‘If only you’d known God’s gift,’ replied Jesus, ‘and who it is that’s saying to you, “Give me a drink,” you’d have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’
Now Jesus is using a play on words. “Living water” would refer to fresh moving water from a river or stream, rather than pond water or well water, which may be getting stagnant. But, Jesus is connecting the living water to God. Then we have a whole new meaning. In Jeremiah for instance, God speaks about himself as “living water.”
Jeremiah 2:13 They have abandoned me— the fountain of living water.
17:13 They will be buried in the dust of the earth,
for they have abandoned the Lord, the fountain of living water.
Or, water will come from the Temple.
Water will fill the streambeds of Judah, and a fountain will burst forth from the Lord’s Temple, watering the arid valley of acacias.
God is the living water. Out if him flows all that is good. And Jesus is alluding to himself as the living water, which fits the fact that in John’s Gospel Jesus is already pointing to himself being God and the Temple.
If you swim in ponds vs. fresh water mountain streams, what do you think you notice?