The Samaritan woman highly regarded the origin of the well, but the Lord Jesus turned her to the effectiveness of the well. He said, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again” (John 4:13). The well had a long history, but the water from the well did not have an eternal effect. Everyone who drank of this water thirsted again. People exerted much effort in order to drink this water, but the effect of this water was neither great nor long lasting. This water could quench man’s thirst temporarily; it could not quench man’s thirst permanently.
- effectiveness /ɪˈfektɪvnəs/ 有效性，效果
- exert /ɪɡˈzɜːrt/ 施加，运用
- permanently /ˈpɜːrmənəntli/ 永久地，长期不变地
This water was from the well given by her forefathers; it was not the gift of God. This water came from the ground, not a heavenly fountain. Man obtained this water with a bucket, not through believing in Christ. This water required human labor; it was not given freely. This water was of the present age; it was not eternal. This water is anything that is handed down, anything that is out of the ground, and anything obtained through methods and human labor. Hence, it cannot quench man’s thirst. In other words, this water is anything that is not given to man by the gift of God, anything that is not out of heaven, anything that is not in Christ or through Christ, anything that is not obtained freely from God, and anything that is not eternal.
Knowledge and doctrines that have been passed down from forefathers cannot quench the thirst within man. They cannot fill the emptiness of human life. The doctrines of Confucius can temporarily change your conduct, and the philosophy of Socrates can seemingly enlighten your mind, but they cannot quench your thirst. Knowledge and doctrine are the water of the world that is out of man, not out of God. They have been passed down through generations; they have not been given by God. They may be good and offer temporary help, but they cannot give eternal satisfaction. If you have knowledge and doctrine, your life is still empty, and you are still dissatisfied. You may drink of this water, but you will still be thirsty.
- temporarily /ˌtempəˈrerəli/ 临时地
Some people love money and enjoyment instead of knowledge and philosophy. These people say that money is practical and that their enjoyment is real. Let me ask: Can money prevent thirst? Can enjoyment satisfy man’s spirit? Gold bars and dollar bills can meet a temporary need for clothing, food, housing, and transportation, but they cannot provide eternal satisfaction. Amusement and entertainment can give a person temporary happiness, but they cannot give his spirit lasting joy. Various forms of enjoyment, such as dancing and going to theaters, can meet only a physical or mental need; they cannot quench the deep thirst within man. The earthly riches and pleasures of this world are “this water.” Whoever drinks of it will thirst again. Earthly riches and pleasures give man a kind of enjoyment, but they cannot give man satisfaction. They are “this water,” but they are not the thirst-quenching water.
- practical /ˈpræktɪkl/实际的；真实的
- housing /ˈhaʊzɪŋ/ 住房，住宅
- transportation /ˌtrænspɔːrˈteɪʃn/ 交通，运输
Earthly things and the pleasures of this world do not merely fail to quench man’s thirst; they actually increase man’s thirst. The more man gains earthly things and the pleasures of this world, the greater the thirst becomes within him. The more man gains earthly things and the pleasures of this world, the thirstier he becomes. Hence, the Lord Jesus said that everyone who drinks of “this water” will thirst again. The water of this world, the worldly pleasures, make man thirsty instead of quenching his thirst. The more man drinks the water of this world, the thirstier he becomes. The more he drinks, the greater is his desire to drink; and the more he drinks, the greater is his ability to drink. A person who makes fifty thousand dollars wants to make a hundred thousand dollars. When he makes a hundred thousand dollars, he wants two hundred thousand dollars. When a person has a son, he wants a daughter. When a person finishes elementary school, he wants to advance to middle school and then high school. After he finishes middle school and high school, he wants to attend college. When he has a bachelor’s degree, he wants a master’s degree. After he has a master’s degree, he wants a doctorate degree. Then he wants to become a government official or the chief of a bureau. When he becomes the chief of a bureau, he wants to become a mayor. After he becomes a mayor, he wants to become a cabinet member or a minister. He always wants more. He is thirsty even after his death. He will be thirsty in Hades and thirsty in the lake of fire.
