Sermon 2277. Sychar's Sinner Saved
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD'S-DAY, OCTOBER 9 1892.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, APRIL 13, 1890.
"Jesus answered and said unto her, If you knew the gift of God, and who itis thatsays to you, Give Me to drink; you wouldhave asked of Him, and He would have given you living water." John 4:10.
I COULD not help saying, in the reading, that the woman's answer to our Lord was, at least, somewhat abrupt, if not reallyrude, but, with great meekness, Jesus took no notice of it so as to blame her for her tone, or for her unkind manner. He wastoo intent upon saving her soul to care about a little rudeness on her part. Learn a lesson from your Lord's conduct! Whenyou are dealing with souls, do not always expect them to yield to you at once. Do not expect them, even, to receive your expostulationswith thankfulness. Be prepared to be repelled and even to be ridiculed. And when it so happens, do not be put out of temper,or out of heart, but go straight on with your work whichever way they may go.
Our Savior, instead of being vexed at the rudeness of the woman, said to her, "If you knew." "Ah, poor Soul, you do not knowto whom you are speaking thus rudely!" "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me to drink; youwould have asked of Him, and He would have given you living water." Oh, that we might have a passion for the souls of men!May we be vehement in our desire, with a love that burns like coals of juniper! May we not be put off by any discouragements,but let us resolve that before we have done with any poor sinner, we will do all in our power to bring him to Christ, so that,if men are lost, it shall not be our fault-and if they are saved, we will, at least, have this part in it-that we have setChrist plainly before them as their soul's only hope!
Now, our Savior, having thus set us an example of great meekness, went on to read this woman's heart in a amazing manner and,reading her heart, He foretold what her action would be when her ignorance was removed. It is a difficult thing to tell whatpeople will do under such and such circumstances, for men and women are very unaccountable creatures. But the Savior madea prediction as to what this woman would do. That will be my first point-Jesus foretold what her action would be when herignorance was removed. And then, secondly, I will show you that the fact justified the prediction. As soon as the woman knewwho it was that spoke to her, she asked Him for the Living Water-Jesus gave it to her and she went on her way rejoicing!
I. First, then, JESUS FORETOLD WHAT HER ACTION WOULD BE WHEN HER IGNORANCE WAS REMOVED. He saw in her a kindly dispositiontowards right things, but she was hindered by her ignorance. If that hindrance could be taken away, she would at once travelin the right road.
Let me mention the points of saving knowledge which it was desirable for her to know.
These were, first, the nature of salvation. "If you knew the gift of God." Thousands of people in the world do not know whatsalvation means. They conceive, if they have any notion of it at all, that it means escaping from Hell and going to Heavenwhen they die, which is a very imperfect and incorrect idea of salvation. "The gift of God is eternal life"- and that is salvation!God gives to all who believe in Christ a new life, a vital principle, something to be within them always-the reigning andruling principle of their lives. Salvation means salvation from sin. To the drunk, it is salvation from the drink. To theswearer, it is salvation from a profane heart. To the unchaste, it is salvation from impurity. It means deliverance from thepower of evil in the life and submission to the power of that which is good and gracious, by which sin shall be cast out.
Do you remember the meaning of the name, Jesus? "You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins."The salvation that we have to preach produces a change of heart, a renewal of nature, a deliverance from the
power of the devil and brings the renewed man under the supreme power of the Holy Spirit of God! If some men knew this, theywould begin to seek for it. Are there not many here who feel that they ought to turn over a new leaf and they do not knowhow to do it? They have not the power, even though they have, in a measure, the will. Now, salvation brings you both willand power-it saves you not only from the wrath to come, but from the sin that is now within you. That is the nature of salvation.
This woman did not know the freeness of salvation. "If you knew the gift of God"-"the gift of God." She thought, perhaps,that it had to be bought with money, or procured by sacrifices, or attained by good works after a long period of preparation.The Savior assured her that salvation was the gift of God-freely given, not because it is deserved, but because God delightsto bless even the unthankful and the evil! Given, not because of penances, or austerities, or myriads of prayers, or floodsof tears-but freely given to every soul that is willing to accept it by faith in Jesus Christ! Oh, if many knew this, theywould seek to have it! But they do not know what salvation is. And they do not know that it is to be had for nothing and tobe had on the spot. "If you knew the gift of God."
