A daily ritual at our place during the summer months is watering flowers and setting sprinklers for the lawn and vegetable garden. We enjoy having flowers and fresh garden produce, but that also means we are committed to providing the much-needed water to keep everything alive and flourishing. It reminds me of our own human thirst for water. Our bodies need lots of water to survive, and to be healthy it is a daily requirement. We can’t just drink a lot of water one day and it is good for a week or a month.
You are probably familiar with the story recorded in John’s gospel where Jesus told His disciples that they needed to go through Samaria on their way from Judea to Galilee. Normally the Jews would go across the Jordan and bypass Samaria because it was populated by folks who were half Jew and half Gentile dating back to the Assyrian’s conquering of Israel and their practice of forcing inter-marriage. But on this occasion, Jesus wanted to visit with a Samaritan woman that was out in heat of the day to draw water from a community well near Sychar. It was actually a well that Jacob had dug many years before on a parcel of ground he gave to his son Joseph (Jn. 4:4-6). The disciples had gone into the city to buy food and Jesus remained by the well. Along came the Samaritan woman to draw water and Jesus asked her for a drink since He had nothing with which to draw. Whether or not Jesus ever got His drink it doesn’t say, but He offered her “living water,” saying, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (Jn. 4:13,14). Jesus was speaking of new life through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit (Jn. 7:37-39).
Just as everyone has a natural thirst for water, we also have a thirst for God, since He made us with a God-shaped vacuum within, which only Jesus Christ can fill. When we try to quench our thirst with anything other than the “living water” Jesus offers, we continue to thirst. Nothing else on this earth, whether fame or fortune or anything else can ultimately satisfy. We are always thirsty again and are never fulfilled. Only God can meet that need and He did so by sending His Son to pay for our sins and to offer eternal life. When we trust Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit creates in us a new nature that provides the fulfillment for which we have been longing.
It is important to note that, although Jesus pointed out the woman’s sinful lifestyle, He asked the woman to receive Him and His gift without any prerequisite change in her life. After she believed, and because she believed, her way of living would be changing. We don’t have to get our life together to come to Christ, we come to Christ to get our life together. This woman left her water pot and hurried back to the city to tell others about Christ and what He had done for her. Many believed because of her testimony (how she had changed) and others went out to talk to Jesus also.
Have you received the “living water” Jesus offers or are you still trying to quench your thirst from what this world has to offer? If you have received God’s gift of eternal life, are you telling others about the Source of “living water” so they too can come and drink?