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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN - Chapter 4 - Verse 14

Verse 14. The water that I shall give him. Jesus here refers, without doubt, to his own teaching, his grace, his spirit, and to the benefits which come into the soul that embraces his gospel. It is a striking image, and especially in Eastern countries, where there are vast deserts, and often a great want of water. The soul by nature is like such a desert, or like a traveller wandering through such a desert. It is thirsting for happiness, and seeking it everywhere, and finds it not. It looks in all directions and tries all objects, but in vain. Nothing meets its desires. Though a sinner seeks for joy in wealth and pleasures, yet he is not satisfied. He still thirsts for more, and seeks still for happiness in some new enjoyment. To such a weary and unsatisfied sinner the grace of Christ is as cold waters to a thirsty soul.

Shall never thirst. He shall be satisfied with this, and will not have a sense of want, a distressing feeling that it is not adapted to him. He who drinks this will not wish to seek for happiness in other objects. Satisfied with the grace of Christ, he will not desire the pleasures and amusements of this world. And this will be for ever—in this world and the world to come. Whosoever drinketh of this—all who partake of the gospel—shall be for ever satisfied with its pure and rich joys.

Shall be in him. The grace of Christ shall be in his heart; or the principles of religion shall abide with him.

A well of water. There shall be a constant supply, an unfailing fountain; or religion shall live constantly with him.

Springing up. This is a beautiful image. It shall bubble or spring up like a fountain. It is not like a stagnant pool—not like a deep well, but like an ever-living fountain, that flows at all seasons of the year, in heat and cold, and in all external circumstances of weather, whether foul or fair, wet or dry. So religion always lives; and, amid all changes of external circumstances—in heat and cold, hunger and thirst, prosperity and adversity, life, persecution, contempt, or death—it still lives on, and refreshes and cheers the soul.

Into everlasting life. It is not temporary, like the supply of our natural wants; it is not changing in its nature; it is not like a natural fountain or spring of water, to play a while and then die away, as all natural springs will at the end of the world. It is eternal in its nature and supply, and will continue to live on for ever. We may learn here—

1st. That the Christian has a never-failing source of consolation adapted to all times and circumstances.

2nd. That religion has its seat in the heart, and that it should constantly live there.

3rd. That it sheds its blessings on a world of sin, and is manifest by a continual life of piety, like a constant flowing spring.

4th. That its end is everlasting life. It will continue for ever; and whosoever drinks of this shall never thirst, but his piety shall be in his heart a pure fountain springing up to eternal joy.

{g} "whosoever drinketh" Joh 6:35,58 {h} "I shall give him" Joh 17:2,3; Ro 6:23

{i} "in him a well" Joh 7:38

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