Jesus came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 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.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Was Jesus really that desperate for water? Yes, he was tired. Yes, he was thirsty. But was he really tired enough to ask a Samaritan for a drink? The Jews considered Samaritans their religious inferiors. The Samaritans were idolaters! Jews hated them, and they hated Jews! Was he really thirsty enough to ask a woman for a drink? It was against Rabbinic law to speak to any woman in public, not to mention a habitual adulterer like this woman was (see John 4:16-18)! Couldn’t Jesus have drawn his own water to drink? Or couldn’t he at least have found someone of better character to ask? Was Jesus really that desperate for water?
The simplest answer is that Jesus wasn’t really that desperate for water. But that answer completely misses Jesus’ reason for asking the question. Jesus did not approach this sinful Samaritan woman on this day because he was desperate for physical water. He approached her because he knew that she was desperate for spiritual water…and he was the only one who could give it to her: “Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.”
Of course, the “water” Jesus offered this woman was himself—his life-giving words and his life-saving work as the world’s Savior from sin. And, as the world’s Savior from sin, that also meant Jesus was her Savior from sin. And so, Jesus was not going to let anything—not race, not gender, not a sin-filled past, not a sin-filled present—get in his way of giving her exactly what she needed. He gave her himself, a “spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Dear friends, you are no different than this sinful Samaritan woman. Just like her, your sins have left you with a desperate need for a Savior. And, just like her, Jesus knows it. That’s why Jesus offers you, too, the life-giving water of himself. He offers it to you every day in his Word. For in his Word you, too, can hear his life-giving words. In his Word you, too, can take in his life-saving work as the world’s Savior—as your Savior—from sin. In his Word you, too, have access to a “spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Never miss an opportunity to drink him in!
Lord Jesus, you are the living water that gives life to thirsty souls. Increase our faith in you, that we may never go thirsty again. Amen.
This devotion was selected from the Daily Devotion archive.
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