Reading from the Voice translation, I’m still working through this conversation between Jesus and the woman at the well. It’s so rich, there’s so many things that we can learn. Let’s read in John, chapter 4.
In a small Samaritan town known as Sychar, Jesus and His entourage stopped to rest at the historic well that Jacob gave his son Joseph. It was about noon when Jesus found a spot to sit close to the well while the disciples ventured off to find provisions. From His vantage, He watched as a Samaritan woman approached to draw some water. Unexpectedly He spoke to her.
Jesus: Would you draw water, and give Me a drink?
Woman: I cannot believe that You, a Jew, would associate with me, a Samaritan woman; much less ask me to give You a drink.
Jews, you see, have no dealings with Samaritans.
Jesus: You don’t know the gift of God or who is asking you for a drink of this water from Jacob’s well. Because if you did, you would have asked Him for something greater; and He would have given you the living water.
Woman: Sir, You sit by this deep well a thirsty man without a bucket in sight. Where does this living water come from? Are You claiming superiority to our father Jacob who labored long and hard to dig and maintain this well so that he could share clean water with his sons, grandchildren, and cattle?
Jesus: Drink this water, and your thirst is quenched only for a moment. You must return to this well again and again. I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again.
Never be thirsty again. What kind of thirst is He talking about? He’s not talking about a physical thirst, I assume. God doesn’t pretend that our physical needs will ever disappear this side of heaven.
So what kind of thirst?
That aching, longing, lonely feeling inside.
Woman: Please, Sir, give me some of this water, so I’ll never be thirsty and never again have to make the trip to this well.
Jesus: Then bring your husband to Me.
Woman: I do not have a husband.
Jesus: Technically you are telling the truth. But you have had five husbands and are currently living with a man you are not married to.
What was this woman’s thirst? To be loved, to be known. To be cared for and committed to. Do you know that in that day, women could not divorce men, but men could divorce women?
Jesus was not pointing out her sin, he was pointing out her pain.
Where is your pain?
My pain is in my failure. I look in the mirror and see it in my overweight body, I see it in my low bank balance, in my pile of unfolded laundry, in my children who are not olympians or spelling bee champs. I see it in my sluggish ways and in my selfish attitudes. I see so clearly what could be if only… if only I were something better than what I am.
Yet he says I will never thirst again.
“I offer water that will become a wellspring within you that gives life throughout eternity. You will never be thirsty again.”
“Why are you thirsty again, Brianna?” I hear the gentle voice of my Lord. “Drink deep from the well.”
What is the truth? He doesn’t require perfection of me. He doesn’t even require success. He offers me water for my thirsty soul. He says, Sit at my feet, while I make your enemies your footstool.
Not enemies like people who are against me.
Real enemies- pain, suffering, failure, sin, death.
He says, My yoke is easy and my burden is light.
He says, Ask and I’ll give the nations to you.
He says, Let me see your deepest longing, let me meet it, and fill it, until it’s running over, spilling out, splashing hope and joy onto everyone you meet.
He says, There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
Woman: Sir, it is obvious to me that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped here on this mountain, but Your people say that Jerusalem is the only place for all to worship. Which is it?
Jesus: Woman, I tell you that neither is so. Believe this: a new day is coming—in fact, it’s already here—when the importance will not be placed on the time and place of worship but on the truthful hearts of worshipers. You worship what you don’t know while we worship what we do know, for God’s salvation is coming through the Jews. The Father is spirit, and He is seeking followers whose worship is sourced in truth and deeply spiritual as well. Regardless of whether you are in Jerusalem or on this mountain, if you do not seek the Father, then you do not worship.
Woman: These mysteries will be made clear by He who is promised, the Anointed One.
Jesus: The Anointed is speaking to you. I am the One you have been looking for.
Jesus. He’s the One I’ve been looking for.
This woman is me- hurting, skeptical, going about her day with deep historical theological wrestlings- and Jesus meets her and says, “I’m the One you’ve been looking for.”
Drink deep from the well.
This is my drink: To remember the truth. To remember the voice of the Lord in the dry and thirsty places of my life. To let the wellspring of life bubble up out of me until I’m full up and saturated and overflowing. To hear the voice of truth and believe it, when the world around me looks dark and depressing and discouraging. This is why I need never be thirsty: The well is in me. The Wellspring of life, the fountain, is in me, is churning and splashing with hope and joy, how can I be thirsty?
Drink deep, O My soul, bless the Lord, my Savior and My God. He is the One I’ve been looking for.
This post is part of an ongoing series going through the book of John in order to find Jesus. Want to come along? Start at the lead page or subscribe by email above!