October 31


"Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?" (John 4:12, NKJV).

The Samaritan woman at Jacob's well at Sychar pointedly asked Jesus, "Are you greater than our father Jacob?"

The Samaritans claimed to be descendants of the venerable patriarch Jacob through Joseph. They revered Jacob as their "father" in much the same way that the Jews revered Abraham (see John 8:33). Christ's suggestion of living water that was superior to that of Jacob's well struck the women, at first, as somewhat presumptuous.

Christ's striking reply to the woman's prejudicial question clearly indicated that Jacob's gift of the well did not sustain Joseph or the generations who drank from it. By contrast, Christ's gift was a spring of living water that would sustain and satisfy forever. Moreover, the gift from the One who is superior to Jacob was so life-giving and satisfying that those who received it would have no need to visit shrines, temples, or holy places to worship God (see John 4:23, 24).

What a sharp contrast between Jacob and Jesus, the Saviour of the world! Jacob himself once had a vision of Christ. His vision symbolized Christ as the ladder to heaven (see Genesis 28:12; John 1:51). If only the woman at the well had discovered this wonderful Jesus before, she would not have asked, "Are you greater than our father Jacob?" Indeed, Jesus Christ is far greater than Jacob... Speaking of the woman at the well, Ellen G. White wrote, "She saw before her only a thirsty traveler, wayworn and dusty. In her mind she compared Him with the honored patriarch Jacob... She was looking backward to the fathers, forward to the Messiah's coming, while the Hope of the fathers, the Messiah Himself, was beside her, and she knew Him not."--The Desire of Ages, p.184.

My Prayer Today: Lord, because You are the greatest, I worship and adore You. Amen.