““If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.””
“Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”” (John 4:10, 13-14 ESV)
The providence of God compelled Jesus to travel through Samaria in order to meet with this woman to offer her Living Water that she could never buy on her own. Jesus had asked her for a drink from the well (4:7) and the woman was quite confused as to why a Jew would ask her for a drink. Jesus came to interrupt the shame in which she was walking. She walked in racial shame for being a half breed that didn’t fit in anywhere, gender shame for being a woman because women were looked down upon in the ancient world and moral shame for the life that she had led. Jesus enters into her world by saying, “if you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” She was speaking to the gift of God and though He didn’t look all that impressive (Isaiah 53:2), He was the gift of God to all peoples. This shame laden outcast was speaking to the Word who spoke her and all things into existence. The Word, Creator, Almighty condescends Himself to a defiled, unclean, unholy place and people in order to redeem them – to make them acceptable, clean and holy.
Jesus does not offer this woman some second rate version of redemption because she had lived such a morally corrupt life. No, Jesus offers her the best – He offers her God! We know from John 7:38-39 that this living water was the Holy Spirit reigning in the hearts of the redeemed. He offers her God and nothing less. Not just eternal life, but the presence of the Almighty reigning in her heart. A heart that was weary, dirty and wounded was offered restoration, redemption and rest. The same offer is made to you and me.
Jesus says that she will never thirst again. Seeking to satisfy your thirst on your own with created things is a fools errand because created things are powerless to quench the thirst of our hearts. You can spend your life arranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic or you can come to Him who will quench your soul’s thirst. Drinking water from the well (or faucet) will not quench your soul’s thirst for love, approval, affection, belonging, meaning, purpose or power. However, the soul will be irrigated forevermore by the living water that God provides. We regularly want to turn from this living water to our own cisterns that we have hewn ourselves in order to satiate our thirst. However, the Living Water that God provides will become a spring that wells up within the heart of the believer providing eternal satisfaction. The human soul is thirsting for something greater than created things can offer it, only God Himself can satisfy the soul’s thirst.
This woman had hewn cisterns herself, but they could not hold water – and if they could it would have been dirty runoff water. We, like this woman, forsake the Living Water and run to our own hand hewn, leaky cisterns due to our own unbelief. We must battle unbelief – the source of all sin – and we see from this passage that all we must do is ask. We must plead with the God of the universe to “help us with our unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Lord, give us ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to believe. Lord, satisfy our thirst with You.