The Eternal Thirst Quencher
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into town to buy food.) 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.) 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…”
For context, read John 4:7-42
She wasn’t expecting a divine encounter that day. She was just coming to the well to fill up her water jug. But she ended up getting filled with so much more.
It was midday and the sun was hot when a man asked her for a drink. He looked hot and tired. But why was He asking her for a drink? He was a Jew and she was a Samaritan. Pure blood Jews didn’t voluntarily mingle with her kind. Her race was a mix of Jewish blood and foreigners. Plus, she was a woman. Why was a man talking to her in a public place? “How can you ask me for a drink?” she asked. And Jesus responded that if she knew who He was and what He could offer her, she would have asked Him for living water.
But she didn’t get it. She thought He was talking about actual water. In John 4:13-14, Jesus told her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will be a spring of living water welling up to eternal life.”
But she still didn’t get it. She wanted some of that water! Not because it would meet her spiritual needs but because she didn’t want to have to keep coming to the well for water. She thought it would permanently quench her physical thirst. So Jesus helped her understand. In verse 15, He told her to go get her husband. She said that she didn’t have a husband. And that’s when Jesus showed her that He already knew everything about her.
He said, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband.” When she discovered that He knew details about her life that she had never revealed, she thought He was a prophet. So, she brought up a theological controversy between the Jews and the Samaritans. Where is the correct place to worship God, Mt. Gerizim or Jerusalem?
Maybe she genuinely wanted to know His thoughts on the topic. Or maybe she was just changing the subject. He had no doubt touched on a sensitive subject for her that she didn’t want to discuss further - her love life.
Clearly, she was not living according to the law. She had five previous husbands and now she was living with a man she wasn’t even married to. We do not know the details of her five former husbands. Had she been widowed, divorced, or both? Was she the victim of adultery or was she an adulteress? We just don’t know those details.
Regardless, with five previous marriages, it is obvious that she had a great deal of pain in her past. And now, for reasons we don’t know, she is living with a man she is not married to.
Jesus did not further expose her private life and He answered her question instead. He told her that a time was coming and has now come when it won’t matter where they worship because God is Spirit. She told Him that she knows that a Messiah is coming. And Jesus said, “I am He.”
I love her response to that news. She was so excited to tell someone that she had met the Messiah that she left her jug and took off back into town. She spread the news and many Samaritans believed in her testimony. They accepted her word about the Messiah and the living water to be true.
Sisters, like the woman at the well, many of us have hurt in our past. We’ve either hurt ourselves with the consequences of our sin or unfortunate things have happened in our lives. And to cope with the hurt, we often look in the wrong places for fulfillment. The woman at the well needed Jesus. Another relationship, legal or otherwise, was not going to meet her spiritual needs. Except a relationship with Jesus, the Messiah. One that would truly fulfill and eternally satisfy.
The WORD about women in the story of the woman at the well is that only Jesus can fill us. Our relationships with men will not fulfill us. Food is only a temporary fix. Shopping for more things will not fill the void. Alcohol will not cure the hurt. We can stay hydrated but we will just be thirsty again later. The emptiness that we are feeling in our souls can only be filled by Jesus Christ, our Messiah. He’s offering you living water, friend. Accept it.
What types of substitutes do you seek to fill the needs only Jesus can fill in your life? Have you accepted His gift of “living water”? If not, what is holding you back?