Brief Meditative Reflections on John 4:1-26 – Jacob’s Well & Worshiping God in “Truth”

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.

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