As I read and meditated on this passage, something with which I was initially struck that I hadn’t paid much attention to before was the significance of this well in the story. In v.5, John goes out of his way to point out this well’s significance. It was Jacob’s well, the great forefather of Israel. Moreover, after Jesus mentions His “living water,” the woman asks in v.12, Are you greater than our father Jacob who gave us this well and drank out of it himself? In other words, do you think that your water is somehow better than Jacob’s, our great forefather? And of course, likely alluding to the OT imagery of the Holy Spirit as water, Jesus argues that His “water” is superior. Jesus is greater than Jacob. And, if D.A. Carson’s understanding of “truth” (i.e., the reality, the antitype) in v.24 is correct, this insight correlates to Jesus’ statement about worshipping in “truth.” Jesus is that “true” everything that the OT anticipated according to John. Specifically here, He is superior to Jacob; His well, i.e., Himself, is the “true” well.
The following belongs to a series entitled “An Introductory Biblical Theology of Resurrection.” Read other posts belonging to this series here.
The Gospel of John
The resurrection, both Christ’s and the believer’s, plays a central role in John’s Gospel. Because Jesus is one with the Father (5:17-18), His will is exactly the Father’s (5:19, 21; 6:37-40), and “whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise” (5:19). Just as God raises the dead (a prerogative seen in the OT as belonging to God alone [2 Kings 5:17]), so Christ raises whomever He wills. Christ came to do His Father’s will (6:38)—to lose none of those whom the Father had given Him to save, but to secure their resurrection (6:39-40). And because Jesus has life in Himself as the Father has life in Himself (5:26), presumably He is able to raise others to life (5:25-29). As Christ has life in Himself, all those in whom He abides and who abide in Him have life (6:53-58). Those who hear the voice of Jesus (5:25) are drawn by the Father to come to Christ (6:44), believe on Christ (6:47), metaphorically feed on His flesh and blood (John 6:54), and are raised to life in some sense now—they have eternal life presently and in this sense will never die (John 5:25; 6:40, 47, 57-58; 11:25-26). But after physically dying, they will also be raised bodily on the last day (John 6:40; 44, 54; 11:24). All will certainly be raised, but some to life and others to judgment (John 5:28-29).
In this article, Andy Naselli discusses the beginning of John 15 and Jesus’ command, “Abide in Me, and I in you” (v.4). The article seeks to answer two questions many have posed regarding this passage. First, who are those represented by first type of branch that abide in Christ and therefore bear much fruit? Does this speak of some or all believers? Are these spiritual Christians or is abiding in Christ a characteristic of every true believer? Second, who are those represented by the second type of branch that never bears fruit and is therefore cut off? Is this a once saved believer who loses his salvation? Is this a saved yet unfruitful believer whom God is chastising? Or might this simply be a professing believer is not truly saved? Obviously, such questions have immense soteriological implications.
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* Originally posted on former blog, I’m Calling Us Out.