Further, it was necessary for this woman to know the Person of Christ. "If you knew who it is that says to you, Give Me todrink." Some do not know who the Christ is. Though He has been here and lived, and died, and is gone to Heaven and is preachedby tens of thousands of preachers, and His blessed Book is with you to this day, yet you do not know that the Savior is Godover all, blessed forever, the second Person of the sacred Trinity, the Son of God and yet Man! He took upon Himself the natureof man, was born into this world, lived a suffering and obedient life, died an ignominious and painful death! And now He hasrisen from the dead and He is sitting at the right hand of God, even the Father, and will shortly come to judge the quickand the dead according to our Gospel. Now this is He, this God, this Man, this Mediator between God and men who is to be trusted!He was commissioned of God and, therefore, He was called the Christ, the Anointed. He has come into the world on purpose todo the will of Him that sent Him and to finish His work. Oh, you sons and daughters of men, if you would be saved, you mustcome and trust yourselves with the Incarnate God who is bone of your bone, and flesh of your flesh!
This woman also did not know the freeness of Christ, for when our Savior said, "If you knew the gift of God," He really meantHimself. Paul said, "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift." This is He, the Gift of the Father! Christ has not comeinto the world simply to save the rich, or the learned, or those who struggle through many examinations to obtain a high degreeof human wisdom. He died, also, for the poor, for you who know your own ignorance and bewail for you w ho know your sinnershipand repent of it. He came not call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. God has given His Son Jesus Christ, freely givenHim! You may have Him for the asking! You may have Him for the taking! "Whoever believes in Him has everlasting life." Andif you will but trust Him, there is eternal life for you! It was important that this woman should know this. "If you knewthe gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me to
If you look at the text, you will now see the conduct which follows this saving knowledge. Christ foretold what this womanwould do when her ignorance was removed. What would she do? Well, first, she would forget about the idea of giving Christanything! He began by saying to this sinful woman, "Give Me to drink," but He afterwards said, "If you knew the gift of God,you would have asked of Him."
I am continually hearing, from converts and others, the expression, "/ gave my heart to Christ," as a description of conversion.Now I do not find fault with that expression, for we must give our hearts to Christ-but very seriously let me say that I amafraid that that phrase will do much mischief unless it is well guarded and looked after. The Gospel is not, "Give your heartsto Christ, and you shall be saved." The Gospel is, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ"-that is, TRUST Him-"and you shall besaved." When you do that, you will be sure to give Him your heart, by-and-by, if not at once. Salvation is not by your givinganything to Christ, but by Christ giving something to you! I am glad that you have given your heart to Christ-but have youlearned, first, this lesson-that He gave His heart for you? We do not find salvation by giving Christ anything! That is thefruit of it, but salvation comes by Christ giving us something-did I say something-by Christ giving us EVERYTH/NG! By Hisgiving us Himself!
I used to notice that a good deal of Sunday school teaching to the children was, "Dear child, love Jesus." That is not theway of salvation! The way of salvation is to trust Jesus. The fruit of salvation is that the dear child does love Jesus, butthat is not the way of salvation. The way of salvation is to take Christ, to trust Christ. When you are saved, the proof of
it will be that you will give your heart to Christ, but do not let us turn things upside down lest, beginning with a littleblunder, we should go on to some great error and set up, again, the ruinous doctrine which once sank the world in dark-ness-thedoctrine of an imaginary salvation by our own works!
Next, the text suggests the idea of asking of Christ as the first thing for us to do. How many there are who know that salvationis a gift, but they never seek it! They know that it is all of Grace, but they never ask for it. An occasional prayer, whenyou are half-asleep at night-now and then an expression of a wish that you were better-that is all the effort you put forth.The Lord says, "You shall seek Me, and find Me when you shall search for Me with all your heart." Men seek after gold as ifthey had a thousand hearts-but they seek after Grace as if their heart were cut into a thousand pieces and only one solitarythousandth part of it went after the blessing! This woman did really ask of Christ, and asked with earnestness. And so mustyou. If you did but know Christ. If you did but know the value of His salvation. If you did but know the freeness of it, myHearers, you would get to your knees and you would never rise from them again till you had found Him who alone can save yoursouls!
