Wednesday Word 8.28.2019

John 4:4-24 New International Version

Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”b21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

The idea of “living water” has always intrigued me. I guess for a people living in a mostly arid region with pockets of green extending inward from the coastlines, the concept that water is life-giving and essential for survival is very easy to grasp. They have personal experience of what life without enough water looks like. Just look at satellite images of the Middle East. There is an awful lot of sand colored earth! The Book of Jeremiah, recorded about 600 years before Jesus was born, is the first place that we hear the phrase “living water.” Those who studied Scripture even then would know that the God was the source of living water. In Jeremiah 17:13 we hear, “ Lord, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water.”

It is hard for us to conceive of real thirst. I feel thirsty if I don’t have a big old insulated mug of iced water or tea within reach at all times, but I honestly don’t know what it means to be truly thirsty. But, I know full well what it is to long for unconditional love. I know what it is to hunger for acceptance. I know what it means to thirst for understanding. Scripture tells us where all those can be found. Jesus tells us. He tells us it is the gift of God (v. 10). Jesus tells us in verse 14, “Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The love of God will be like a spring that flows from within us and carries us through this life and into the next. How wonderful! We will need never be thirsty again…something to pray about.

Your sister in Christ, Vicki