When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well and asked her for a drink, she assumed that she would be providing what He needed: a literal drink of water. Instead, she discovered that actually she needed what only this stranger was able to provide: a spiritual drink of living water.
Jesus helped her to see this need with one simple command: “Go, call your husband, and come here” (John 4:16). He asked her to do what she couldn’t do, because although she had been married five times she was now living with a man who was not her husband. He helped her see how her ongoing search for satisfaction had left her wanting. Famed mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote that we have within each of us a God-shaped void. She was no exception.
Every one of us digs figurative wells all over the place that will never truly satisfy (Jeremiah 2:13)—our careers, our marriages, our friendships, our families, our wealth, our next vacation, or whatever experiences give us a high. But they all leave us thirsty for more. We will keep digging and drinking until we are confronted by our real need: that our sin needs to be cleansed and forgiven, our desires need to be transformed, and our hearts need to be filled with Jesus. He is the only one able to hold the weight of all our hopes and longings.
This woman arrived at the well empty, searching, and desperate. In Christ she met God—the same God who created our inmost being, who knows the words we’ve yet to speak, who can tell us everything we’ve ever done (John 4:19; see also Psalm 139: 4, 13). She brought her empty life to this wonderful source of living water: Christ Himself. She brought her sinful past to the cleansing supply that only Jesus provides. She brought her hopes for the future to the one who knew everything about her and loved her still, enough to quench her thirst forever.
On what are you tempted to hang your hopes, other than God? Where do you look for satisfaction, other than to Jesus? He has offered you the drink that will quench your thirst forever and become a spring that can never run dry. He has taken what He doesn’t deserve—the punishment for your sin—so that He can give you what you don’t deserve: salvation, forgiveness, freedom, hope. Draw from this saving well moment by moment, today and every day, and thirst no more.
Jesus and the Woman of Samaria
1Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2(although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4And he had to pass through Samaria. 5So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.1
7A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8(For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10Jesus answered her, “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.” 11The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again.2 The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
16Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
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