John 4:1-15  LIVING WATER




    In our text today Jesus encounters a woman of Samaria and

offers to give her Living Water.  This is water which Jesus said

would spring up into everlasting life.  Jesus makes this same

offer to all men everywhere through the preaching of the gospel.


I.  Jesus returning to Galilee


    V. 1, "When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had

heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John--."

Jesus was in Judea at this time preaching and teaching.  He was

baptizing those who professed to believe in Him as their Savior.

Our text says that He was baptizing more disciples than John the

Baptist.  This means that He had a considerable number of

disciples there in Judea at this time.

    V. 2, "--(Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his

disciples,)--."  This verse says that Jesus did not personally

baptize anyone.  Rather His disciples baptized for Him.  The

original Greek writing makes it even clearer that His disciples

were actually doing the baptizing.

    V. 3, "He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee."

Jesus was born in Galilee, but He was baptized by John the

Baptist in Judea.  After His baptism and after His temptation by

Satan He returned briefly to Galilee where He performed His first

miracle.  Then on His first trip back to Jerusalem after His

ministry started He cleansed the temple, witnessed to Nicodemus

and spent considerable time out in the rural area near the Jordan

River preaching and baptizing.  Now He starts back to Galilee.

    The apparent reason that He returned to Jerusalem at this

time was the jealousy which the Jewish leaders had because they

heard about Him baptizing lots of people.  In fact, they had

heard that Jesus was baptizing more disciples than John the

Baptist.  That would be a matter of great concern to the Jewish

leaders.  They would be very disturbed at this news and were apt

to cause Jesus trouble very soon if He remained in this region.

    Therefore Jesus decided to put some distance between Himself

and the members of the Sanhedrin Council there at Jerusalem.  By

moving to Galilee, He not only put distance between Himself and

the Jewish leaders.  So He moved completely out of the district

where the Sanhedrin exercised a great deal of influence over the

Roman governor.  He moved into the district of Galilee where

Herod the tetrarch was in power.  Herod, himself, was not very

favorable toward Jesus, but, at least, he was not so much under

the influence of the Jewish Sanhedrin Court.


II.  His stop at Jacob's well


    V. 4, "And he must needs go through Samaria."  Samaria was

that territory which lay between Judea on the south and Galilee

on the north.  It was a territory which was inhabited by the

descendants of Ephraim.  I say that they were descendants of

Ephraim.  They were, at least, partially descended from Ephraim.

Samaria had been captured by the Assyrians and Gentiles had been

brought in to indwell the land.  In time, the foreigners had

intermarried with the few Israelites left in the land and the

result was a half-breed people.  They had some Hebrew blood and

some foreign Gentile blood.

    They had likewise developed a half-breed religion.  Most of

them came to worship the God of the Jews, but they worshipped

more like Gentiles Jews.

    The Jews of Judah and Galilee hated the Samaritans and had

little to do with them.  They traded with them, but had little

else to do with them.

    When Jesus decided to leave Judea and return to Galilee, the

shortest route for Him to take was through Samaria.  He could

have taken the long way around and avoided Samaria.  He could

have crossed over to the east side of the Jordan and headed

north.  Then after getting past Samaria, He could have crossed

back over to the west side of the Jordan into Galilee.  But Jesus

chose to travel through Samaria.  He had a special reason for

wanting to go through Samaria.  It would give Him opportunity to

offer everlasting life to a particular woman in Samaria.

    V. 5, "Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called

Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son

Joseph."  In His travels toward Galilee through Samaria, Jesus

stopped near a city which was at that time called, Sychar.

Sychar was called "Shechim" in the Old Testament.  Jacob and his

son Isaac had lived near Shechim at one time.

    V. 6, "Now Jacob's well was there..."  Jacob had dug several

wells in his struggles with the inhabitants of the land.  One of

those wells still existed during the days of Jesus.  It has been

said that it was dug down through rock to a depth of about 100


   (V. 6), "...Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey,

sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour."  Jesus

stopped at that well and sat on the curbing at the surface and

rested.  It was about the sixth hour of their day.  That means it

was about 12:00 noon our time.  It was time for the noon meal.

Jesus sat alone on the well resting while His disciples went into

Sychar to buy food.


III.  His encounter with the Samaritan woman


    V. 7, "There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water..."

There is no way for us to know how many times this same woman had

come to this well to draw water.  Over several years, she had

probably been to this same well hundreds of times to draw water.

If she followed the usual custom, and she probably did, she would

not normally appear at the well until near evening time.

However, for some reason, she was early this time.  Perhaps she

had used up her supply of water at her home and she was more or

less forced into coming early this day to the well.

    (V. 7), "...Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink."  I can

imagine the scene as she approached the well.  Jesus was sitting

at a place that would be somewhat in her way.  She must have

eye-balled Him in a way that indicated that she wanted Him to

move aside so that she could draw some water.  I take it that it

was as He politely moved aside that He spoke to her and asked her

to give Him a drink of water.

    V. 8, "(For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy

meat.)"  It appears that they had left Judea in somewhat of a

rush and had not taken time to get the food that they would need

on the journey and so the disciple had gone into the city to buy

food.  Neither had they brought a bucket or jar with which to

draw water.  So Jesus had been sitting there on the well where

water was available, but He had not water to drink.  I can only

imagine that He was plenty thirst after a long walk.