Let me ask you unsaved ones, do you cry to God for mercy? Are you in earnest about it? Does your very soul go up to God inprayer? If not, do not wonder that you still remain in the gall of bitterness! How can you expect God to give to you thatwhich you do not value enough to heartily ask for?
This woman, when her ignorance was removed, would be led to put asking, first, and then really to ask. And, next, receivingwould graciously follow the asking! I call your attention to the words, "You would have asked of Him, and He would have givenyou." Dear Hearer, if you had asked, you would have had! "You have not because you ask not." Sitting in that pew, tonight,without God, without Christ-it is because you have not sought Him, you have not cried for Him! Had you sought Him, you wouldhave found Him, "for everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him that knocks, it shall be opened." Ido not like merely to utter this Truth of God-I wish I could press it home upon your heart and that you would feel that ifyou have not asked, it is right that you should not have received-and that if you had asked, you would not have asked in vain!"You would have asked and He would have given."
Then she would have received and the preciousness of the gift would have been apparent. The result would have been that shewould have been a happy woman, greatly prizing the gift of God, greatly valuing the dear Savior, singing in her delight becauseshe had found Him who could take all her sin away and send her back to Sychar a renewed woman. Instead of being a destroyerof the souls of men, she would become a herald of the Cross to them and the means of their salvation.
So our Savior pictured what she would have done. I wonder whether it is true about any of you, here, that you have only keptfrom prayer because you have not known better? Have you not found Christ because you really did not know anything about Him?You have been making mistakes and blunders and that is why you are not saved. Now we have explained the matter to you andyou can see it-I trust that not another day will begin and end without your seeking and finding Christ-and so entering intoeternal life.
Now consider the line of action which this teaching suggests to us.
If it is, in many cases, the fact that nothing but ignorance is keeping men out of eternal life. If it is true of many thatif they did but know, they would ask and they would receive, then if you have not found Christ, be wise enough to try andlearn all about Him! Do not remain in ignorance where that ignorance is not bliss, but endless woe. Wake yourself up and say,"If I can find out what salvation is, I will find it out, even if I have to burn the midnight oil, and wear my eyes out insearching through the sacred Book. I will hear as well as read. I will know all that I can about salvation and about thisJesus, the Son of God, the unspeakable Gift of God." Well, take care that you go where Christ is most preached! A little girlheard her mother say, "We went to the House of God to hear about Jesus." "Mother," she said, "at the place where Aunty goes,they do not hear anything about Jesus, I am sure, for I went with her many times, and I never heard anything about Him."
Do not go to places where Christ is not preached! Let those go who have no souls to be saved, if there are such people, butyou, dear Hearers, are in an anxious state. You need to find salvation and, lest ignorance should hinder you, take heed whatyou hear and take heed how you hear. I was but a child when I first began to seek the Savior, but I have a distinct recollectionthat as soon as the sun shone into my little bedchamber, I was awake-and what was I reading? Dod-dridge's, "Rise and Progressof Religion in the Soul," Alleine's, "Alarm to the Unconverted," and books of that order! I
read when I was but a child, in the hope that I might somehow find Christ and be saved. When I went to a place of worship,I took no notice of the music of the organ, or the eloquence of the preacher. I kept listening with this one thought in mymind-"Oh that I might but find salvation! Oh, that I might but find Christ!" Whenever that is the case with anyone, dependupon it, sooner or later the ignorance that bars the way will melt and disappear! And you will ask, and God will give, andthere will be joy in Heaven and joy in your own heart because you are saved!
