What Does John 4:11 Mean?

She said to Him, "Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?

John 4:11(NASB)

Verse of the Day

Jesus was sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel, but He did not only come to save His own people from their sin. He also came as Saviour of the whole world. All people were to be given the opportunity to be saved - both men and women, Jew and Gentile alike. All were given the opportunity to drink deeply of His life-giving Spirit for the forgiveness of sin and life everlasting. He came into the world through Israel, and so the gospel was to the Jew first, but He came for the benefit of all.

It was early in His ministry that the Lord Jesus began to be resented by the Pharisees. John had already identified Him as the Messiah of Israel, and Jesus was gaining a substantial following. But rather than bathe in the attention He was receiving, Jesus left Judea and went into Galilee, where He would be less conspicuous.

Most Jews steered clear of Samaria on their way to the Galilee, to avoid travelling through the territory of the despised Samaritans. However,  we read that Jesus had to pass through Samaria. He was being led by the Spirit to go to Sychar, where a whole Samaritan village needed to discover that He was the Messiah of Israel, in Whom were the words of eternal life. And so Jesus started His trek along the dusty road, through Samaria, in the blistering heat of the day.

Although Jesus was truly God, He was also a fully mortal Man, and arriving at Sychar, He was thirsty and sat by a well. This was the place where Abraham built an altar to the Lord and Jacob dug a well. This was the place that Jacob's daughter, Dinah was raped, and it was the place where the bones of Joseph were finally buried. This was the place that Jesus met a woman of Samaria, who came to draw water in the heat of the noon-day sun.

This woman appears to be a social outcast from her village, for she did not come to the well in the crisp mist of the morning or in the cool of the evening-time, along with the other women. Her life-style seems to be somewhat suspect, and she even appeared to flirt with the Jewish Rabbi, who asked for a drink!  But her eternal salvation was at stake and she soon realised that Jesus was a prophet of God and asked some searching questions, that brought her to faith in Him and cause her entire village to welcome the Saviour into their midst, and to believe that the Lord Jesus Christ was the prophesied Messiah of Israel.

Rabbis and strict Jews would never converse with a Samaritan - especially a woman, for they were a despised race of Jewish descent who had interbred with Gentiles. But Jesus not only asked for a drink, as she carried her water jar, but He also engaged her in conversation. Jesus piqued this woman's curiosity when He offered to give her living water, for He said to her, "If you only knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water."

The woman was immersed in worldly worries and drowning in the chores of this life. She misunderstood Christ's mission. She had yet to recognise to Whom she was speaking. She liked the idea of a constant flow of water, which would make life easier, but did not understand the eternal significance of Christ's offer. How often we also seek after a 'tap of flowing water', a bank-balance that never ran dry, a life of ease and plenty, or an insurance policy that covered all eventualities, instead of looking to Jesus and simply trusting in His promise to supply ALL our needs, according to His riches in glory.

The woman's interest was in a plentiful supply of rain-water for her physical need and the daily necessities of life, and so "she said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?'"  Jesus was offering her the living water of eternal life. He was offering to satisfy her spiritual thirst. He wanted to give her a living spring of water within her soul, welling up into eternal life. Jesus was offering this despised Samaritan woman Himself - for in HIM are the words of eternal life.

When our only focus is the tap of water for our daily supply, and our only concern is the bank-balance, the difficulties of life, or the dangers that are likely to befall us, we demonstrate the short-sighted attitude of this Samaritan woman. When we wonder whether or not the Lord will hear our cry or respond to our prayers, we show a similar misunderstanding of His might, majesty, dominion, and power, and demonstrate doubt in His goodness, grace, care, and concern.

Any misgivings we have in God's power to help or any doubts that arise, concerning His ability to save and defend us, stem from a pride in our own abilities and a lack of understanding of His generous character, faithful love, and gracious goodness. May we stop striving to live in our own strength and lay all at His feet. May we be like the Samaritan woman, who came to Jesus, listened to His Word, and chose to drink deeply and daily of the living water that is ours by faith.

My Prayer

Heavenly Father,  as I consider the Samaritan woman at the well, who came to Jesus, heard His message, and chose to drink of the living water He offered, it is wonderful to know that no one is excluded from drinking the living water of life that You offer. Thank You that the living water You offer is freely given, comes without cost, and becomes a living spring within, that wells up into eternal life. May I drink deeply from the fountain of Your supply and resist the temptation to do things in my own strength. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.

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