And Who It Is That Saith to Thee

John 4:10  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 7
It is not only that God reveals Himself now as a Giver, but a Giver of what the sinner needs for earth and heaven, for time and eternity; and He reveals Himself in His Son. The glad tidings He sends are concerning His Son; but His Son became man on behalf of man, His Son Jesus Christ a propitiation for our sins, that there might be a perfectly righteous ground for God to justify the believer, however evil and guilty he might have been before.
And so the Lord Jesus, the lowliest of men, could not disguise the all-importance of His person, when speaking to the woman of Samaria. She wondered that a Jew would condescend to ask a favor of a Samaritan. She was at an immeasurable distance from suspecting that in the humble Jew the Creator was before her eyes; and this too that you or any other might “hear and live.”
But so it was, and so it must be, if God was to be glorified in the salvation of sinners. Of this she had as yet not the remotest conception, any more than the natural mind in Israel, or even in Christendom. The truth no doubt is confessed in the ordinary creeds; but people in general assent without heart or conscience. They repeat what their forefathers repeated; they believe what the church believes. So the Jews believed in Jesus when they saw the signs He wrought in Jerusalem at the first passover of which the fourth Gospel speaks (John 2); they believed on evidences as much as, or more than, the mass of the christened in our land or any other. But it is written that “Jesus did not trust Himself unto them, for that He knew all men, and because He needed not that anyone should bear witness concerning man; for He Himself knew what was in man.” He knew that man in his best estate is altogether vanity; for all is said when he is pronounced a sinner, as all are. Now Jesus, God Himself, cannot trust sinful man. The real question is, will sinful man trust Jesus? Man is best—indeed is only aright—trusting God by believing in Jesus, in Jesus come, not merely to work signs but to save sinners at all cost to Himself, a sacrifice to God for them.
Therefore does the Lord present to the Samaritan this great truth, without a miracle, and far beyond miracles. “If thou knewest... Who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink.” This she was as far as possible from knowing, any more than the grace of God. But He was there to make known the truth; and He is Himself the truth, and became man that it might come in divine love to man Could there be asked a better proof that “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” than the one here afforded to her, and through her to any needy, guilty, soul on earth? For as creation throughout has divine design, and not a single thing happens day by day without our Father, so is scripture written with divine adaptation to every soul that reads or hears; that they may know what God is to a sinner, which can only be known perfectly in Jesus, the image of the invisible God.
Oh! have you weighed these words for your own soul? If you despise them now, learn from His lips that he who rejects Him and receives not His sayings “hath one that judgeth him: the word that I spake, the same will judge him in the last day” (John 12:4848He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:48)). You know that you are a sinner, utterly unfit to sit down with Jesus in the presence of God. Where then must your portion be if you reject the Savior Son of God? Whose sayings are comparable to His for light and love, for God and man? Very likely you think yourself far better than the poor Samaritan He was addressing, in order to reveal God and win her to God, that she might not perish but have everlasting life. You will scarcely say that you are so much worse that His grace to her has no voice for your soul. She was at that moment living out of all moral relationship, indifferent to God's known will. If grace did not produce what it can never find in a single sinner, it would indeed be all over with every one of us. If we are all guilty and lost, as scripture declares, it is in vain and unwise comparing ourselves among ourselves. We need a Savior, and we find the only adequate Savior in Him Who, as the Jews with murderous hatred said, made Himself equal with God (for He was God); Who became flesh-man; Whom, absolutely free of sin, God made sin on the cross that we might become God's righteousness in Him.
And Him, in this mystery of His person, we believe in and confess, to have the blessing. “If thou knewest... Who it is that saith to thee, Give Me to drink.” If thou knewest that He, the Eternal no less than the Father Who sent Him, emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, coming in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself, becoming obedient unto death—yea, even the death of the cross. All this the Samaritan could not yet know; but He was on the way to death, come to do God's will. For without the offering of Christ sacrificially His will was not done and no soul could be saved. His asking of such a one as the Samaritan was no small, no obscure, sample of that humiliation which culminated in His cross. Hence the bearing of His words to her, “If thou knewest... Who it is (there is the glory of His person) that saith to thee, Give Me to drink” (there is the grace of His humiliation, as far as could be then).
On Him thus revealing God, her soul, in due time learning the wonderful wisdom of His ways, rested that day. How is it with you who have heard more of His glory and of His grace than she then could? May you believe, as she believed. If you despise Him and refuse His words, you must see Him on the great white throne of eternal judgment and prove God's truth in your perdition.