John 4:10

10 Jesus answered, "If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water."

John 4:10 Meaning and Commentary

John 4:10

Jesus answered and said unto her
In a very serious manner, in a different way from hers:

if thou knewest the gift of God;
meaning, not the Holy Spirit with his gifts and graces, as some think, but himself; for the following clause is explanatory of it;

and who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink;
and Christ is also spoken of in the Old Testament, as the gift of God, ( Isaiah 9:6 ) and he had lately spoken of himself as such, ( John 3:16 ) and he is, by way of eminency, "the gift of God"; which is comprehensive of all others, is exceeding large, and very suitable to the wants and cases of men; and is irrevocable, unchangeable, and unspeakable: for he is God's gift, as he is his own and only begotten Son; and he is given for a covenant to the people, with all the promises and blessings of it; and as an head, both of eminence and influence; and to be a Saviour of them, and a sacrifice for their sins; and as the bread of life, for them to feed and live upon; of which gift, men are naturally ignorant, as this woman was: they know not the dignity of his person; nor the nature and usefulness of his offices; nor the way of peace, righteousness, and salvation by him; nor do they see any amiableness, or loveliness in him; and whatever notional knowledge some natural men may have of him, they know him not spiritually and experimentally, or as the gift of God to them:

thou wouldst have asked of him;
a favour and benefit; for such who truly know Christ, the worth and value of him, and their need of him, will apply to him for grace, as they have encouragement to do; since all grace is treasured up in him, and he gives it freely, and upbraideth not; and souls are invited to ask it of him, and take it freely; nor is it to be had anywhere else: but knowledge of Christ, is absolutely necessary, to asking anything of him; for till he is known, he will not be applied to; but when he is made known to any, in his fulness and suitableness, they will have recourse to him, and ask grace and mercy of him; and which is freely had: the Vulgate Latin very wrongly adds, "perhaps"; reading it, "perhaps thou wouldst have asked"; whereas our Lord's meaning is, that she would certainly have asked:

and he would have given thee living water;
pardoning and justifying grace, every branch of sanctifying grace, and all the supplies of it; so called, because his grace quickens sinners dead in sin, and dead in law, and in, their own apprehensions; and causes them to live in themselves, and before God; and because it refreshes and comforts, revives and cheers, and is like rivers of water in a dry land; and because it maintains and supports spiritual life in their souls; and it ever abides, and continues, and springs up unto everlasting life: for the allusion is to spring water, that bubbles up in a fountain, and is ever running; for such water the Jews call "living water"; see ( Genesis 26:19 ) ; where in the Hebrew text it is "living water"; which we, and also the Chaldee paraphrase, render "springing water". So living waters with them, are said to be always flowing, and never cease F20.


FOOTNOTES:

F20 Bartenora in Misn. Negaim, c. 14. sect. 1.

John 4:10 In-Context

8 (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)
9 The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, "How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?" (Jews in those days wouldn't be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered, "If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water."
11 The woman said, "Sir, you don't even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this 'living water'?
12 Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?"