John 4:10; 13-15. 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.”
13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 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.” 15 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.”
Have you ever been really thirsty? We all have at some time or another. For most of us, quenching our physical thirst is a pretty easy thing to do. We have running water in our homes and buildings and all kinds of drinks in the fridge.
But standing at the well that day, talking to the Samaritan woman (a big no-no), Jesus is not really talking about physical thirst is he? He’s talking about the greater thirst that dries the soul’s throat in all of us. The deep thirst to be okay. To be loved. And to be able to love another. This is what Jesus is offering this shattered and isolated “woman at the well” – living water to satisfy her soul. And to become a spring of living water to satisfy the souls of others. To be able to be loved and to be able to love.
Aren’t these the two great thirsts of every soul? The human heart’s two greatest desires? To be loved and received and to have someone receive our love. And so we pose and posture in order to make ourselves more and more lovable. We control and manipulate to make others desire us. We post our loveability online. We tell witty stories. We change the subject if it gets too personal. We let everyone know how busy we are, or how spiritual we are, or how authentic we are. We have “deep” conversations that are actually quite shallow. Mostly, we hide the truth, that if it were ever known, would make others stop loving us altogether.
But with Jesus, none of this is necessary. God loves us because he loves us. In spite of all that we have done and in spite of who we are. He has forgiven us all our doing and all our being. Jesus’ conversation with this woman is a living parable of this eternal life that God offers. The living water of unconditional love and acceptance.
The story begins with these words:
John 4:7. A woman from Samaria came to draw water.
Strike one – A woman.
Strike two – from Samaria.
Strike three is coming – she’s a “man-eater” with a promiscuous past.
But God so loved the world. Jesus “knows everything she has ever done” (4:39), and yet he stays with her. He keeps talking. He asks and receives from her. He freely accepts her, and he freely gives his life to her.
And he has done the same for us. Jesus is offering the woman what we have in Christ. Living water – the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Christ. His life, his love, his acceptance, his “okayness” all ours for the asking and the receiving.
“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.”
Ask and receive. This is the Christian life. Believing and receiving. And Jesus will never ever deny us his love, his grace, his life. His Spirit is a well that never runs dry, a spring that never stops flowing. There is no earning here, no working, no doing – it’s the gift of God.
If only we knew. If only we could always remember that God’s love is this free, this simple, this refreshing. Why would we not constantly drink, and never be thirsty again? Why would we ever go a minute without letting Jesus’ love, acceptance, and peace satisfy us? Why would we ever spend so much of our time drinking sludge from broken wells (day 90)? Why wouldn’t we want to spend all of our day talking with the one who knows everything we’ve ever done, but doesn’t walk away?
“To live is Christ” is to be full of Christ’s Spirit of living water. To be fully accepted, not for what we have done, but in spite of what we have done. It is to constantly ask for and receive so much of God’s love and grace that we naturally overflow Jesus, gushing out his eternal life to all around us. Finally, our soul’s thirsts, to be loved and to love, both fully satisfied in Christ.
What does your heart thirst for? What wells are you drawing water from?
You in Christ
In Christ you are loved and now you can love. Does this truth quench your soul thirst today?
Christ in you
How could your life be a spring of living water gushing out the life of Jesus?
Playlist: Living Water
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