Focus Text: John 4.10-14
Continuing Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman, “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.’ The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?’ Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this 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 4.10-14).
As we will see later, Jesus knew something of this woman although there is no evidence that He ever saw or spoke with here before this day. Rather, His knowledge of her was of a supernatural nature and was not gained through human methods. This knowledge probably included a look into her heart and her character. At any rate, Jesus threw out a statement that would pique anyone’s interest who had the slightest inclination toward the spiritual. It is interesting that Jesus always seemed to treat sinners in a manner appropriate with their interests and their character. If people had closed minds, He usually went on to greener pastures unless there was some other point to prove for His disciples or other listeners. If people had open minds and hearts, He put a tantalizing bit of truth before them that would necessitate their further investigation. In short, Jesus always put forth effort consistent with the spiritual appetites of those who were listening.
“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.” How could He be so cool under these circumstances? How could anyone walk away from such a claim without first checking it out? Just the tenseness of the moment brought on by crossing the line of demarcation between Jew and Samaritan might have been enough to distract the woman, but the statement of Jesus guaranteed her attention. Both Jews and Samaritans looked for Messiah, and His claims were consistent with what many believed concerning His coming. More would be said to rivet her attention permanently to Him, but this was enough for now. Jesus was an absolute master at “personal work” and evangelizing fertile ground.
“[W]hoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst…” There could be but one solution to this riddle! Did the woman intend to sidetrack Jesus by making His previous statement literal, or did she understand that He was speaking of spiritual water and spiritual thirst? Whatever the case, her misunderstanding was not to last long; He came back immediately with a response that would affect her for eternity; we will examine that response in the next message from this passage.
Someone has observed that we are not to judge, but we are to be fruit inspectors! Jesus knew the heart of this woman, a sinner from Samaria, and yet took every appropriate step to win her. That’s how God treats sinners!
1. What facts did the Samaritans claim gave them rights to Jacob’s well?
2. What type of water was Jesus really offering? By what authority could He offer it?
3. What did He lack being able to deliver physical water? What about spiritual water?
4. Who alone has the right to dispense “living water”? What does this say about the nature of Jesus and His being Deity?
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