DECEMBER 4

Living Water

Bible Reading: John 4

John 4:13-15, “Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water’.”

We kind of take it for granted. It’s easy for most of us to get the water we need, from a faucet or from a bottle. Not so in other parts of the world. I’ve seen children laboring to carry large jugs of water from a creek to their home in the villages in Uganda. Water is a necessity and they oftentimes must work hard to get it. Jesus spoke to the woman at the well of another kind of water, which is even more valuable. Most live unaware of its existence. But Jesus has worked to make it available to all.

It should not escape our attention that Jesus, “who came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10), was not averse to conversing with a woman like the woman at the well (John 4:18).   The woman, being a woman and a Samaritan, was surprised that He did (John 4:9).  The disciples were likewise surprised (“They marveled that he was talking with a woman”; John 4:27).  Any Pharisee certainly would not have been seen with her (Luke 15:1-2).  But Jesus was not bound by cultural expectations or phony social distinctions.  He “came into the world to save sinners” and found in that woman one well qualified that way (1 Timothy 1:15). 

Jesus was well aware of her situation.  He said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here,” to which she replied, “I have no husband.”  Jesus then said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband.  What you have said is true” (John 4:16-18).  Jesus knew all about these matters.  Later, she would testify, “He told me all that I ever did” (John 4:39).  He knew about her sins, failures, and present estate.  But none of these things worked to prevent Him from reaching out to her.  The religiously proud would have readily disapproved of and discarded her as irredeemable, but Jesus valued her and spoke to her of precious spiritual truths.  God is well aware of our sinful estate, but in Jesus, we find One who nevertheless sought us out (Luke 19:10).

The conversation between Jesus and the woman and the well was all about water.  He asked for water.  She wondered why a person such as Him would ask for that from a person such as her (John 4:9).  Jesus spoke to her of the gift of God and the living water He alone could provide (John 4:10).  He offered her living water and said, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.  The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14). 

None of us can live long without water.  Regular consumption of H2O is essential to a person’s physical health.  There is no kind of physical water which can forever quench a person’s thirst.  It is therefore necessary to drink again.  What is true in the physical realm holds true in the spiritual.  We are born with a thirst for God that cannot be fully satisfied in any man devised way (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  The pursuit of meaning and purpose in life apart from God is compared to drinking from “broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).  Sin promises satisfaction, but the “fleeting pleasures of sin” leave us thirsty still (Hebrews 11:25).  It is as St. Augustine once said, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” Or, to put it another way, we were created with a spiritual thirst that God alone can satisfy. The woman at the well had experienced such matters.  She had a thirst for God, but did not know how it could be satiated.

Jesus offered living water to her, living water that would forever satisfy her deepest longings and become in her “a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).  On a later date, He would stand before a multitude and declare, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).  Who doesn’t thirst?  Life can leave us parched of soul, but Jesus invites us to come and satiate our soul needs in Him.  The open invitation is to “whoever” — religious and irreligious, men and women, Jew, Samaritan, Gentile, rich men and poor—no matter their present estate, they can have their soul needs fully met in Him.  He is a “fountain of living water” to those who trust in Him (Jeremiah 2:13; Revelation 22:1).  She went to well to get water but found in Jesus One who could satisfy the deepest longings of her soul. 

FILL MY CUP, LORD

Like the woman at the well
I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy
And then I heard my Savior speaking
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry”

Fill my cup, Lord
I lift it up, Lord
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul
Bread of Heaven, feed me ’til I want no more
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole

There are millions in this world
Who are craving
The pleasures, earthly things of gold
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord

Fill my cup, Lord
I lift it up, Lord
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul
Bread of Heaven, feed me ’til I want no more
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole
Here’s my cup, fill it up and make me whole

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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