- make money 赚钱
- doctorate degree /ˈdɑːktərət dɪˈɡriː / 博士学位
- bureau /ˈbjʊroʊ/ 机构
- chief /tʃiːf/ 长官
- cabinet /ˈkæbɪnət/ 内阁
- minister 政府部门部长
The Samaritan woman previously had five husbands, and the one she was with was not her husband. Her thirst was not quenched with her first husband. She was still thirsty with her second husband and third husband, so she had a fourth, fifth, and sixth husband. She was thirsty even though she had many husbands, and her thirst only increased her desire for more. However, the more husbands she had, the thirstier she became. The words the Lord Jesus spoke were true: “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again” (v. 13).
In a gospel meeting in the south of Fukien, I said, “This woman kept changing husbands because one by one they could not quench her thirst. She had one, but her thirst was not quenched, so she had another one. When the second one could not quench her thirst, she looked for another one. She kept changing husbands and did not hesitate to sin, because her husbands could not quench her thirst.” Remarkably, in the audience there was an educated, fashionable woman who had had three husbands. She was amazed when she heard this, and she thought that I was talking about her. Afterward, she went to one of her schoolmates, the wife of a brother, and asked, “Did you tell Mr. Lee about my affairs so that he would speak about me?” The sister said, “No, Mr. Lee does not even know you. He was talking about a woman in the Bible.” As a result, she received the Lord. She admitted that her husbands could not quench the thirst in her human life.
- Fukien /ˈfuːˈkjen/ 福建的旧称
- remarkably /rɪˈmɑːrkəbli/
- fashionable 引人注目地
- afterward /ˈæftərwərd/ 【副】后来
- affair /əˈfer/ 风流韵事
- admit /ədˈmɪt/ 承认
The things and the pleasures of this world only make man thirsty; they cannot quench man’s thirst. Furthermore, they are poisonous and harmful. The people who enjoy them are drinking poison to quench their thirst and are poisoned as a result. Many people have been ruined by money, and many people have been ruined by knowledge. Countless people have been ruined by seeking entertainment in dancing halls, fornication, and gambling. The things and the pleasures of this world ruin not only individuals but also families, and they ruin not only man’s body but also man’s soul in the present age, in the future, and in eternity.
- poisonous /ˈpɔɪzənəs/ 有毒的
- harmful /ˈhɑːrmfl/ 有害的
- ruin /ˈruːɪn/ 毁坏
- countless /ˈkaʊntləs/ 无数的
Worldly pleasures are obtained and applied improperly; they are unprofitable and also harmful. Furthermore, they cannot fill the emptiness of human life, nor can they quench man’s thirst. Only the water that Christ gives can satisfy you and cause you not to thirst forever.
- apply /əˈplaɪ/ 使用；应用
- improperly /ɪmˈprɑːpərli/ 不适当地
- unprofitable /ʌnˈprɑːfɪtəbl/ 无益的，没有用的
THE WATER THAT CHRIST GIVES
The water that Christ gives is His life, which is God’s life. God has given His own life as living water to man. Man needs the living water. God wants man to receive the living water, and Jesus Christ came in order for man to receive this living water. Christ gave Himself on the cross in order to release this living water, and the Spirit enters into man so that man may receive this living water. The living water is the center of God’s salvation and the goal of man’s salvation. Man’s being saved is his receiving this living water. When this living water enters into man, it quenches his thirst and becomes in man a fountain springing up into eternal life. Only the living water that Christ gives can satisfy the human life and quench man’s thirst forever.
After the Lord spoke of the water that causes man not to thirst forever, the Samaritan woman said, “Sir, give me this water” (v. 15). Initially, she said that the Lord Jesus was but a Jew, but she now called Him “Sir.” The way she addressed the Lord Jesus improved, but her knowledge of the Lord Jesus was still inadequate. In spite of her inadequate knowledge of the Lord Jesus, the Samaritan woman asked Him for this water.
