Old hands who had lived in the area a long time spoke almost reverently of our well. They said there was a spring of water at the bottom of the well; therefore, it would never run dry. It was a reliable supply.
The well was made up of three main parts:
- The structure: the walls and ceiling of the well
- The water: the part of the well to which we related
- The pump: the means of getting our daily supply
When we spoke of the well, we never differentiated between the three parts. We never referred to it as "the well: the walls and ceiling," or "the well: the water that comes from it," or "the well: the pump." We simply said "the well." It was all-inclusive, referring to any or all of the above. It was a brief object lesson of three being one.
Perhaps this is why Jesus connects with us at a well. Sitting there at the well of Sychar, he said to the woman of Samaria, "Whoever drinks the water I shall give will never again be thirsty. The water that I shall give will be a spring of water within him, welling up and bringing eternal life."
The illustration was as true then as it was in my childhood. The spring of water welling up in us is a sure sign of a reliable supply of living water. (John 4:14)