Topic: Living Water. Category: Experience God>
Bible Scripture: John 4:4-30 and John 4:39-42
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the hope of the messiah
The sun was bright and very hot. The desert sands reflected the glare. It was dry, very dry. Spiritually it had been that way for centuries. Prejudices, social status and shame governed society. Yet the hope of the Messiah still remained. When He comes He will tell of all things.
In the heat of the day a Samaritan woman had a personal encounter with Jesus.
According to God the Father’s will it was necessary for Jesus to go through Samaria. Yet culturally the divide between the Jews and Samaritans was well known. The Jews considered Samaritans as half-caste.
Jesus breaks through cultural boundaries and in the heat of the day there is an extraordinary encounter.
According to custom they should not engage in conversation. Yet the reality is God Himself reaches out to an outcast woman, at her lowest point of need. She thirsts. She is all alone. Then Jesus walks into her loneliness.
John 4:4-7 But He needed to go through Samaria. So He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”
Even though Jesus was the Son of God, in the midst of His divinity, he was fully human.
He experienced the full human condition. Had the same physical needs. He was hot and weary. He sat by the well and crossed the cultural divide.
the need for living water
Jesus begins a conversion with a common need. It was the water that had brought them together. Once again Jesus uses the natural to reveal a spiritual truth so profound, that the woman’s life will be changed for all eternity. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’
Jesus gave respect to a woman who was an outcast, shamed and all alone. By acknowledging her existence and engaging in conversation Jesus breaks down all barriers.
He knows her situation and needs – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Later in the conversation Jesus shares with her that He knows. He knows she had multiple husbands and now living with a man who is not her husband. She’s out in the heat of the day isolated from other women of her own tribe who would come and gather their water in the cool of the morning or evening. By them she would be considered unclean, an outcast. Coming in the heat of the day she would avoid the sneers, judgemental looks and ultimate shame.
The creator of heaven and earth and the living water of the earth reached out to an outcast women. He asks her for a drink. There at the well, she had a vessel to draw with and He did not.
the cultural divide is crossed
To a Jew her vessel would be unclean to drink from, yet He asks, ‘Give me a drink.’
This is a beautiful moment in the mind of an outcast. For a Jewish man so humble to ask her to share a drink from her own pot was indeed extraordinary. She was yet to realise the level of humility and degree of love in Jesus’ question.
Jesus could have commanded the rock to turn to water and drink freely, just like in the wilderness with Moses. He recently had turned water into wine as evidence of who He was. But God never uses His power for self gain. When Jesus became clothed in humanity, He only used His power for the benefit of others. To reveal God the Father, so that all who are willing could believe and receive eternal life. Because God so loved He came and reached out to an outcast woman.
In His weariness and thirst, His sole agenda was her need.
Jesus was breaking down the barriers that would block her from receiving. He opened her mind by tearing down false perceptions of God, the Messiah and her self with the truth.
John 4:9-10 Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
The woman responds which is also remarkable, as the racial and religious prejudice goes back a long time. She questions.
living water – the source of life
Jesus directs the conversation to the gift of God. He demonstrated to her the act of asking,
‘Give Me a drink.’ If only she knew.
She reasons, water is the source of life. There is something different about this man. He speaks as one who has this Living Water, yet has nothing to draw the water with and this well is very deep. I know as I have come here many times.
Who are you she wonders.
John 4:11-14 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus does not correct her claims about Jacob as the father of the Samaritan tribe. Instead
He turns her attention to her true father and His Living Water. God the Father. Jesus’ Father. Our Father in heaven. For when she drinks of this water all her shame and sense of isolation will be gone. Deep in her heart and spirit His Living Water will become a fountain springing up into everlasting life.
the messiah – the source of living water
What a promise! She must have realised His certainty, His authority, His love.
Jesus brings the heavenly realm into the heart and mind of the earthly, the immortal into the mortal, the infinite into the finite.
John 4:15-24 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
he knows all things
By revealing to the woman that He knows the deepest darkest secrets of her heart, unlike the rest of her community He still engages with her. By His actions He speaks light and life into her darkness and death. Her heart was open, her spirit thirsty, her soul so empty. Longing for the truth her spiritual eyes are gently opened and her emotional needs are about to be met.
From a Jew, to sir, to prophet, the woman’s perception of Jesus is changing. From husbands, to forefathers, to God the Father, the conversation goes deep.
true worship from the heart
Jesus shows the heart of the Father. Seeking true worshippers who will know Him and worship in spirit and truth. What a beautiful and remarkable concept.
True worship is a heart to heart connection with God the Father.
It is a deep spiritual expression and experience. True worship is the exact same intimacy and oneness that Jesus has with the Father as He walked the earth as a man. Jesus makes worship a matter of the heart.
True worship is a deliberate engagement, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to authentically worship Him. It is where the heavenly and the earthly become one.
To worship in spirit and truth. Truth is what is in harmony with the nature and will of God. It is the opposite of all that is false. The issue is not where a person worships, but how and to whom.
Real authentic worship out of a full revelation of the truth of the one who stood before her and said, ‘Give Me a drink.’ How overwhelmed she must of felt. She recalled what she knew about the Messiah.
John 4:25-26 The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.” Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”
living waters from heaven to earth
What a climax to this extraordinary encounter of the divine with the ungodly. The overflow from heaven to earth. He was the Messiah of whom she knew was coming. The divine clothed in humanity, reached into her brokenness and declared, “I who speak to you am He.” This was the moment! Yet Jesus’ disciples return and cause an interruption.
John 4:27-30 And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?” The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” Then they went out of the city and came to Him.
After an interlude between Jesus and His disciples, where Jesus declares His food is to do the will of the Father, He also talks about the harvest field. At this moment the crowd of Samaritans arrive. They are eager to know more. Like the Samaritan woman they hunger and thirst for the truth.
knowing the messiah personally
Jesus stays with them two days, sharing their meals, doing life with them, treating then as equal and teaching them. Unlike the Jews they never asked for signs or wonders as proof of who He is. They simply listened, received and believed. Such humility of the heart empowered them to easily receive from the Living God. They too had a personal encounter with Him. Knowing that a second hand experience of God is not enough. It has to be a personal encounter and decision.
John 4:39-42 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word. Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
What a revelation! ‘Now we believe…for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”’
That day those that were lost were found. They were true worshippers, who worshipped the one true God in spirit and truth. They will never thirst again. In them flows a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.
So it is to all who receive and believe in Him. Daily drinking His Living Waters, the fountain of everlasting life, that wells up and overflows, reaching out to others. Praise His mighty name!
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