- initially /ɪˈnɪʃəli/ 【副】最初，首先
- address 【动】称呼（某人）
- inadequate /ɪnˈædɪkwət/ 不充分的；不足的
The Lord Jesus had said, “If you…would have asked Him… He would have given you living water” (v. 10). This was a promise. Although the Samaritan woman did not have sufficient knowledge, she asked, and the Lord Jesus had to grant her request and give her the living water according to His word, His promise. For someone to ask the Lord for living water and be saved does not require much knowledge of the Lord. Someone who does not know the Lord adequately will be saved if he is willing to ask. Many people who did not have much knowledge of the Lord have been saved because they were willing to ask. In England there was a well-known, beautiful, and intelligent woman who was born into a family of high standing. She attended most of the parties in her town and liked to dance. One day a large banquet was being held to welcome the Prince of Wales. Everyone told the host that the party would not be a success unless this woman was invited. The party was for the Prince of Wales, but she was the center of the party. That day she danced very well, and everyone praised her; she was also very content and happy. However, that night as she sat alone in her room, everything was tasteless. She asked herself, “What is the meaning of all this? Is this not vanity?” She said to herself, “If a missionary saw me now in this state, he would talk to me about God and say, ‘You need God.’” But she was determined not to believe in God, so she said, “I cannot believe in God. I do not want God.” She continued to consider and again spoke to herself, saying, “If a Christian saw me in this state, he would talk to me about Christ and say, ‘You need Christ.’” But she was determined not to believe in Christ, so she said, “I will not believe in Christ. I do not want Christ.” After a little while she decided to pray. She began by saying, “God! I hate You! I do not love You!” Then she said, “I hate You! You said that the world You created is not lovable. But I feel that it is very lovable. I hate You! I do not love You!” Her prayer was the most peculiar prayer ever recorded in a Christian book.
- sufficient /səˈfɪʃnt/ 足够的；充足的
- grant /ɡrænt/ 同意，允许
- adequately /ˈædɪkwətli/ 充分地；足够地
- intelligent /ɪnˈtelɪdʒənt/聪明的
- banquet /ˈbæŋkwɪt/ 宴会；盛宴
- missionary /ˈmɪʃəneri/ 传教士
- be determined to do sth 决心作某事
However, her prayer was effective. The next day she was a different person. The night before she had told God, “I hate You! I do not love You!” But the next day she was changed. She loved God very much. She had joy and satisfaction. From that day onward, she would tell God, “Even if the whole world were given to me, I would throw everything away to love You.” This woman did not know God, and her prayer was very odd, but she prayed and contacted God. Therefore, she gained God and received salvation.
- onward /ˈɑːnwərd/ 以后
- odd /ɑːd/ 奇怪的
There are others who also did not know the Lord. Some even doubted the existence of God. But they prayed, “O Lord Jesus, if You are God, make me believe in You.” Others prayed, “God, if You exist, make me believe.” Because they prayed and asked in this way, they gained God and were saved.
Ask Him, and He will give you living water. This is the Lord’s word. Heaven and earth will pass away, but the Lord’s words can never pass away; they will be fulfilled. If you ask Him according to His word, He will give you your request. To ask is not to comprehend or to understand. To ask is to request. It is not to study or comprehend with the mind but to request with the heart. It is not to contact dead doctrines with the mind but to contact the living Lord with your heart. Many people study doctrines concerning Christ by exercising their mind and contact Christianity with their mind, but they do not contact Christ with their heart. As a result, they are not saved. Many people understand doctrines, but they have never asked the Lord to give them living water; therefore, they are not saved. If you want to be saved, to have the life of God, you must ask the Lord and contact the Lord with your heart.
THE MATTER OF HER HUSBAND
When the Samaritan woman asked the Lord for the living water, the Lord asked concerning her husband. He brought up this matter so that she could gain the living water. The Lord said, “Go, call your husband and come here” (v. 16). She asked the Lord for living water, but the Lord asked her about her husband. Her husband was her history. Her manner of life was included in the matter of her husband. Therefore, the Lord asked her for her husband in order to lead her to know her corrupt manner of life and to confess her sins.
In order for the Samaritan woman to receive the living water of life, she had to confess her sins related to her husband. How could she confess such sins? The Lord is so sweet! He wanted her to confess her sins, but He did not point out her sins. Instead, He gently brought up the matter of her husband in order to lead her to know her corrupt living and to confess her sins.
