The Berean Expositor
Volume 54 - Page 50 of 210
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How wonderful to realize that here was the "Word Who became flesh" and this
episode shows His genuine humanity "touched with the feeling of our infirmities"
(Hebrews 4: 15).
"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'." (4: 10).
Water was always precious in Palestine, but the Lord Jesus wanted to interest her in a
gift from God that transcended any earthly spring. Water had already figured in a
spiritual sense with Nicodemus (John 3: 5), and here it is used again to denote the gift of
the Spirit that lasts eternally. In the O.T. the God of Israel describes Himself as "the
fountain of living waters" (Jer. 2: 13), describing His satisfying grace and goodness
which they were forsaking for the earthly cisterns they had made themselves, which
could never satisfy.
Like Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman failed to understand the words of the Lord.
She evidently thought that Christ meant specially pure water. She could not imagine that
any water could be of better quality than that from Jacob's well. This well still exists
today and is over 100 feet deep. The woman was puzzled by the fact that the Lord
seemed to imply He was greater than her forefather Jacob.
"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'." (4: 13, 14).
The woman's curiosity was aroused concerning this peculiar kind of water. She
evidently missed the last three words of the Lord "unto life eternal" for she was still
thinking in terms of earthly water and the fact that this new kind of water would save her
keep coming to this well. But the Lord abruptly changes the subject in order to lead on to
a deeper unfolding of the heavenly truth already hinted at:
" `Go, call your husband and come back'. `I have no husband', she replied. Jesus said
to her, `you are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five
husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is
quite true'." (4: 16-18).
The woman was taken aback with this sudden change of subject, and all the more so
as this stranger touched on an intimate phase of her life that she did not want to discuss.
However, she was honest enough to admit that the Lord's words about her were correct
and not only this, but she was convinced that the stranger was no ordinary man. He must
be a prophet. And the conversation, having now taken a religious turn, she ventures on
one great point of difference between Samaritans and Jews, the correct place of worship.
Deut. 12: 5 emphasized the place of worship must be that of God's choice, but where
had He chosen to dwell and be worshipped?
" `Sir', the woman said, `I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on
this mountain (Gerizim), but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in
Jerusalem'." (4: 19, 20).