not imbibed a single idea from Christ. The Lord has spoken to her in parables, but she has not seen through the thin veil, so she has missed his meaning. Now he fires another shot, and deals with her in another fashion. It was needful to arouse this woman to a sense of her sinfulness. It was no use putting on plasters where there was no knowledge of a sore, and no use attempting to fill the void where there was no feeling of emptiness. So first she must be brought low, she must be made to see herself in the glass of truth, and then she would begin to understand her need of salvation. Oftentimes, in seeking to bless people, the kindest way is not to build them up, but to pull them down; not to begin to encourage their hopes, but to let them see how hopeless their case is apart from sovereign grace."

Robertson - "The woman‘s curiosity is keenly excited about this new kind of water."

Give me this water - She was like Nicodemus (cp Jn 3:4), for like him she could not grasp that Jesus was using literal descriptions in a figurative, spiritual sense. She still thought He was referring to literal, physical water. So while she didn’t understand what Jesus meant but she wanted what He had. She wanted to avoid the work of coming to the well every day. “Jesus, if you want to make my life easier and more convenient, then I’m all for it. Give it to me!”

Alford comments that her "request seems to be made still under a misunderstanding, but not so great an one as at first sight appears. She apprehends this water as something not requiring an bucket to draw it;—as something whose power shall never fail;—which shall quench thirst for ever." ( Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary)

So (hina) - This Greek conjunction (hina) often (as here) is used as a term of purpose or result - (as do phrases like - so that, in order that, that, as a result). When a term of purpose or result is encountered, it behooves the reader to always ask at least - "What is purpose (or result or effect)?" There are two results in this case. What are they?

I will not be thirsty - This is an interesting statement. While she still is thinking literal water, in some sense she believes that the literal water Jesus gives is a perpetual thirst quencher. She is very close to the deeper, spiritual truth of which Jesus spoke!

Thirsty (1372) (dipsao from dipsa = thirst) is used to refer to literal thirst (Mt 25:35, 37, 42, 44; Jn 19:28) and figurative thirst (Mt 5:6, Jn 4:13, 14, 6:35, 7:37, Rev 7:16, 21:6, 22:17). And so we see that dipsao is used to describe both physical thirst and the deep spiritual longing that is in every heart.

Come all the way here to draw - Undoubtedly her daily trek to draw water was a weary task, and here she sees the possibility of being set free from this daily grind. How wonderful it would soon be for this woman when she finally grasped the truth of Jesus' words and was set free (See discussion of Greek verb "set free" - eleutheroo) from the yoke of bondage to sin and Satan!

Before the cleansing water must come the confessing daughter! No conversion without conviction!

Bomkamp - We do great disservice to people if we try to lead them to pray a sinner’s prayer to receive Christ as Savior before we have explained to them what sin is and made them realize that they are presently under condemnation before the Lord because of breaking His laws. People have to flee to the Savior with a sense of fear of impending judgment for their sins in order to realize and receive the salvation that has been provided for them. (John 4:1-25)

Thirsty - This metaphor speaks of spiritual thirst. In the OT we see the related phrase "my soul thirsts" for God. Spiritual thirst is a picture of one of our greatest physical needs, our need for water. A man can live many days without food, but cannot survive long without water (cp Amos 8:13). By analogy our greatest spiritual need is for Jesus and the new birth His Spirit brings about when we place our faith in Him. Remember the Sprite commercial which had the tagline Obey your Thirst? Jesus is saying "Obey your spiritual thirst. Come and by faith drink of Me." No matter how much we drink from the wells of worldly wealth, fame and pleasure, we will only become more thirsty.

The only real thirst quencher of our parched soul is Jesus
The Giver of living water.

So the devout sons of Korah cry "My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." (Ps 42:2). And David cries "O God, You are my God (Rich Mullins uses this phrase in his song "Sometimes by Step"); I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water." (Ps 63:1)

Commenting on Ps 63:1, Spurgeon adds that "Thirst is an insatiable longing after that which is one of the most essential supports of life. There is no reasoning with it, no forgetting it, no despising it, no overcoming it by stoical indifference. Thirst will be heard; the whole man must yield to its power; even thus is it with that divine desire which the grace of God creates in regenerate men; only (Jesus) Himself can satisfy the craving of a soul really aroused by the Holy Spirit." Commenting on "a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water" he adds that "A weary place and a weary heart make the presence of (Jesus) the more desirable: if there be nothing below and nothing within to cheer, it is a thousand mercies that we may look up and find all we need (Heb 12:2, 1Pe 1:13, Col 3:1-2). How frequently have believers traversed in their experience this dry and thirsty land, where spiritual joys are things forgotten! And how truly can they testify that the only true necessity of that country is the near presence of their (beloved Jesus)! The absence of outward comforts can be borne with serenity when we walk with God; and the most lavish multiplication of them avails not when He withdraws. Only after God, therefore, let us pant. Let all desires be gathered into one. Seeking first the kingdom of God--all else shall be added unto us (Mt 6:33). (Ref)

