If thou knewest the gift of God - Δωρεαν signifies a free gift. A gift is any thing that is given, for which no equivalent has been or is to be returned: a free gift is that which has been given without asking or entreaty. Such a gift of kindness was Jesus Christ to the world, John 3:16; and through him comes the gift of the Spirit, which those who believe on his name were to receive. Christ was not an object of desire to the world - no man asked for him; and God, moved thereto by his own eternal mercy, freely gave him. Through this great gift comes the Holy Spirit, and all other gifts which are necessary to the salvation of a lost world.
Living water - By this expression, which was common to the inhabitants both of the east and of the west, is always meant spring water, in opposition to dead, stagnant water contained in ponds, pools, tanks, or cisterns; and what our Lord means by it is evidently the Holy Spirit, as may be seen, John 7:38, John 7:39.
As water quenches the thirst, refreshes and invigorates the body, purifies things defiled, and renders the earth fruitful, so it is an apt emblem of the gift of the Holy Ghost, which so satisfies the souls that receive it that they thirst no more for earthly good: it purifies also from all spiritual defilement, on which account it is emphatically styled the Holy Spirit; and it makes those who receive it fruitful in every good word and work.
The gift of God - The word “gift,” here denotes “favor.” It may refer to Jesus Himself, as the gift of God to the world, given to save men from death John 3:16; 2 Corinthians 9:15, or it may refer to the opportunity then afforded her of seeking salvation. If thou knewest how favorable an opportunity God now gives thee to gain a knowledge of himself, etc.
And who it is - If thou knewest that the Messiah was speaking.
Living water - The Jews used the expression “living water” to denote springs, fountains, or running streams, in opposition to dead and stagnant water. Jesus here means to denote by it his doctrine, or his grace and religion, in opposition to the impure and dead notions of the Jews and the Samaritans. See John 4:14. This was one of the many instances in which he took occasion from common topics of conversation to introduce religious discourse. None ever did it so happily as he did, but, by studying his example and manner, we may learn also to do it. One way to acquire the art is to have the mind full of the subject; to make religion our first and main thing; to carry it with us into all employments and into all society; to look upon everything in a religious light, and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth will speak, Matthew 12:34.
When they were scattered by persecution they went forth filled with missionary zeal. They realized the responsibility of their mission. They knew that they held in their hands the bread of life for a famishing world; and they were constrained by the love of Christ to break this bread to all who were in need. The Lord wrought through them. Wherever they went, the sick were healed and the poor had the gospel preached unto them. AA 106.1
Philip, one of the seven deacons, was among those driven from Jerusalem. He “went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits ... came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city.” AA 106.2
Christ's message to the Samaritan woman with whom He had talked at Jacob's well had borne fruit. After listening to His words, the woman had gone to the men of the city, saying, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” They went with her, heard Jesus, and believed on Him. Anxious to hear more, they begged Him to remain. For two days He stayed with them, “and many more believed because of His own word.” John 4:29, 41. AA 106.3Read in context »
This chapter is based on John 4:1-42.
On the way to Galilee Jesus passed through Samaria. It was noon when He reached the beautiful Vale of Shechem. At the opening of this valley was Jacob's well. Wearied with His journey, He sat down here to rest while His disciples went to buy food. DA 183.1Read in context »
This was the only miracle that Jesus wrought while on this journey. It was for the performance of this act that He went to the borders of Tyre and Sidon. He wished to relieve the afflicted woman, and at the same time to leave an example in His work of mercy toward one of a despised people for the benefit of His disciples when He should no longer be with them. He wished to lead them from their Jewish exclusiveness to be interested in working for others besides their own people. DA 402.1
Jesus longed to unfold the deep mysteries of the truth which had been hid for ages, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs with the Jews, and “partakers of His promise in Christ by the gospel.” Ephesians 3:6. This truth the disciples were slow to learn, and the divine Teacher gave them lesson upon lesson. In rewarding the faith of the centurion at Capernaum, and preaching the gospel to the inhabitants of Sychar, He had already given evidence that He did not share the intolerance of the Jews. But the Samaritans had some knowledge of God; and the centurion had shown kindness to Israel. Now Jesus brought the disciples in contact with a heathen, whom they regarded as having no reason above any of her people, to expect favor from Him. He would give an example of how such a one should be treated. The disciples had thought that He dispensed too freely the gifts of His grace. He would show that His love was not to be circumscribed to race or nation. DA 402.2
When He said, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” He stated the truth, and in His work for the Canaanite woman He was fulfilling His commission. This woman was one of the lost sheep that Israel should have rescued. It was their appointed work, the work which they had neglected, that Christ was doing. DA 402.3Read in context »
Every human being, in body, soul, and spirit, is the property of God. Christ died to redeem all. Nothing can be more offensive to God than for men, through religious bigotry, to bring suffering upon those who are the purchase of the Saviour's blood. DA 488.1
“And He arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto Him again; and, as He was wont, He taught them again.” Mark 10:1. DA 488.2
A considerable part of the closing months of Christ's ministry was spent in Perea, the province on “the farther side of Jordan” from Judea. Here the multitude thronged His steps, as in His early ministry in Galilee, and much of His former teaching was repeated. DA 488.3Read in context »