What Did Christ Mean?
Jesus the Christ (Gk. Christos: the Anointed One, the Messiah), the Son of God (i.e., God manifested in the flesh), made a number of exceedingly significant statements during His ministry prior to being crucified on Calvary.
During Christs tenure on earth He endeavored to offer the promised kingdom to the nation of Israel should it repent and recognize Him as the Christ, the promised Messiah. Yet, it should be understood that the ultimate objective of His earthly path involved all mankind. Early in His ministry to the Jews He needed to travel through Samaria, and during this journey He came to a city called Sychar. At Sychar He sat down to rest at Jacobs well, and at noontime He met a Samarian woman who came to draw water at the well. The following exchange resulted between Christ and this non-Jewish, Samaritan woman.
(7) A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink. . . .
(9) Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman? For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.
(10) Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.
(11) The woman said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?
(12) Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?
(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. . . .
The Samaritans were a mixture by intermarriage of the Jews left in the land (2 Chronicles 30:6, 10; 34:9) with colonists from Babylon and other regions sent by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria. After Shalmaneser led the ten tribes into captivity, he introduced the ancestors of the Samaritans into the land of Israel (2 Kings 17:24-41). When the Jews returned from their captivity in Babylon and began to rebuild their temple, the Samaritans asked permission to build with them, and when this was refused, a pronounced enmity arose between the two people that never died out (Ezra 4:1-5; Nehemiah 2:10; 4:1-3).
Because of the antipathy between the Jews and the Samaritans, the woman expressed curiosity as to why Christ, a Jew, would even ask her for a drink of water. And with His answer to this question, Christ introduces the heart of His issue with the woman, i.e., the gift of God and its availability to her, to all people, Jewish or not.
The gift of God is mentioned in several passages of Scripture within the New Testament, as follows:
But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. (16) And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. (17) For if by the one mans offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. (18) Therefore, as through one mans offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Mans righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. (Romans 5:15-18)
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, (9) not of works, lest anyone should boast. (Ephesians 2:8, 9)
Furthermore, Christ compared the gift of God to a fountain of living water, also mentioned in Scripture, as follows:
Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation. (3) Therefore with joy you will draw water from the well of salvation. (Isaiah 12:2, 3)
For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns-broken cisterns that can hold no water.
O LORD, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You shall be ashamed. Those who depart from Me Shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters. (Jeremiah 17:13)
For with You is the fountain of life; in Your light we see light. (Psalm 36:9)
The gift of God to all individuals of the human race is the availability of being justified before God for all eternity. It is a gift emanating out of Gods grace (unmerited favor) and divine love for mankind. It is a gift that man could never afford but which was totally purchased by the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. It is a gift that anyone, upon realizing his spiritually abysmal condition, can and may only be received by executing a faith-based decision in Jesus Christ, i.e., placing his/her trust solely in Christ and His work on the cross for his/her salvation, i.e., eternal life.
As water is essential for physical life during ones tenure on this earth, the gift of God is indeed the spiritual living water that is absolutely essential for ones eternal tenure with God subsequent to his/her physical tenure upon earth.
And by clearly stating that this gift was available to the Samaritan woman at the well, a person outside of the Jewish ethnicity/race, Christ was confirming His previous statement that He made to Nicodemus, to wit:
For God so loved the world [Gk. kosmos all mankind] that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
(John 3:16, 17)
And that was Christs meaning during that portion of His conversation at the well with the woman from Samaria. For a more detailed review of the gift of God for all of mankind, please click on the following link: