“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.’” John 4:10
It’s summer, and here in Tennessee, that means I’m thirsty basically all of the time. The heat and humidity wear me out, even with all my modern conveniences. In Jesus’s life, He did not have a car to take him from town to town; he had no air conditioning; he didn’t even have a reusable water bottle to take with him on the road.
We get to see Jesus’s humanity here in John 4. Jesus had been walking from Judea to Galilee (about 55 miles) on foot. In order to get to Galilee, He had to pass through Samaria. For a variety of reasons, Jewish people hated Samaritans so much that most people would take the longer route to avoid the city completely.
Yet Jesus, a Jewish man, chose to go through the town directly. Tired and thirsty, He takes a break at a well, encountering a Samaritan woman. As Jesus asks for a drink of water, the women is taken aback: What is a Jewish man doing talking to her? She asks Jesus, “How can you ask me for a drink?” (v. 9).
Jesus’s response changes her entire life: “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 […] “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 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. 10, 13-14).
This is why I love Jesus so much: He is unbothered by the barriers that we think will keep us from him (i.e., our sin), and He graciously meets us in our world to point us to the greater reality of the kingdom of God.
This woman lived a life of sin and was socially outcast from her community (the reason why she came to the well alone in the middle of the day), and still Jesus lovingly confronts her on her sin and promises her a better gift.
As Jesus told the woman all about her life, she realized He was the Messiah, and left to tell everyone in her town that her life had been changed. She was no longer ashamed of her sin, but joyfully told others the good news of Christ. And through her story, many came to believe in Jesus.
Just like the woman, we all have sins and temptations we come back to, hoping this time will satisfy our thirsty souls. Yet sadly, these things will never be able to do so. Jesus offers us the same opportunity as He offered the woman at the well: If we turn to Him, His presence, Spirit, and love will satisfy our souls. Secure in His love, we will never have to “thirst” again, and as we encounter more and more of God’s love, we become a “spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus is the living water we all need. We have the opportunity to turn to Him today and receive this good gift. May we receive the great love of God and never thirst again!