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The Well of Many Waters

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Finding Old Testament richness in Jesus' encounter with the "woman at the well".

Text: John 4:11-14
Date: 12/30/2012, the Traditional service.

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When Jesus encountered the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob, He offered her the gift of "living water", a "spring of water welling up to eternal life". Although this may seem like a simple metaphor of salvation through the Holy Spirit, there are many Scriptural themes running through Jesus' discussion of this "gift of God". We will in fact view this meeting as the culmination of many such encounters throughout Scripture. We will look at four of them from the Old Testament and find depth and richness in each one to add to the significance of our text. Scripture often speaks of the powerful revelation of God as the sound of "many waters" and we will find these "many waters" in what Jesus is revealing to the woman at the well. Ultimately we will rejoice at the revelation of who this woman represents and what it means to those who will put their trust in Jesus.


  1. Introduction, Psa. 93:4, Ezek. 43:2, Rev. 19:6.
  2. Exposition of the text, John 4:11-14.
    1. Context, John 4:10.
    2. Finding many waters in Old Testament well-encounters.
      1. The waters of recovery, reflection, and revelation.
        1. Hagar and the angel at the well in the wilderness, Gen. 16:7-13.
          1. The waters of recovery, Gen. 16:9.
          2. The waters of reflection, Gen. 16:8.
          3. The waters of revelation, Gen. 16:13.
        2. Making the connection.
          1. Recovering a life that is lost.
          2. Reflecting on her situation.
          3. The revelation at the well.
      2. The waters of promise, providence, and provision.
        1. Eliezer and Rebekah at the well of Nahor, Gen. 24:10-27.
          1. The waters of God's promise, Gen. 24:12.
          2. The waters of God's providence, Gen. 24:14,15.
          3. The waters of God's provision, Gen. 24:21,26.
        2. Making the connection.
          1. God's promise of the inclusion of the nations, Isa. 49:6.
          2. God's providence in salvation, Isa. 52:10.
          3. God's provision of His Spirit, Isa. 44:3.
      3. The waters of abiding love.
        1. Jacob and Rachel at the well of Haran, Gen. 29:1-12.
          1. Jacob as the child of promise.
          2. Love at first sight, Gen. 29:9-11.
        2. Making the connection, Gen. 29:17-18.
      4. The waters of renewal.
        1. Moses and Zipporah at the well of Midian, Ex. 2:15-17, 21.
          1. What lay behind, Gen. 2:15.
          2. What lay ahead, Gen. 2:21.
        2. Making the connection.
    3. The waters of eternal life.
      1. The encounter at the well of Jacob, vs. 11-12.
        1. The context, John 4:1-10.
        2. The woman's perspective, vs. 11-12.
      2. From the physical to the spiritual, vs. 13-14a.
        1. Meeting her "where she lived", vs. 13.
        2. Transition to the spiritual perspective, vs. 12a.
      3. The "gift of God", vs. 14b.
        1. A spring from within.
        2. A fountain that "springs up".
        3. A well that is eternal life.
          1. A well that runs eternally.
          2. A well that provides eternal life.
        4. Defining the gift, Eze. 36:25-27, 1Cor. 6:19.
  3. Application
    1. Similarities between the encounters at the well.
      1. There were gifts at the well.
      2. Brides were found at the well.
      3. Something extraordinary happened at the well.
    2. Meeting Jesus at the well of many waters.
      1. Waters from Hagar's well, Luke 5:32, 2Cor. 13:5.
        1. Waters of recovery, Luke 5:32.
        2. Waters of reflection, 2Cor. 13:5.
        3. Waters of revelation, John 7:37-38.
      2. Waters from Eliezer's well, Rom. 10:9, John 6:39, Psa. 68:10.
        1. Waters of promise, Rom. 10:9.
        2. Waters of providence, John 6:39.
        3. Waters of provision, Matt. 11:28.
      3. Waters of love from Jacob's well, Rom. 5:8.
      4. Waters of renewal from Moses' well, 2Cor. 5:17, 2Cor. 4:16.
      5. The waters of eternal life, 2Cor. 5:18, Rev. 22:17.
  4. Conclusion, Rev. 19:6-8.

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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