One thing more. If you discover the Truth of God, then go on learning more about it so that you may tell it to others. Itis of the nature of the Grace of God, when it gets into one heart, that it needs to flow into another. The woman of Sycharbelieves in Jesus. Now she must go and tell the men of the city about the Christ. I wonder whether she went to the men withwhom she had sinned? Women did not often speak openly to men in those Oriental regions, but this woman did. She had brokenthrough the laws of decorum and of the Word of God, so away she goes and says to the men, "Come, see a Man who told me allthings that I ever did: is not this the Christ?" Go on learning about Christ, I say, that you may teach it to others-and neverthink a day is well spent unless you have spoken to someone about your Master, unless you have at least dropped one tiny seedsomewhere to bring forth fruit to His praise! Our Savior predicted that the woman would ask and that she would receive ifshe could but get rid of the ignorance that weighed her down.
II. My second point is that all this came true. THE FACT JUSTIFIED THE PREDICTION. When this woman's ignorance was taken away,she did what Christ said she would do!
First, let me remind you that what she did know stood her in good stead. She was not converted when she came to Christ-veryfar from it-but she did know something about Him, for she said to Him, "I know that Messiah comes, which is called Christ."It is a good beginning when you know anything. I heard, yesterday, a piece of bigotry concerning Dissenters which astonishedme for the moment, and then I said, "I am rather glad to hear it, for I like to meet with men, nowadays, who believe anything-forthe majority of people do not believe anything at all! And there is hope for a man, or a woman, who really knows and believessomething." If you have one solid bit somewhere, we can get a fulcrum for our lever and so can move you. This woman said,"I know that Messiah comes." Teachers of the children in the Sunday schools, it may be years hence, but if you have taughta child to really know something, that knowledge may be the beginning of his salvation. It was partly by common tradition,partly by conversation and partly by the belief of her associates that this woman came to say, "I know that Messiah comes."
Then she had got into her head another thing, that when He did come, He would tell them all things. "When He is come, He willtell us all things." In effect, the woman's belief led her to say, "When the Messiah comes, we shall all be set right. Now,we Jews and Samaritans have had a quarrel about where we ought to worship. The Samaritans say that Mount Gerizim is the placewhere the blessing was pronounced, and that we ought to worship here. They only believe, as you know, in the Pentateuch. Thosefive books of Moses do not say much about Jerusalem, or about a Temple. Clinging to that grand old Pentateuch, I believe inworshipping here at Gerizim. But the Jews say that we ought to worship at Jerusalem. Well, when Messiah comes, He will tellus all things."
She had that idea firmly fixed in her mind. Where did she get it? I will read you the passage in order that you may see howa single text may give a hook on which a soul may hang. One single text may be a little bit of solid rock on which you mayplant your lever and begin to lift the heavy weight of an immortal soul! In the 18th Chapter of Deuteronomy, beginning atthe 15th verse, we read as follows-"The LORD your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren,like unto me; unto him you shall hearken; according to all that you desired of the Lord your God in Horeb in the day of theassembly, saying, Let me not hear again the Voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire anymore, that I dienot. And the LORD said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken." They need a Mediator-they shall have aMediator to speak to them from Me.
NOW, here is the special verse, "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto you, and will put Mywords in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him." This woman pulled the text about a little,but she gathered this from it, "There is a great Prophet to come, God's anointed Prophet, the Messiah, or Christ; and whenHe comes, we shall know Him by this, that He will tell us all things. He will more fully expound the Truth of God about whichwe may now be in doubt." That is what she knew and that helped her a great deal.
But, next, what our Lord told her was a still greater help to her, for He directed her to Himself. He began, first, by preachingthe Gospel to her. He would give her Living Water and if she drank it, it would remain in her forever a well of water, springingup unto everlasting life. And He was ready to give her this Living Water then and there.
Next, He unveiled her life before her. He told her that she had had five husbands and that the man with whom she then livedwas not her husband. With two or three strokes He drew her portrait. She marveled at this. It is a great thing for a man tosee himself-it is a greater thing for him to see his Savior. After you are once converted, do not study yourself. Study yourLordl God has given one objective for the soul's eye to rest upon, and that is Christ! Keep your eyes always resting uponHim. But, in order to her conversion, she was made to see herself, a wretched woman, living in abominable sin-and she wasastonished at the sight! But even that helped her.