    The Samaritan woman was taken by complete surprise that He

spoke to her at all.  V. 9, "Then saith the woman of Samaria unto

him, 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."  It does not seem to me that the woman resented

Jesus speaking to her.  Rather she was just surprised that He

would speak to her.  Most Jews hated the Samaritans and would

have no dealings with them whatsoever except for business

matters.  It may also be true that most of the Samaritans hated

the Jews with equal passion.  However, this woman did not seem to

feel that way.  She was just surprised that He would have

anything to do with her.  She was surprised that He would speak

to her.  She was especially surprised that He would ask her to

give Him a drink.


IV.  His offer to give her Living Water


    V. 10, "Jesus answered and said unto her, 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."  Jesus did not answer her question.  Rather He

introduced to her the idea that He was not so much interested in

what she could do for Him.  What He was really interested in was

what He could do for her.  He said that if she had understood who

He is that she would have asked Him to give her a drink of living

water.  Listen, if any unsaved person could understand just who

Jesus is and what Jesus can do for him, he would not hesitate to

ask Jesus to save his soul.

    In the first place, it is difficult for the unsaved person to

realize just how horrible hell really is.  It is hard to even

imagine how great the pain is in those flames.  It is hard to

imagine how the suffering becomes more intense as the seconds and

minutes and days and months and years go by.  It is hard to

imagine how hard it will to be to endure that kind of suffering

for hundreds --- even millions of years.  It is hard to realize

just how much Jesus is offers to do for a man by saving a him and

keeping him out of hell.

    It is hard to realize how exceedingly wonderful it would be

to go to heaven.  If anyone did understand just what is involved

in staying out of hell and going to heaven, he would not hesitate

one second to ask Jesus to give him that living water which

brings everlasting life.

    V. 11, "The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to

draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that

living water?"  The woman did not even understand what Jesus was

talking about when He used the term "Living Water."  She must

have thought that He was talking about "running water" as in

contrast to "stagnant water."

    She thought He was talking about drawing water out of Jacob's

well and giving her a drink of literal water.  She thought He was

talking about the kind of water that one would need a bucket or

jar in order to draw it out of the well.

    But what Jesus was talking about was the salvation of the

soul.  He was talking about the same thing to her that He was

talking about to Nicodemus.  He was talking about entering into

the Kingdom of God.  He was talking about not perishing.  He was

talking about not going into the fires of hell.  He was talking

about going to heaven.  He was talking about everlasting life.

    The woman still did not understand.  V. 12, "Art thou greater

than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof

himself, and his children, and his cattle?"  She knew that He had

no bucket nor jar nor rope to use in drawing water out of Jacob's

well and so she thought He would have to work some kind of

miracle to get the water out of that deep well without a bucket.

She did not know it, but if that had been what Jesus was talking

about, He was well able to get that water out of the well.

    She thought that He would have to be greater than Jacob if He

could get the water out of that well without a bucket.  What she

did not know, is that He is greater than Jacob.  He is far

greater than Jacob.

    Jesus now begins to explain to her that He is not talking

about literal water out of Jacob's well.  He is not talking about

literal water from any source.  He is talking about spiritual

water.  V. 13-14, "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..."

    Listen, anybody who drinks literal water will thirst again.

The water may quench his thirst for the moment, but it will not

be long until he is thirsty all over again.  It will happen over

and over again.  He can repeatedly drink and quench his thirst,

but he will still thirst again.

    But when one repents of his sin and calls upon Jesus and

trusts Jesus to save his soul, his thirst for salvation is

quenched and never needs to be quenched again.

    The obvious reason that he will never need his thirst

quenched again is that he will never thirst again.   He will

never thirst again for salvation because he will never be lost

again.  He will never be condemned again.  He will never be on

the road to hell again.

    (V. 14), "...but the water that I shall give him shall be in

him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."  When he

drinks of the Living Water he is born again.  He is born from

above.  He is born again by the Holy Spirit of God.  He receives

a completely new life in his inner spirit.  His inner spirit

receives a new life that is from the Holy Spirit of God.  This

new life will never come to an end.  It is everlasting.  He is

saved and he is saved with an everlasting salvation.


V.  The request for living water


    V. 15, "The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water,

that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw."  This woman

still did not completely understand just what Jesus was talking

about.  But she did ask for that new life which Jesus was

offering. She asked for the living water that springs up into

everlasting life.

    I may be talking to somebody here this morning who needs to

do the same thing.  I may be talking to somebody who needs to

call on Jesus here today and ask Jesus for the Living Water.

There may be somebody here today who needs to be saved.

    If there is anybody here today who is unsaved let me say to

you that Jesus is making you an offer.  If you will ask of Him,

He will give you the same kind of Living Water that He offered to

that woman.  Jesus is offering to save your soul.

    If you could fully understand just how great the torments of

hell really are and just how great the joys of heaven really are,

then you would not hesitate one split second to call on Jesus and

ask Him to save your.




    I am going to call upon you now and ask you to look to Jesus

and talk to Jesus and to put your destiny in His hands.  Will you

take Him at His word and trust Him to save you?  Will you do that

right now?