Questions From Readers
▪ What did Jesus mean in saying that “the water” that he dispensed would become “a fountain of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life”?
Jesus told a Samaritan woman: “Everyone drinking from this water [at Jacob’s well] will get thirsty again. Whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty at all, but the water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water bubbling up to impart everlasting life.”—John 4:13, 14.
Jesus here focused primarily on the spiritual benefits that come to a person who has received His words and has become a disciple of Christ. Such a person who has continued to take in accurate knowledge of Jehovah God and Jesus Christ and has acted upon this with faith would be in position to get everlasting life. (John 17:3) Jesus illustrated this process in the person’s mind and heart as being like a fountain that bubbles up benefits, continually strengthening his faith and guiding his steps on the way to everlasting life.
While the emphasis at John 4:14 is on the benefits the individual himself receives, the Christian disciple who has an abundance of these spiritual waters naturally desires to share them unselfishly with others. He wants others to hear the Christian message and come to have within themselves a fountain bubbling up the same spiritual benefits leading to everlasting life. This sharing of the message with others seems to be the thought behind what Jesus said at John 7:37-39: “‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. He that puts faith in me, just as the Scripture has said, “Out from his inmost part streams of living water will flow.”’ However, he said this concerning the spirit which those who put faith in him were about to receive.”
Impelled by the activating force of God’s spirit, received from Pentecost 33 C.E. onward, Jesus’ apostles and disciples accomplished marvels in bringing living water to others. God’s spirit also plays a vital role in equipping and motivating Jesus’ disciples today, both the anointed remnant and the “great crowd” of “other sheep,” to impart life-giving water to thirsting mankind, as they preach the good news of God’s Kingdom worldwide. So the thirsty one must come to the one whom God is using to dispense the water of truth that leads to everlasting life.—Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20; John 7:37; 10:16; Revelation 7:9.