JOHN 4:1-26 (NIV – UK)
Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman
1 Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptising more disciples than John – 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptised, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee.
4 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 worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.’
21 ‘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 worshippers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.’
25 The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah’ (called Christ) ‘is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’
26 Then Jesus declared, ‘I, the one speaking to you – I am he.’
The Samaritan woman is thirsty – both physically and spiritually. She has come to the well to satisfy her physical needs, but what she discovers in her encounter with Jesus is so much more.
When we drink water it is temporary satisfaction – we will soon need to drink again. Water is essential for life – if we don’t drink, we cannot live. The water Jesus offers is far more satisfying: ‘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’ (v. 13-14). To drink from the fount of all life is to drink from the only truly life-giving source. Think of a man wandering in the desert where there is only one watering hole for hundreds of miles around – he will only find life if he goes to that watering hole. The same is true for the water Jesus offers us – we are born into a spiritual desert – alienated from God – our only hope is to go to the one source of living-water so that we can truly have life – and eternal life at that!
The most wonderful thing about the water that Jesus offers us is that once we drink it we will never thirst – the Spirit living inside of us bringing us new life and spiritual regeneration for a life of knowing and enjoying God. That is true life – and once we find the True Fount we will be satisfied indeed.
Question: Jesus says: ‘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.’ Have you asked him for living water? Do you have any friends and family who are wandering in the desert? Do you pray that they will ask Jesus for his living water?