When the Samaritan woman heard the Lord bring up the matter of her husband, she sensed her corrupt living, but she was unwilling to confess her sins. Instead, she told a truthful lie, saying, “I do not have a husband” (v. 17). She attempted to deceive the Lord Jesus with a half truth. But the Lord Jesus is God; He knows everything related to man’s living, and He knows what is in man. He knew her hidden living, and He knew that she was attempting to deceive Him, but He did not rebuke her. Instead, He said, “You have well said, I do not have a husband, for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly” (vv. 17-18). The Lord took the lead to bring out her secret living when He said, “You have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband.” The Lord’s word not only brought forth her history, her hidden living, but also confessed her sins for her. The Lord Jesus is great and fine, full of insight yet very considerate, respectable and lovely, and awesome yet approachable.
- attempt /əˈtempt/ 努力；尝试
- rebuke /rɪˈbjuːk/ 指责；批评
- take the lead to do sth 率先作某事
- considerate /kənˈsɪdərət/ 为（他人）着想的，体谅的
- respectable /rɪˈspektəbl/ 值得尊敬的
- awesome /ˈɔːsəm/ 使人惊惧的
- approachable /əˈproʊtʃəbl/ 和蔼可亲的
When the Samaritan woman asked the Lord for living water, He led her to know her corrupt nature and then to confess her sins. If someone asks for living water, the Lord will lead him to know his corrupt nature and to confess his sins. Unless a person confesses his sins, he will not receive the Lord’s salvation and the Lord’s life. Therefore, no one can ask the Lord for living water without being led by the Lord to know his corrupt nature and to confess his sins. An idol will not lead a person to see his corrupt nature or to confess his sins. The Lord Jesus, however, will lead a person to know his corrupt nature and to confess his sins. Some people sense their sins before they even approach the Lord Jesus. Some sense their sins and defilement as soon as they have the thought to ask the Lord for living water.
- idol /ˈaɪdl/ 偶像
- defilement /dɪˈfaɪlmənt/ 污秽
The Lord’s leading people to sense their corrupt nature and to confess their sins proves that He wants to give them His life. The Lord asked this woman for her husband because He wanted to respond to her prayer and to give her living water. Whenever someone asks the Lord for salvation, the Lord asks him about his sins. Whenever someone asks to be saved, the Lord wants him to confess his sins.
There was a person who was always praised and felt that he was not bad. He despised Christianity and thought that a gentleman like him did not need Christianity. One day while he was recuperating in a hospital, however, he decided to ask the Lord Jesus for living water. While he was asking, he sensed that he was full of sins. He prostrated himself on the floor and confessed his sins to the Lord with many tears. After confessing his sins, his heart was filled with joy, and he knew that he had been saved by the Lord.
- despise /dɪˈspaɪz/ 轻视，鄙视
- recuperate /rɪˈkuːpəreɪt/ 康复；恢复健康
- prostrate /ˈprɑːstreɪt/ 俯伏；拜倒
If you want the Lord to save you, you must let the Lord lead you to see your sins and to confess them to Him. When you give your sins to the Lord, the Lord will give His salvation to you. Your sins need to be confessed. The matter of the husband had to be brought forth in order for the living water to flow into the Samaritan woman.
After hearing the Lord’s words concerning her husband, the Samaritan woman said, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet” (v. 19). She now considered the Lord to be a prophet. However, she turned the subject from her husband to worship. Her husband was a matter of sin, which was scandalous. Worship, however, was a matter of religion, which was noble. It is not easy to confess one’s sins, but it is easy to talk about religion. Therefore, she turned from an embarrassing topic to a convenient topic. But the Lord Jesus is truly the Lord. He could lead this woman from the impersonal topic that she had brought up to the practical matter of contacting God with the human spirit.
- perceive /pərˈsiːv/ 注意到；意识到
- scandalous /ˈskændələs/ 可耻的
- embarrassing /ɪmˈbærəsɪŋ/ 使人难堪的
- convenient /kənˈviːniənt/ 便利的；方便的
- impersonal /ɪmˈpɜːrsənl/ 非个人的