"Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."
A weary one sat at Jacob's well; He had left the land of the Pharisees. It was Jesus. He came in love to His own, to save them from their sins; but they received Him not. Weary and grieved was His tender heart, as He sat about the sixth hour at Jacob's well.
There is a woman coming with her water-pot to the well. She is one to whom the proud Pharisee would scorn to speak. She is a despised Samaritan, and that is not all; she is a poor wretched being, living in open sin. She little knows that she is about to meet the eye of Him who knows all that ever she did. She arrives at the well, and is astonished that Jesus, being a Jew, should ask her to give Him to drink. "Jesus answered, and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to, drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."
He did not say, If thou wert not so great a sinner. He did not say, If thou wilt reform and become a holy woman, then I will give thee living water. No! No! No! He let her know, that He knew all that ever she had done. But there was such a depth of pity, grace, and compassion in the wondrous countenance; such tender love to the sinner in those words, that it won her heart, it converted her soul. Christ was revealed to her; and leaving her water-pot she went to the city so full of Christ, that forgetting her own shame, she said, "Come see a man which told me all that ever I did: is not this the Christ?"
My reader, can you meet the eye of Him who knows every thought of your heart from childhood? All at ever you did, open and naked to His eye! And can you say that you are not a sinner? How was it, think you, that there was nothing in Jesus to repel this wretched sinner? And what can those words mean, think you — "If thou knewest the gift of God," &c.? Is this the one great thing needed by a poor wretched sinner? It is; there can be no mistake about it, for Jesus says it. Of whatever nation my reader may be; whatever the sins you may have committed, the first thing you need is not the waters of the Ganges, or the intercession of saints, or works of amendment; no, the thing you need is to know the gift of God.
Do you ask who and what is that gift of God? The same that met that poor Samaritan sinner; Jesus the Son of God: as also it is written, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." "The gift of God is eternal life." "He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life."
My reader, it is a gift, a gift, a gift; oh, if thou knewest this! Thou canst not buy it; thou canst not merit it. He that knows all that ever thou didst, all that thou art; sets before thee Jesus the crucified; Jesus the risen one; Jesus the glorified. Dost thou know Him, the gift of all gifts?
Dost thou say, "but my sins are heavy, they press me down, what must I do?" If thou knewest the gift of God! Yes, even though thou hast committed every sin that has been done in this dark world; yet God's gift, "redemption through his blood" abounds above it all. "The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." His very business was saving just such burthened, weary, heavy-hearted sinners as thou art. Blessed be His holy name, the work is finished. May God reveal to thy soul, my reader, Christ Jesus. Change of life and holiness of life will follow. But the first thing is The gift of God.