Summary of passage: The Samaritan woman at the well asks Jesus where to get this living water he speaks of and if he’s greater than Jacob. Jesus tells her the water he brings will give eternal life. She asks where to get this water so she won’t thirst. Jesus tells her to bring back her husband. She says she has no husband.
6a) Ordinary water never quenches thirst. The water Jesus offers will forever quench thirst and bring eternal life.
b) In Ancient Times, living water was the name for bubbling water. However, for Jews living water is associated with God (Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13). Jesus is also living water (John 6:35). Holy Spirit is living water (John 6:63; John 7:37-39).
c) Part personal Question. My answer: People thirst for ordinary water as a basic human need for survival. People also thirst for success, power, status, material things, relationships, children, other human desires, etc. Thirsting for other things outside God can take precedence. This is when it’s dangerous. Thirst for God first and the other things second. Then will you be satisfied. Prioritize. For me, only Jesus satisfies the basic needs of my soul. Everything else is meaningless without Him.
7a) She showed belief by asking for the water that won’t lead to thirst but unbelief by equating living water with ordinary water when she gave her reason for wanting the water so she wouldn’t have to make daily trips to the well. She was practical; Jesus wants spiritual. Jesus told her to go and get her husband.
b) Personal Question. My answer: Jesus humbles you to the point you have to acknowledge his precedence in your life. When we are the most blinded, he shows up to guide us on our path. For me, it has been bankruptcy and losing it all. It’s also the constant money struggles we have with my husband’s job being so tied to the economy and the sins in my life. It’s all about dependence on Him and Him alone. When that’s all in place, life is full of contentment.
Conclusions: Love the difference of the waters and the different representations in the Bible (although they are all the Triune God). Jesus takes a basic need and turns it into an essential need–one even more important that water itself–our spiritual health.
End Notes: Drinking is God’s supply and man’s need. We drink through faith and take in and choose God. It’s simple–even easier than eating.
One sip of Jesus usually isn’t enough. We must drink and drink and drink of God to satisfy our needs. The expression “welling up” means leaping up. It is vigorous and abundant.
Why ask for her to fetch her husband? Remember from YESTERDAY we spoke of how men don’t speak to women in public. This conversation is long and Jesus recognizes the need for her husband to be present in order to continue talking.
Jesus confronts the woman about her sinful past–her 5 husbands. Jesus is not trying to embarrass the woman–he’s trying to get her to realize her sinful life and her need for him. Apparently, the woman is living with yet another man. Jesus rightfully says this is no marriage in his eyes. She must recognize herself as a sinner first in order to drink of the living waters. Good lesson for us all!
Jews held a woman could divorce two or at the most three times. Her life is incredibly immoral by Jewish standards.