Then the Savior took her off from all outward religion. He said to her, "Woman, believe Me, the hour comes when you shallneither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father." Jesus told her that the hour had come when the true worshipperswould worship the Father in spirit and in truth. Notice, too, that Christ took her off from the Samaritan worship. He said,"Salvation is of the Jews." But then He took her off the Jewish worship, too, and said, "Neither in this mountain, nor yetat Jerusalem." It is all very well for you to try to convert a Roman Catholic into an English Churchman-that is, convertinghim from a Samaritan to a Jew. It is all very well for you to turn him from a Wesleyan into an Independent, or from an Independentinto a Baptist, or from an Arminian into a Calvinist. The fact is, though, you have to get him off everything but Christ!And you have not done your work until you have brought him to know that no profession of religion, no outward ceremonies,whatever, can save the soul. "They that worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such toworship Him."
The Savior had done this woman great service. He had preached to her the Gospel, unveiled her sin, taken her off herself andoff all external religiousness. Then came the main point of all-He revealed Himself to her, unveiling the sacred majesty ofHis Divine Glory. He said to her, "I that speak unto you am He." When she said, "I know that Messiah comes," He at once spokethat grand word, "I am He." Now, dear Friend, if the Lord has given you only to know one Truth, hold on to it! And may Heteach you more of yourself, more of Himself and bring you to know that Jesus Christ is the one and only Savior even as Hebrought this woman to know it!
Well, once more, her own experience of Christ settled her faith. I do not know whether you see my drift. The woman had theidea in her mind that when the Messiah came, He would tell all things. She listened to Christ and when He drew a picture ofher entire life, something began to whisper in her heart-"He is telling you all things that you ever did. Is not this theChrist?" And when Christ said to her, "I that speak unto you am He," the work was completed and off she went and said to themen the first thing that she could think of. She said, "You know that the Messiah, when He comes, is to tell us all things.Moses said that in Deuteronomy. You remember the passage in the Pentateuch! Now," she said, "I have met with a Man who hastold me all things that ever I did. At least, He has told everything in one particular line. Do you not think that this couldbe the Messiah?"
In her poor, womanly way, she had argued herself into that belief-and I think that it was a good, reasonable argument, too.I have known many a soul get to Heaven with no better guidance than some one text of Scripture. One Truth of God will guidea man to Heaven, though 50 may feed him better than one. When a bridge is to be made across some deep chasm, what is to bedone? The first thing is to shoot an arrow across, or a gunshot that will carry a thread. When you have a thread across, youcan pull a string over the gulf. When you have the string across, you can pull a thicker and stronger cord across. That canpull a rope and that rope can carry a bigger rope that can bear a cable! And, by-and-by, when you have got your cables across,you can begin to make your iron bridge.
Now, in this woman's heart, that one belief, "I know that Messiah comes, which is called Christ," was like the thread shotacross the chasm! "When He is come, He will tell us all things," was like the piece of string. And when she found that shehad met with One who did tell her all things, she had a cable across the chasm! This is the way in which God removes ignorance!This is the way in which God builds up faith-little by little-and I, therefore, pray any of you who believe even a little,to hold on to it, and not to give up! Search the Scriptures. Hear the Gospel until you believe a great deal more and, believingthat Jesus is the Christ, sent of God to save sinners! Trust Him wholly. Trust only Him! And so you shall enter into eternallife.
I think that I hear one ask, "Do you mean to say that that woman was saved?" Yes, I expect to meet her in Heaven. Among thefair daughters of the New Jerusalem, the woman that was waiting at the well will surely be found! "But she was such a shockingcharacter," says one. She was a shocking character-I hope that there is not any woman here half as bad as she was, thoughthere may be, and there may even be some worse than she was-but she was saved and so will you be, if you go the same way thatshe went. There may be men here who are steeped in vice much worse than this poor woman ever was. You generally blame thewoman and the man is allowed to go scot-free. But tonight, man or woman, I do not care which you are-even if you have committedthe same sin-the very same and are guilty in the sight of God, and before your own conscience, yet listen to two things thatJesus said to that woman.