Nothing can quench our spiritual thirst but Jesus (Thus He says "come to ME!") The dirty wells of this world can never satisfy the deepest need of our soul, which can only be filled by Jesus. As Augustine said "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

Are you thirsty? The words of Horatius Bonar's great hymn beautifully testify of Christ the Smitten Rock and the Living Waters that flowed forth His pierced side on Calvary's Cross…

“Behold, I freely give
The living water; thirsty one
Stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in Him.

Or listen to Michael Card's Version of
"I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say"


Are You Thirsty? - How simply our Lord presented the gospel. He often depicted the sinner's response to the salvation He offered in terms of everyday activities like eating, drinking, and receiving.

During a gospel meeting in a town in Ohio, a man was greatly convicted of his need of the Lord Jesus. He concealed his feelings even from his wife, who was a lovely Christian. One evening when she was away, he became so anxious about his condition that he began pacing the floor. His daughter, noticing her father's agitation, asked him what was wrong.

"Oh, nothing," he replied, trying in vain to relieve his pangs of conviction.

The youngster, with the profound simplicity of childhood, said, "Daddy, if you were thirsty wouldn't you go and get a drink of water?"

Her words startled the father. He thought of his thirsty soul, so parched and empty. Then he remembered what he had heard in the meeting—that the gospel was like a freely flowing foun­tain. He resisted no longer. That night he asked Jesus to save him.

Nothing can quench our spiritual thirst but Jesus. The wells of the world only make us more thirsty. Jesus said, "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst" (John 4:14). —P R Van Gorder (Our Daily Bread)

No matter how much we drink from the wells of wealth and achievement,
we will only become more thirsty.


Soul Satisfaction - Nineteenth-century preacher Frederick W. Robertson pastored a church in Brighton, England. Although he was a great pulpiteer, he was troubled by fear of failure. He suffered from painful physical ailments and died at 37. In his loneliest times Robertson often found some consolation in the works of Shakespeare, Wordsworth, and Coleridge. Yet even these great writers left him increasingly unsatisfied, prompting him to write, “I go into the country to feel God; dabble in chemistry to feel awe of Him; read the life of Christ, to understand, love, and adore Him.” Robertson concluded with these words: “I turn with disgust from everything to Christ.” God may spare us from Robertson’s emotional and bodily suffering. He may give us many fullfilling years so that we can say, “My cup runs over” (Ps. 23:5). But no matter what, we should increasingly identify with those beautiful words of Bernard of Clairvaux who wrote in the 12th century: (Vernon C. Grounds  Our Daily Bread)

Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts,
Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men,
From the best bliss that earth imparts
We turn unfilled to Thee again.

Yes, Christ alone is the Water that quenches our parched spirit. He alone is the Bread that nourishes our hungry heart. He alone is the Truth that answers our mind’s deepest questionings.

Real soul-satisfaction is found only in Christ.

When Jesus is our sole satisfaction,
We will have true satisfaction in our soul.


J R Miller - The first desire of our hearts should be to receive the grace of Christ, that we many no longer be dependent upon the world's pleasures and comforts. It is a weary life which those live who have no source of good, save the little springs of earth which soon dry up.


