13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus did not move into a tangent by talking about physical water or whether Jacob left this well for the Samaritans. Instead, He went to the issue of eternal life. Jesus offered the woman something more than a materialistic worldview. In one sense, He did take up the woman’s question about Jacob in that He would talk about someone greater than Jacob.
Jesus now made His promise stronger. He offered something that is more than transitory; His offer is eternal. No one can ever satisfy the eternal with the temporal. God’s offer is one of perpetual and eternal satisfaction.
Jesus answered and said to her,
Now Jesus began to expound His enigmatic statement about “living water.” Jesus explained that He was indeed greater than Jacob. Jacob provided physical water but Jesus gave a sustenance that will last forever.
“Whoever drinks of this water [of Jacob’s well] will thirst again,
“This water” is the water of Jacob’s well. Physical water lasts only until a person becomes thirsty again. Jacob should be honored for his well and history to the nation Israel, so Jesus did not attempt to diminish the woman’s tradition.
but whoever drinks
“Drinks” here is “whoever drinks at one point.” The idea is that whoever believes in Jesus as a single act will never thirst again.
of the water that I [emphatic] shall give him will never thirst.
The water that Jesus gives will permanently satisfy spiritual thirst. Since Christ’s drink is permanent, it is not something to be repeated. This phrase is one of emphatic negation—a statement about the eternal nature of never having a spiritual need again. The idea is “never again” or “by no means” ever thirst again.
Note the emphatic “I” in the phrase “I shall give him.” Jesus identifies Himself as the self-revelation of the Giver of life. Jacob “gave” the well, but Jesus sovereignly gives eternal life. There is a big difference between the kind of water that Jesus has and that of Jacob.
But the water [eternal life] that I shall give him
Jesus further explained the nature of His living water that differs from physical water.
will become in him
Jesus’ living water is found in the soul of one who believes in Him. There is no need to go to a well to draw this water; it is found within the person. It is inseparable from our person. This new life resides in the substance of our souls. This is an inward, not external, value.
a fountain of water springing up [bubbling up of itself] into everlasting life.”
Jesus gives eternal life-giving water (Jn 7:38-39). Living water will well up continually within the believer until the eternal state.
Grace does not flow to us for a short time; it ever springs up into eternal life.
Eternal life acts like a fountain. A fountain functions in motion. It has its own power that changes the person. That is why the person who imbibes salvation, eternal water, will never thirst again.
Eternal life possesses inherent power. There is no need to pump it up by our own will. It resides fundamentally within our person from the point we receive Christ as our Savior. It is something that God grants the believer. Stagnant water can only move by gravity or by some mechanical force, but living water bubbles up of its own accord without any external force.
We cannot obtain salvation outside of our souls. God will enter the waiting heart and abide there forever. Salvation will rest in the true person. There will never be a need to take a drink of eternal life again because it abides in the soul forever.
The reason for spiritual thirst is the source. The water that Jesus offers satisfies the soul within the person. Jesus’ water penetrates the entire person. His water works within the person without end. This is because there is a supernatural vitality at work that functions with undiminished vigor in the soul. The life that Jesus gives is no stagnant thing. It brings a person to a new state of being. It is entrance into abundant life (Jn 10:10).