March 2, 2013

Drink Of My Water – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:19 pm by sranderson0103

“Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:13-14)

Water is an astounding creation. It was designed by God with very special, unique qualities. We will resist the temptation to launch into a chemistry lecture, but the content would be amazing. Without water’s mind-boggling qualities, many things we take for granted in this world, including life, would be impossible. Our bodies are mostly water and without constant replenishment, our bodies quickly die. When Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, he used these obvious, familiar facts to teach essential truth, both to her and to us.

Jesus often quoted from the Old Testament, using the Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. Today, we have excellent English translations that communicate well the thoughts originally revealed in Greek words. However, there are times when a consideration of the original words provides additional insight.

The two occurrences of the word “drink” in the above verse are actually in two different forms. Greek “tenses” describe the kind of action involved. In the first case, the Greek word is in the present “tense” which implies a durative, continuing drinking. In the second instance, a punctiliar, one-time, finished action is indicated. In other words, the original language indicates, “Everyone who keeps on, continually drinking this well water will have to do it again and again. Whoever drinks of my water is done.”

Likewise, consider that the woman referred to a “well” (v. 12), literally “a hole in the ground.” The Greek lexicon BAGD says of φρεαρ: “1. a construction consisting of a vertical shaft, covered with a stone,…” The water Christ offers comes from a different kind of “well.” He uses a different word. His “well” is a spring. Consider BAGD’s definition of this word πηγη: “1. a source of something. that gushes out or flows, spring, fountain, flow…”

Furthermore, when our translations tell us that Jesus said one who drinks from His spring shall “never thirst,” considerably more is indicated in the original. An unusual order of words, in the English language, just sounds weird. In the Greek, a different order can imply special emphasis. When Jesus said, “shall never thirst” the order of the words implies this was emphatic. In our emails, we communicate this by using all caps, “SHALL NEVER THIRST.” And, in the original we have a double negative (taboo in English). The two negatives precede the verb “thirst” which is further strengthened by the powerful word “forever” (in different order). Now, let’s do “in other words” again: “SHALL NOT, REALLY SHALL NOT THIRST, FOREVER!”

One who drinks from the wells of the world will thirst again and again and again, because sinful pleasures never satisfy, certainly not for long. But a punctiliar drink from the spring of “living water” (John 4:10; 7:38) of which Christ spoke, eliminates that durative thirst and absolutely eliminates it forever.

The lingering, tormenting guilt (Psalm 38:1-4), the hollow yearning for the eternal (Ecclesiastes 3:11) that God placed in the hearts of men, is vanquished and replaced with satisfied joy (I Peter 1:8). This drink of the living water of life becomes in the believer a veritable spring, inexhaustible in its quantity and unsurpassed in its quality. It provides for us “everything pertaining to life and godliness,” (II Peter 1:3).

Are you thirsty? “…the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.” (Revelation 22:17, Holman).

Adapted from an article by John Morris




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