What Is Living Water?

John 4:10 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.

“Living water” was a metaphor Jesus drew from His location, and the Samaritan woman's daily chore of drawing water from a well. Jesus didn’t intend to imply she would never have to come to this literal well again to draw water. In fact she probably drew water the next day. His intent was to highlight a spiritual truth about what salvation supplied by Him would mean for her.

As I have stated in other posts, it would mean her salvation would be permanent and portable, and that she would not be dependent on worship in a temple or some special location, or some human intermediary or priest standing between God and her, or rituals. If she had to go somewhere, or to some person, or engage in some ritual for her salvation then His "living water" metaphor would not contrast with her everyday chore of going to the well for water.

But “living water” is a contrasting metaphor. The water Jesus gives doesn't have to be drawn from a well outside her personal spiritual life. This "living water" is ever present and goes with her wherever she goes. Jesus' "living water" metaphor introduced a revolutionary truth to this woman. But what exactly did Jesus offer that could permanently quench her spiritual thirst? What is this "living water"?

"Living water" illustrated the knowledge -the good news- He would give her that she was permanently reconciled to God and in a continual relationship with Jesus based on faith in His Gospel. Living water is a metaphor for the Gospel she would learn, believe, and then never forget. So when, in her very complex guilt laden life, she would wonder if God still loved her, if all her sins were really forgiven, and if Jesus was still saving her, she could remember the Gospel truth He taught her, and know for sure that she was loved and everlastingly saved from condemnation. She would draw living water from a Gospel spring of truth flowing in her soul. Living water... it is the knowledge of a salvation that is permanent and portable. This is a Jesus kind of salvation... a sure salvation.

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