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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

THE WATER OF LIFE

John 4:13-15 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but 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. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. (Also see John 4:16-19)

Having met the Samaritan woman near the town of Sychar at Jacob's well, Jesus ask her to give Him a drink from the water she had drawn. Recognizing Jesus as a Jew, she questioned the reason that He was associating with one of the Samaritan race. Jesus told her that if she really knew who He was, she would have asked for, and He would have given thee (her) living water. In the lesson text, Jesus expands on this teaching but does not fully reveal its true meaning.

Not understanding the things Jesus was telling her, the Samaritan woman sees that He does not have a pail or the necessary ropes to draw water from the deep well. Failing to perceive the spiritual meaning of Jesus' statement, and thinking only of its physical meaning, this prompted this question to Jesus: from whence then hast Thou that living water (Vs. 11)? In other words, how do you plan on obtaining this living water, which you promised to give unto me? Her failure to know Jesus as the promised Messiah, led her to ridicule Him even further with this mocking question: art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle (Vs. 12)? To locate, dig, and produce water from a well was evidently a rare ability possessed by few. Here we learn that Jacob, their common ancestor, was known to have this ability. Believing Jesus to be nothing but an overly bragging Jew, the Samaritan woman asked Jesus this rhetorical question: do you possess an even greater ability to find and produce water, and more especially, living water (actively running water)?

Jesus gave the Samaritan woman, as well as all who are privileged to read this inspired gospel message, the true, spiritual meaning of "living water." Although it was described in a manner that did not reveal its ultimate meaning, the lesson text gives us a description that was not completely made known until the Day of Pentecost after Jesus' ascension back into Heaven. However, with the inspired New Testament being available today, its spiritual meaning can be fully understood by all that have an open and receptive mind, and are truly searching for the hope of eternal life. Referring to the water that was available from Jacob's well, Jesus said that whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again. Water from this well will quench one's physical thirst but only for a short time. The "living water" that is only available from Christ Jesus will quench the spiritual soul of mankind forever. But 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. Christ offers eternal life to all that will stoop down and drink of the life-giving stream He offers to all mankind, which is the gospel of salvation God planned from the beginning of time. It is freely offered to all that will accept it, believe it, completely obey it, and be baptized for the remission of their sins. And, although the Samaritan woman did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, nor did she fully understand the living water that He offered, she still said to Jesus, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

Jesus, realizing that she did not know Him or understand His teaching, used this unique fact about her life in order to establish her faith in Him. With His omniscient, all-knowing power, Jesus knew this woman's marital past, and He wanted her to know her sinful state. To realize you are living in sin is necessary for true repentance, and repentance is necessary for salvation. It was God's requirement then, and it is His requirement now. Therefore, knowing what her truthful answer would be beforehand, Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly (Vss. 16-18). Whether all five husbands had died, allowing her to remarry, we are not told. The indication is that, with the liberal marital laws common to idolatrous nations that disregard God's laws, she had divorced some, or all, of them. Or she could have simply left them improperly without cause or any divorce procedures.

The woman admitted that the man she was currently living with was not her husband. And, because Ge knew this fact, the woman saith unto Him, Sir, I perceive that Thou art a prophet (Vs. 16-19). The word "prophet," as it is used here, does not mean one possessing the ability to foretell the future. Although it is evident that she did not recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah (See Vs. 25), she rightly recognized Him as one having the ability to give godly counsel - as one that can miraculously see into the heart of others as guided by God - as one that has been selected by God to be His messenger. At this point in their conversation the woman seems to have recognized her sinful ways and had a fuller understanding of the spiritual meaning of the "living water." She seemed to be at the point of desiring the water of life! And this is only available through Christ Jesus the Son of God and Savior of all repentant people of Jewish nation, the Samarian nation, and men and women of all other nations and ages. That which Jesus offers mankind is a well of water springing up into everlasting life.