The woman said to him, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from where then have you that living water?…
The incident shows —
1. The equal right of womankind to spiritual privileges.
2. The intellectual capacity of woman. The topics discussed were no less abstract than those talked over with Nicodemus.
3. Our Lord's mode of inculcating religious truth.
(1) From homely facts.
(2) Facts of which the hearers' minds were full at the time.
I. RELIGION TYPIFIED BY WATER. Water has three main uses.
1. Fertilizing. There is an inspiring power in the truths, motives, and enjoyments of religion, and tends to transform the man.
2. Purifying. Religion cleanses the character, sanctifies the life, destroys sinful habits, fosters pure thoughts, kindles holy feelings, and stimulates to holy conduct.
3. Thirst quenching. Religion meets the soul's aspiration for life by the promise of life everlasting; quenches its thirstings for happiness by giving it fellowship with God; meets its dissatisfaction with the world by opening before it heaven's joy.
II. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF RELIGION AS TYPIFIED BY THE WELL-WATER.
1. Its activity is implied in its being a spring well, not a pool. Religion is a never-ceasing stream of influence. When it is still it stagnates and becomes foul, promotive of the worst qualities of human nature.
2. This activity is elevating and progressive in its effects. Water springs up into life in all it nourishes. In the tree it Supplies the roots with sap, which is water springing up into fruit and flower. The results of religion are growth in those moral qualities which live for ever in happiness.
III. THE ADVANTAGES OF RELIGION AS TYPIFIED BY THE WELL IN THE MAN.
1. Where it is within the man it exercises its power over his life apart from external influences and in spite of them. Men's moral characters must be moulded from within. External motives demoralize.
2. The comforts of religion, seeing they are within the man, are ever sure and uninterrupted. In ancient times when cities were liable to be besieged and all outside sources cut off, it was a matter of no small moment to have wells within the walls. This rendered the inhabitants more defiant of the enemy, seeing they were thus scarce of the necessaries of life.
(A. J. Parry.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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?