“The water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
— John 4:14
In this story about a meeting at a well, we find some unusual imagery about water.
Jesus reaches out to a Samaritan woman—and that is surprising because Jews did not usually associate with Samaritans. But Jesus’ purpose here, even though he was tired and thirsty, was to share the good news of eternal life so that more people could learn the truth about God, who loves them.
Jesus asks the woman for a drink of water, and her first reaction is to say, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” And Jesus, the master teacher, gives a response that can sound in some ways like a riddle. He talks about “the gift of God” and something called “living water,” and he invites the woman to wonder “who it is that asks [her] for a drink.” He now certainly has her attention, and she is curious about this “living water,” where it comes from, and if it has anything to do with the water at the well.
So Jesus explains that the water he is talking about is spiritual. He also says that it comes from him and that it will give people eternal life. The woman soon also learns that Jesus is the Messiah her people have been waiting for. And in amazement she rushes away to tell her townspeople, and many of them become believers (John 4:28-30, 39-41)!
Have you shared Jesus’ message about living water with the people near you?
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to give us the “living water” we need for eternal life. Teach us to share it freely! Amen.