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?…
1. It is characteristic of John that this metaphor omitted in the other Gospels should be preserved by him.
2. This emblem of spiritual vitality was not new (Isaiah 12:3; Isaiah 41:17, 18; Jeremiah 2:13).
3. The prophetic Scriptures, however, were unknown to the woman, for the Samaritans only received the Pentateuch, and had she known them it is not likely that she would have caught their inner sense.
4. Christ is the true well of life. In Him all fulness dwells. What a claim to be made by the carpenter of Nazareth; either an unpardonable exaggeration or a witness to His Divinity.
5. The water drawn from Christ as the well is the Spirit of life He imparts.
6. The points of analogy are obvious.
(1) As the well was free to all comers, so is Christ free and accessible to all (Isaiah 55:1).
(2) As water is a necessary of life and has power to enliven the faint and refresh the weary, so the Holy Spirit is necessary to the interior life and able to restore the discouraged and revive the languid.
7. The point of contrast was that water from Jacob's well would give but temporary relief, because water imbibed is soon worked off or consumed in the waste of the system. But the living water is not spent or exhausted in the operation of the spiritual life. The Holy Ghost abides.
8. See how we have to do with the Christ without and the Christ within. As the woman had to go beyond the town to reach the well, so every one must go beyond himself and his whole social environment and come to Jesus. Then Christ enters the heart that has asked of Him and dwells there.
9. There ought to be increase of spiritual life. The inward well may be deepened and the stream have a more copious flow. Alas! how often is it choked and all but dried up with worldliness!
10. The career of Jesus is an example of life in the Spirit. How strong its current was is shown by His forgetfulness of His physical want when the opportunity came of opening spiritual things.
(Donald Fraser, D. D.)
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?