We are all drawing water from one well or another. There is something or perhaps someone that we run to in the hope of quenching the thirst resident within each of us. One of the coolest stories in the Bible can be found in John 4 – Jesus and the woman at the well. She had come that day to draw water as she had for who knows how long, and finds a weary, disheveled rabbi sitting by the well.
She is taken back at the request for the Jews had absolutely no dealing with her people at all. The Samaritans were considered to be unclean by any self respecting Jew and they were to be avoided at all times.
“How is it that you, a Jew would ask me for a drink?” she asks.
Jesus replies,” If you knew who I am you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you living water,”
Like most of us would, she thinks he’s talking about some source of physical water she isn’t aware of and asks, “How can you give me this water?”
She is thinking that this Jew must know something she doesn’t about Jacob’s well. Jesus assures her that he has something totally different in mind.
“You’ll keep getting thirsty if all you have is this water”, he says, “But, if you drink the water I can give you, you will never, ever thirst again.”
Her mind is still on the natural so she asks Jesus to give her this water so she won’t have to keep coming to draw at the well every day.
“Go, get your husband and come back here.” Jesus tells her.
“I have no husband” she replies.
Jesus informs her that he is aware that she has had five husbands and now lives with a man she is not married to. It is obvious to her that this is more than your average rabbi, he must be a prophet.
Again, she uses tactics familiar to us: “Well you Jews say we should worship your way and where you say and we believe something totally different, I mean, you can’t really know what the truth about this stuff. Every one has their own opinion.”
Jesus will not be deterred, “Woman, the time has come when the place you worship doesn’t matter anymore. It is those who worship God in truth, in reality, honestly, in the Spirit that he accepts.”
Again she side steps the issue, “Well, one day we’ll understand, when Messiah comes.”
Jesus replies, “You’re speaking with him.”
Can you see that this whole thing was orchestrated by Jesus: at a well, talking about water, thirst and how she tried to quench her thirst? The real issue was not the water in Jacob’s well, Jesus wanted her to see that empty religion and trying to satisfy herself with men was the “well” she had been drawing from , and that it would continue to live her thirsty. He was there to quench that thirst.
Like the Samaritan woman we think, “If I only had that man, that woman, that job, enough money, more power, fame, etc…” We seek to quench that thirst within us in so many ways: religion, sex, drugs, technology, more apps, 3D- TV, movies, sports, and on and on and on; but, we are always left wanting more. All the while Jesus is saying, “I am who and what you’ve been looking for, I can quench your thirst.”
We find at the end of the story the woman left her water pot, there at the well, with Jesus. We too can leave our “water pots” behind and Jesus will give us that living water we so desperately seek.