The first was, "Woman, believe Me." Woman, believe Christ. Man, believe Christ. Never mind me. Never mind ministers or priests.Believe Christ, the Sent One of God, for He cannot lie! He speaks the truth! Believe Him and believe in Him, that is, trustHim, rest upon Him for salvation!
And then Jesus left her with this word ringing in her ears, the last word that He spoke, "I that speak unto you am He." Believethat Christ is He whom God has sent to save sinners! Believe that Christ is He who took our sin, the Lamb of God that takesaway the sin of the world! Believe Him as He says, "I am He," and say to Him, "I, Lord, am like this woman, one of the chiefof sinners, but I believe that You are the Savior of sinners, and I trust myself with You. Save me, Lord, for Your own name'ssake!"
Now, you see, I have brought the horses to the water. But I cannot make them drink! I have set Christ before you, but I cannotmake you have Him! May the Holy Spirit help you to take Him, tonight, once and for all! Do not go away till He has done so.Give not sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids till you have closed in with Christ and accepted Him as your Savior!For when you fall asleep, tonight, you may never wake up again on this earth. It will be a dreadful thing to wake up in theland where hope can never come-where you shall see afar off God's chosen ones, but, as for yourself, you shall be told thatthere is a great gulf fixed between you and them so that they cannot come to you, and you cannot go to them "Repent and believethe Gospel!" May the Holy Spirit cause you to do so even now, for Jesus' sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON JOHN4:1-42.
Verses. 1-3. When, therefore, the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,(though Jesus Himself baptized not, but His disciples), He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee. Our Lord knew thatthe Pharisees would assail Him now that He was prospering, and gathering disciples. He, therefore, went away from them asHe did on other occasions. Whenever the cause of God grows, Satan is sure to be violent against it. Notice that our Saviordid not, Himself, baptize His followers. Now, if Baptism depended upon the character or the office of the baptizer, Jesuswould certainly have done it! But to show us that the person baptizing does not impart any Grace to the person baptized, ourLord baptized not, but left that work to His disciples.
4. And He must needs go through Samaria. Men say that, "'Must' is for the king." But our King puts Himself under an imperative,"must," under a Divine necessity. Though obliged to do nothing, yet He obliges Himself to do deeds of mercy and Grace.
5. 6. Then He came to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.Now Jacob's well was there. Holy men often impart an interest to the very place which they inhabit. We should not have caredanything about Sychar, or its well, if Jacob had not been there. Where godly men have been, the ground is sacred. How muchmore so where the God of men comes to visit us!
6. Jesus, therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well and it was about the sixth hour. Only half a dayspent on His journey, yet He is weary. See, Brothers and Sisters, how He was compassed with infirmity! Our Great High Priestso truly took our flesh that He was wearied with His journey. He that rolls the stars along was weary in the middle of theday! So weary was He that He sat in the very attitude of weariness, as best He could, on the curb of the well- "Jesus, therefore,being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well."
7. There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me to drink. Wonderful words of condescension! TheCreator is asking drink of His creature! Perfect holiness is asking of a sinner! He without whom there were no clouds, orrain, or springs, or wells, says to a sinful woman, "Give Me to drink."
8, 9. (For His disciples were gone away unto the city to buy food). The woman of Samaria said unto Him, How is it that you,being a Jew, ask drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. In effect, thewoman said, "Now that You are thirsty, You can ask drink of me. But at another time, proud Jew that You are, You would notspeak to a Samaritan." Surely, this was rather a gruff answer, if not really rude. If she had known who it was to whom shewas speaking, she would not have answered Him thus.
10. Jesus answered and said unto her, /f you knew the gift of God, and who it is that says to you, Give Me to drink; you wouldhave asked of Him, and He would have given you living water. Something better than the water from Jacob's well! Though youhave denied Him a simple draft of water, He would not have denied you something infinitely better, namely, Living Water. Shelittle knew what that Living Water was.
