“but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Explanation and Commentary of John 4:14
Jesus Christ was a radical in all the best ways. He was unconcerned with cultural norms, or public opinions. He had a mission to accomplish for the love of the whole world and that even included the hated Samaritans and the lower rungs of society like the promiscuous woman at Jacob’s well. In a conversation with this woman, he explains that unlike the water she is drawing at the well, the water he gives will eradicate thirst. First misunderstanding him to mean some magical water that would cause her to never have to come to the well again, Jesus explains that the water he gives is the Holy Spirit of regeneration, the presence of God, and the eternal life that comes with the deal.
Water and the nourishment and refreshment it brings is a theme running from the beginning to the end of the Bible. There were rivers that watered the garden of Eden (Gen 2:10-14). Psalm 1 tells us that a righteous man is like a tree planted by streams of water. Jesus himself was baptized in the waters of the Jordan (Mt 3:13). And in Revelation 22:1 we see that the River of the water of life, that flows by the throne of God will water the tree of life and heal the nations.
In this context, Jesus offers spiritual water. To believe in him and be filled with his Holy Spirit is to be cleansed of our sins, and washed clean by his blood. The spiritual water that flows from us will be a source of spiritual healing and refreshment to all those we minister to in Jesus’ name. We ourselves can never be truly spiritually thirsty after imbibing this water, having received the gift of eternal life in Christ and peace with God.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of John 4:14
In contrast to everyone who drinks natural water from Jacobs well (Gen 33:18) at which they were sitting in conversation.
#2 “Whoever drinks the water I give them…”
Jesus gives eternal life, peace with God, and the Holy Spirit. He holds out the cup of salvation for us, but we must take it and drink.
#3 “…will never thirst.”
Once saved, we have all we need to fill the voids, hunger, and thirsts in our hearts. If we feel that thirst we must go back to our faith in Christ, and remind ourselves of the gospel and the realization that we have all that we need by faith.
#4 “Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up…”
What may begin as a trickle will grow over time as a Christian grows and matures in his or her relationship with Christ.
#5 “to eternal life.”
The ultimate result is everlasting life in heaven with God. Eternal life is set in motion with the very first drink from Christ. We who are saved are already living our eternal life by this living water. One drink from Christ and it cannot be undone.
Bible Study on John 4:14
Expert Overview of John Ch. 1-12
Biblical Translations of John 4:14
“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
“But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
“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.”
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.