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.” John 4:10
So many people today are weary and miserable. If they only knew the gift that God wants to impart to each of us—the gift of Living Water!
Jesus was on His way from Judea to Galilee, and He “needed to go through Samaria” (John 4:4). The Samaritans, a people of mixed race, were generally looked down upon by the Jews. Orthodox Jews traveled around Samaria to avoid defilement, but Jesus didn’t have any such hang-ups. He needed to go through the area for an encounter with someone.
Jesus, tired from traveling, sat down by Jacob’s well. His disciples headed into town to buy lunch, and as Jesus rested alone, a woman came to draw water.
Empty and Weary
A religious Jew would never have talked to a Samaritan, especially a woman. And this woman was a social outcast, even among her own people. The women of the town normally came for water early in the day, but this woman came at midday, likely to avoid disdain over her miserable moral failures. She was, no doubt, empty and weary.
When the woman approached the well, Jesus asked her for a drink. The woman was taken aback. “Why are You, a Jew, asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?”
Jesus seized the moment: “If you knew who was asking you for a drink, you would have asked Him instead—and He would have given you living water.”
The woman’s reply was skeptical and a bit sarcastic. “Where do You get this living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob?”
“Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again” (John 4:13), Jesus told her. By “this water” He was referring to the well but also to those things she had pursued in hopes of personal fulfillment. In her case it was relationships—in our case it might be our jobs, money, fame. “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst” (John 4:14). In fact, Jesus told the woman, it would spring up inside her into everlasting life.
The woman was interested. “Where do I get it?” she asked.
Jesus, in His typical manner, didn’t answer directly. Instead, He put His finger on an obstacle in this woman’s life: “Go, call your husband, and come here” (John 4:16).
“I have no husband” (John 4:17), the woman replied.
Jesus told her, “You’re right. You’ve had five husbands, and the man you have now isn’t your husband.” The woman suddenly realized that Jesus was no ordinary person.
Jesus addressed this woman’s sin, not to condemn her, but that she might receive the blessing He wanted to give her. But upon realizing that Jesus must be some kind of prophet, she immediately retreated from the issue of her sin and into religious discussion.
Jesus wasn’t deterred. “God is seeking worshipers,” He told her, “who will worship Him in spirit and truth.” In other words, the solution for our sin is not religion—it’s a relationship with God.
Created to Worship
Man was created to worship. But when we worship wrong things—ideologies, relationships, possessions—we end up miserable, and ultimately, destroyed.
The woman said to Jesus, “When Messiah comes, He’ll explain things to us.”
“Jesus said to her, ‘I who speak to you am He’” (John 4:26). Jesus told this woman openly and unreservedly that He was the Messiah—something He seldom did. And let it be forever remembered that His statement was not made to learned scribes or moral Pharisees but to one who until that moment had been an ignorant, thoughtless, immoral person.
What Jesus Christ said to this woman, He says to us: “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” (John 4:10). That offer is extended to anyone who is thirsty and who is ready to receive it.
Are you tired? Empty? Rejected? Are you worshiping anything that will lead to your destruction? No matter how broken you may be or how lonely you feel, Jesus offers you a dynamic relationship, vibrant and overflowing, that will flow out from your life and touch the lives of others. Ask Him for a fresh drink of His living water today.