Sunday, May 20, 2012

Living Water

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." For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 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 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."
John 4:6-14 NKJV

Time and time again I have found that when the Spirit tells me to write on a subject, He tells others to do it as well. It may seem strange to you, but many times I write on a subject only to discover after posting that the exact same subject, and even the text is taught by others not only online, but in pulpits across the country. Long ago I came to the conclusion that the Holy Spirit orchestrates the sharing of His Word to address the needs of His Church at the opportune time. This week He moved my thoughts to water, and the importance we place on it for life.

It is of course, Spring, and around here people are preparing to plant their gardens and watering their lawns, and we are receiving the annual water report from the irrigation district which tells the farmers how much water will be available this season. We had a great winter for the snowpack in the mountains so we will have all the water we will need this year, which is good news for everyone. I also happened to have a discussion with one of my daughters about how much water a person needs to drink every day in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. So as I considered the subject of water and its importance for life, I couldn’t help but think about Jesus and His teaching about “living water” to the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.

While I am sure most of us are familiar with the account, what struck me as I read it again was the simplicity of Jesus’ presentation of the Gospel . I think a lot of believers, myself included, tend to make sharing the Gospel a little more complicated than it needs to be, so today I want to share three things I see when looking at this account.

Jesus recognized her need. Jesus knew there was a well in town that she could draw water from, yet she had to come to this well to get her water. Since it was a woman’s job to draw water for the household, she obviously had a problem from other women which prevented her from drawing at the well in town. When we find later that she had been married five times, and was presently living with a man she was not married to, it makes sense the other women in town might not enjoy her company. So even though it broke a few social rules to even talk to her, Jesus recognizes her need and starts a conversation in order to share the Gospel with her. I think the point here is that if we but take the time to observe those around us and the choices they make concerning their lifestyles, it will become obvious to us who is in need of hearing the Gospel of Christ.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
Romans 3:23 NKJV

Jesus gave her the answer. Who doesn’t want to live forever? By using the term “living water” Jesus makes her curious enough to ask for an explanation which changes the course of the conversation from “why are you talking to me” to “what are you talking about”? Although she at first does not understand what Jesus is referring to, the possibility of receiving something she doesn’t already have makes her curious enough to ask for an explanation. We see in verse fifteen she thinks her problem is just having to come all this way to draw water, but Jesus knows it’s the reason she has to come all this way that needs fixing. So Jesus begins to share with her that the answer to her problems could be found in the form of living water, which is a gift from God, and it is available to her if she only is willing to ask Jesus for it. The trouble is, she doesn't know who Jesus is, which is why she asks Him how He intends to get the water.

Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. "That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'
John 3:5-7 NKJV

Jesus showed her how to receive it. Up until now, the woman saw Jesus as just a man, so it is now that Jesus begins to reveal to her just exactly who He is and what He came to do. He does this by telling her what He knows about her life; the choices she has made in the past, and the choice she is presently making by living with a man she is not married to. Immediately the conversation becomes spiritual to her, for she understands that there is no way Jesus could have known these things unless He was a prophet from God. She also reveals she has a knowledge of spiritual things by talking about worship, and the fact that she understands that the Messiah is coming. It is now that Jesus looks at her and simply says, “I who speak to you am He”. Does she believe? Her reaction is to leave her waterpot and go immediately back to the city to tell everyone that she believed that Jesus was the Christ, and to come and see for themselves.

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
John 1:12-13 NKJV

Most of all what I see in this story is that the woman knew she had a need, but simply didn't know how to fill it. Did you notice how hard Jesus had to try and convince her of that? All Jesus had to do was recognize her need, tell her the answer, and introduce her to Himself. How many people do we meet everyday who already know they have an empty place in their lives and simply need to be introduced to Jesus? Jesus didn't have to convince the Samaritan woman of anything, he simply had to introduce Himself as the Messiah.

Have you ever been introduced to Jesus? Have you ever made the decision to ask Him to come into your life and receive the “living water” which results in eternal life? If not, you can right now by praying this prayer and accepting that gift God has offered you by the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.

Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and life. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. Thank You for saving me. Amen.

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