There are some interesting parallels between Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well in John 4 about water and his dialogue about bread with Jews following him in John 6. Reading the two together echoes John’s key themes for us. Here are some of the parallels in the accounts.
John 4 (thirst and living water) John 6 (hunger and bread of life)
4:10 “Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’”
6:27 “Do not labor for the foodthat perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.”
6:14 The people said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world.”
4:14 “The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet.’”
4:12 “Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well.”
6:31 “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. “
4:15 “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
6:34 “They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
4:13 “everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again.”
6:35 “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst
4:42 “and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
6:33 “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
4:26 “Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am he.’”
6:35 “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life.’”
4:34 “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”
6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
John 6:27 paralleling Isaiah 55:1-2
Frederick Dale Bruner also draw out a parallel between Isaiah’s invitation in 55:1-2 and Christ’s invitation in John 6:27.
|a. Two types of food are contrasted, [the satisfying and the unsatisfying] (55:1–2)||a. Two types of food are contrasted [the lasting and the non-lasting] (6:27)|
|b. One should not pay money or … labor for the food which does not satisfy (55:2)||b. “[Do] not work for the food which perishes” (6:27)|
|c. One should buy the food which satisfies, which is given without a price (55:1)||c. “[W]ork for food which remains, which the Son of Man will give” (6:27).|
Bruner, F. D. (2012). The Gospel of John: A Commentary(p. 387). Grand Rapids, MI;Cambridge, U.K.: Eerdmans.