Whether we live in a Christian age or in an atheistic culture, people, by nature, are unaware of the goodness and power of God if He is found and known. Here is why we are so far from Him, and how we may find Him.
“If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink, thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.”
And this is our subject: If Only You Knew Christ – The Gift of God. He is the gift of God. And so Christ says to this woman ‘if thou knewest (but she didn’t) the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink (she didn’t know) thou wouldst have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.’ Well, this arises from Christ’s encounter with the woman of Samaria who was taking her bucket, her basin, to the well outside the town of Sychar, alone for some reason, perhaps because she was notably sinful – that’s on record. She was shunned by the other women of the town, and whereas they usually went to the well in groups, she appears to be alone. She’s had five husbands, and here she is, and Christ is sat on the well. The disciples, the text tells us, have gone into the town to buy food, so Christ is alone.
And he addresses her, and he asks for a drink. I’m sure he did it most politely, most kindly. The text is brief. It could sound a little haughty and domineering, but that’s only really an accident of the brevity of the text. I’m sure it was very courteously done. The woman takes no offence, but she’s stunned. She’s shocked because he is a Jew, and she is a woman of Samaria, and as the text tells us, there are no dealings between them, and yet this man speaks to her, I assume very courteously, as person to person. So she’s taken aback, and he asks for a drink, and then he utters these words. She’s incredulous. She says, “How is it you’re speaking to me?” “If you knew the gift of God,” he says, “and if you knew who it was who was speaking to you, then you’d ask a different question. You’d ask for living water.”
She doesn’t get it. He uses a sort of figure, living water. What he means is you wouldn’t be asking for ordinary water. You’d be asking for what he could give you, something he calls living water. It’s obviously a figure for something spiritual, which he can impart, but she doesn’t understand this. Yes, he’s speaking of spiritual life, the Holy Spirit who gives life to dead souls and puts people into touch with God himself. That’s what he’s talking about. She doesn’t see it, not at all. The woman says to him, “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. And whence then hast thou that living water?” The word translated ‘living’ can mean running or bubbling or active or moving in some way, but she doesn’t get that clue. “Where are you going to get this water? Are you greater than our ancestor, Jacob?”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” You’d think now he was making it plain, making it easier for her to get the point. “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. But the water that I shall give him shall be in him, a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Whoever heard of such a thing? A water that satisfies forever, a water that is active within you and springs up into everlasting life. It energises your entire life. It buoys you along and it will be with you all the way until you enter eternity and enter heaven. That’s the meaning. Spiritual life is what he’s speaking of.