According to a popular legend, Juan Ponce de León was searching for the Fountain of Youth—a spring that restores youth to those who drink from it—when he landed in the area now known as Florida. But there is no evidence in his writings that he was ever looking for the mythical body of water. Many through the centuries, however, have written references to a fountain of youth, as far back as the ancient historian Herodotus in the fifth century BC.
Was the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well familiar with these tales? Did she, at first, think that’s what Jesus was offering her—a myth? When He offered her “living water,” she steered away from the spiritual intent of His words. Spiritual confrontation was the last thing she wanted—but the thing she most needed—in her tattered life.
But she was surprised at His words, and asked, “Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well?” (John 4:11, 12).
She listened with wonder to His further description of that water that would keep her from ever thirsting and His offer to give her a “fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (verse 14).
Their conversation changed abruptly when Jesus asked her to call her husband and she admitted she had no husband. Jesus’ knowledge that she’d had five husbands and the man she was living with wasn’t her husband grabbed her full attention, and within a few moments she knew that she was speaking with the Messiah.
That very day the Samaritan woman opened her heart to something far better than a fountain of youth. Through faith in Jesus Christ and His gospel, she drank deeply of eternal life from the very real Fountain of Living Water.
Jesus promised, “I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts” (Revelation 21:6). Will you receive that free gift from Jesus today?
Dear Lord, please fill me with Your gracious gift of the water of life today!
For Further Study: John 4:5–42; John 7:38; Revelation 22:17