Cathy Miller has a wonderful discussion on the Jesus way of sharing the Good News entitled "Lessons at the Well" - Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman shows us how to reach our unbelieving friends. Jesus’ motive was love. - "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (Jn. 3:16). Jesus knew why He had left heaven’s glory. It was to bring the good news of God’s unfailing love to a lost and lonely world. He came to "seek and to save what was lost" (Lk. 19:10). Motivated by His abounding love, Jesus entered into the conversation with the Samaritan woman. How can I check my motives in sharing with unbelievers? Here’s a short checklist that helps me examine my heart before God: •Am I trying to "fix" this person or love her? •Do I feel "puffed up" after spending time sharing my Bible knowledge with her? •What is my goal in meeting with her? •Who will get the glory for this effort? Jesus did not allow fear to stop Him - Jesus’ perfect love overshadowed any fear that might have kept Him from sharing His life with the woman at the well. Jesus had come to do God’s will (Jn. 6:38) and was willing to lay down His life for the salvation of the world. That commitment enabled Him to love boldly and openly… Why are we afraid to share our faith with unbelievers? Three fears top the list for many: personal rejection, not knowing the answers to their questions or challenges, or sounding like an unpolished salesperson. I’ve found that most of my fears in this area have to do with how I will look to others or how they will respond to me. When I’m available to God, I can take my eyes off myself and trust Him to love others through me in ways that are meaningful and lasting. Jesus came to the Samaritan woman. Jesus could have waited for this woman to seek Him out, but instead He took the initiative to relate to her. Though the woman’s heart was far from God and her life was entangled in sin, Jesus had a love message to deliver. Nothing would stop Him. The whole story of the Bible is one of God reaching out in love to His people and drawing close to meet with them. Are we watching for opportunities to share our faith one on one? Not everyone will be interested in learning about Jesus. But for some, the opportunity to meet in this way will feel like a cup of cold water on a simmering summer day. If we’re motivated by God’s love and have put aside our fears, we’ll be more likely to take a step closer to the unbelievers God places in our path. Jesus initiated the conversation with a question. Jesus asked, "Will you give me a drink?" (Jn. 4:7). He didn’t plunge into a complicated lecture, full of criticism or condemnation. He gently drew out the Samaritan woman by asking her for a drink of water. It can take time to establish trust and begin a meaningful dialogue with another person. Good questions draw nonbelievers into conversation and relationship. When we share our faith with unbelievers, do we ask questions that cause them to think and respond? Sometimes a direct question (asked in love!) can best stimulate deeper thinking. Do our neighbors see us as bulldozers for Christ, or do we trust God to gently lead the conversations we have with unbelievers? Jesus met with the Samaritan woman one on one. It’s amazing to us, with our jam-packed daily planners, that Jesus spent one-on-one time with anyone. It doesn’t seem to be the wisest use of His time. Why didn’t He rent the local outdoor amphitheater and throw together a mass gathering? Jesus was not concerned with efficiency but with individuals. His interaction with the woman at the well was a personal act of love. He saw the opportunity, took the time, humbled Himself, and gave of Himself sacrificially to reach one person with God’s love. Will we lay down our lives—or busy schedules—for one person? How would we have to reorder our time to carve out an hour for coffee with an unbelieving friend? Creating a safe place for unbelievers to explore their questions and God’s answers takes time, prayer, and heart. Jesus saw the unique value of the woman. The first thing the Samaritan woman noticed about Jesus was that He was a Jew. "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (Jn. 4:9). But what Jesus saw was a woman whose value was not defined by race and culture or even by her immorality. This woman, who’d had five husbands and was living with another man, was surely rejected by her own culture as immoral. Lonely and hardened by sin, she had little or no value to the world. Jesus, however, was undeterred. There is no partiality with God (Ro. 2:11). He values each of us equally… Jesus spoke at the woman’s level. Jesus used language that conveyed the lifesaving gospel message in terms the woman at the well could readily understand. Watch how He tailored His words for her. The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" … Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? … " Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." 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." Jn. 4:9–15 Using word pictures instead of theological jargon or Christianeze can help people understand unfamiliar concepts. When I talked to Laura about Jesus, I used the analogy of driving on the freeway. Life is like a freeway. You’re cruising along with everyone else, changing channels on your radio, feeling frustrated with the traffic, other drivers, and the sameness of it all. Then you notice an exit sign ahead that says, "Jesus." You’re interested in taking the "Jesus" exit, but in order to do so, you need to put on your turn signal, change lanes, and move your car to the exit. Knowing that the exit is ahead isn’t enough. Taking action is necessary… Jesus lovingly confronted the woman’s need and left the results with God. Jesus didn’t water down His message to make it more acceptable. He pointed out the woman’s sin. But because He did it without malice, she could agree with Him. "I can see that you are a prophet" (Jn. 4:19). Though she did not immediately profess her faith, the Samaritan woman later recounted her encounter with Jesus in public, influencing the whole town. Many from the town believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. They urged Jesus to stay on and teach them, too. In the end, the townspeople said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world" (Jn. 4:42). How can we share the full message of the Bible, including God’s view of sin and the possibility of eternal separation from Him, without driving away our listeners? While this is an important and natural question to ask, we must remember God’s promise to draw unbelievers to Himself. Jesus said, "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" (Jn. 6:44). Our part in God’s work is to love unbelievers and hold out the truth to them. We may not see the results of our sharing. God, however, does see the continuing process in each life. He reveals Himself in His Word and through those who are willing to share His Word and His love with unbelievers. Only He knows how each individual heart responds to Him. We can trust God to do His part perfectly. (From Discipleship Journal, Issue 109 - January/February 1999)