Living Water for Thirsty People
Although Jesus had asked the Samaritan woman for water, it was just a way to start the conversation with her (as far as we know, He never got His cup of water!). He was not desperate to satisfy His own physical thirst but wanted to satisfy her inner spiritual dryness. However, she could only think about physical water and only after the conversation did she realise what Jesus was saying (John 4:29; 39-41).
Jesus wanted to make His identity central in this conversation. Effectively, He was saying: if you knew who I am, you would have asked me to meet your inner need of spiritual life. She responded by asking if He was greater than Jacob. He responded by implying that Jacob’s well would always be limited, but that the life He gives is unlimited. His new life is planted deep within a person and continues to revitalise from within. As Jesus said later in John 7:37b-39: “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." (By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.)”
Spiritual thirst is God-given – a desire to receive spiritual life from God. The Holy Spirit produces that life: He is God. The Holy Spirit is given to enable us to relate to Jesus and the Father, learning to live like Him. The Father gives the Spirit only to those who believe in the Name of Jesus (John 14:26). That is why it was essential for the Samaritan woman to know who Jesus was. In the same way, it is essential that our friends and colleagues realise the identity of Jesus if they are to come to saving faith and receive the Holy Spirit. Jesus is not just a good teacher and a good example of good living. He is God the Son in a human body, who was willing to be punished for everybody’s sins. This is essential information for those who are longing to be saved. So encourage your friends to read the Gospel accounts; spend time discussing Jesus with them; point out to them that He is totally unique with an unblemished character; remind them that His actions always backed up His words; and tell them that He loves them and will save them if they repent and commit themselves to Him.
© Dr Paul Adams