11,12. The woman said unto Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from where, then, have You thatliving water? Are You greater than ourfather, Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children,and his cattle? That last word, "cattle," lets us see wherein the water of Jacob's well could never be compared to the LivingWater that Jesus gives! If beasts can partake of it, it is not that high and spiritual thing which immortal souls need, whichJesus came to give. Unwittingly, the woman had answered her own question, "Are You greater than our father
13, 14. Jesus answered and said unto her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: but whoever drinks of the waterthat / shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that / shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing upinto everlasting life. If Christ gives you Grace, it is eternal life that He gives you! It is not a life that can die. Itis not a Grace that you can lose. It is everlasting life-a supply of living water which turns to a spring or well-and alwaysremains within the heart that receives it.
15. The woman said unto Him, Sir, give me this water, that / thirst not, neither come here to draw. She had caught the Lord'smeaning so far as the perpetuity of the water was concerned, but she still did not know what the Living Water was. It wasall a riddle to her, as I am afraid it is to some of you. There is many a Doctor of Divinity who cannot explain what the LivingWater is.
16. Jesus said unto her. As she had apparently learned nothing by His instruction, He now tried another plan with her andbegan to deal with her conscience.
16, 17. Go, call your husband, and come here. The woman answered and said, / have no husband. Jesus said unto her, You havewell said, / have no husband. Praise people whenever you can. There was nothing good about this woman, but she had spokenthe truth-"You have well said, I have no husband." Our Lord purposely laid the emphasis on the last word.
18. For you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband: in that said you truly. What an exposureof the life she was living! Jesus laid bare what she and her companion in sin may have thought that no man knew-"He whom younow have is not your husband: in that said you truly."
19. The woman said unto Him, Sir. She is getting more respectful now. When conscience begins to work, men treat the ministrywith greater deference.
19, 20. /perceive that you are a Prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain. How pleased she was to get away from thatunpleasant subject of her five husbands and the man who was not her husband! How anxious people are to salve their consciencesby discussing religious matters of a general character! When you come a little too close to them, they edge off if they can.So this woman said, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain."
20, 21. And You say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus said unto her, Woman believe Me. OurSavior gave the woman good Gospel advice, "Woman, believe Me"
21, 22. The hour comes when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father. You worship you knownot what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. They have the oracles of God. The Savior comes of the Jews.They are right as far as they follow the instruction they have received, and you Samaritans are wrong in keeping to the Lawof Moses, alone, and rejecting the rest of the Scriptures.
23, 24. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for theFather seeks such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth All thetrue worship in the world is of God's seeking. None would ever worship Him aright if He did not lead them to it. He seeksthem-and then they seek Him.
25, 26. The woman said unto Him, / know that Messiah comes, which is called Christ: when He is come, He will tell us all things.Jesus said unto her, / that speak unto you am He. Now her eyes were opened. That last word had made her see!
27. And upon this came His disciples, and marveled that He talked with the woman. How big they were, how wise in their ownconceit to be astonished that Christ was talking with a woman! The followers of Christ often get much too big for their places-andtoo big to please their Master, too. Though "they marveled that He was speaking with a woman," as the Revised Version translatesit.
27. Yet no man said, What do You seek? or, Why do You talk with her? They dared not do that. They had too much awe of Him.But, do you know I have often wished that they had done so? I should like to have read what Christ would have said to them.How He would have reproved them for thinking that He had degraded Himself by talking with a woman, or with anybody. Our Saviorwould have vindicated woman's place in the world in a way that one might have liked to have heard.
28. The woman then left her water pot and went her way into the cit. Why should she stay any longer? The faces of the disciplesdid not look pleasant, but their Master had comforted her. She would not stop to lose that comfort by hard words from thedisciples-she "went her way into the city."
28-32. And said to the men, Come, see a Man which told me all things that ever / did: is not this the Christ? Then they wentout of the city, and came to Him. /n the meanwhile His disciples prayed Him saying, Master, eat. But He said unto them, /have meat to eat that you know not of.
39, 40. And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me allthat ever / did. So when the Samaritans were come unto Him they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and He abode theretwo days. Two days of Christ's personal ministry-what might not come of that?
41, 42. And many more believed because of His own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of your saying:for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is, indeed, the Christ, the Savior of the world. Would God that many mightbe brought to know that Christ, the Savior, tonight! Amen.