Woman of Samaria
Key Verse: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
WHILE TRAVELING BACK to Galilee after the Passover feast, Jesus passed through the region of Samaria and came to the place of Jacob’s well. (John 4:4,5) Weary from his travel, he sat down at the well. The account continues, “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.” (vs. 7) This request surprised the woman, who replied, “How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.”—vs. 9
Jesus answered, “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.” (vs. 10) These words were very puzzling to the woman, who replied that in order to get water from this well, Jesus would need something to draw with, because it was deep. She then questioned how he could provide better water than what came from this well. “Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?”—vs. 12
Jesus’ reference to the “gift of God” was in fact the “living water” he had spoken of. However, this was not literal water from any well. It was the water of the Word of Truth, which would provide spiritual life to those who partook of it. This Word of Truth was that which was proceeding from his lips as he ministered. This was the “gift of God” because it was freely given to all who had a hearing ear. The Apostle Paul refers to this “living water” of the Word of Truth, stating that it is to have a sanctifying and cleansing effect on the church. He says, “That he [Christ] might sanctify and cleanse it [the church] with the washing of water by the word.”—Eph. 5:26
Jesus explained to the woman, “Whosoever drinketh of this water [from the well] shall thirst again.” (John 4:13) He additionally said, in the words of our Key Verse, that the water he gave, the water of the Word, would quench the thirst for truth of anyone desirous of knowing it. Taking the matter one step further, Jesus stated that those who would partake of this “living water” would themselves become a “well of water.” This well would not need to be drawn from. It would rather be a spring, gushing forth from us. To this, the woman excitedly replied, “Sir, give me this water.”—vs. 15
There is a twofold meaning to the thought of the church as a “well of water springing up into everlasting life.” First, as we partake of the water of the Word of Truth and allow it to do its sanctifying work, it becomes a part of our very being. So much does this occur that the Word of Truth is shown forth, “springing up,” by our words, deeds, and examples to one another and the world. This process of development, faithfully carried out, leads us to “everlasting life.” Second, the glorified church will, in Christ’s future kingdom, give this same water of truth to all mankind. All who “thirst” (see Rev. 22:17) for it, and by it are sanctified, will then be led to “everlasting life” here upon the earth.