The story of Jesus and the Woman of Samaria is a short yet profound display of Christ’s love towards sinners and our yearning for something more in this life. We all have our moments in which we thirst for something to give us a deeper satisfaction and meaning in our lives. We live in a world where we always want the next best thing that we think will define true joy and happiness. Whenever I read this story the few verses that always catch my eye and convict my heart are in John 4:13-15 ” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
These three verses fall right in the middle of a conversation between Jesus and this woman of Samaria. Christ begins to draw out a deeper a longing for something more then just physical. He begins to depict that whatever we go after in this world, will only leave us with wanting more (verse 13). He then offers a way in which we never have to be looking for another means of satisfaction (verse 14). Lastly, He gives us the strength to not only receive it, but to live it out daily and to spread the news to others. (verse 15)
What the world offers
1. What the world offers, will only leave us with wanting more (verse 13)”Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again”.
Here in this verse, Jesus makes an obvious, yet profound statement that no matter how many times one drinks physical water they will in time, become thirsty again. To summarize what had been going on up until this point, in verse 9-12 Jesus basically starts off by asking her for a drink from the well. The woman is shocked by this request mostly because a Jewish man was not to converse with a Samaritan woman. After the initial shock of her being acknowledged by Him, she points out that He has nothing to draw water with. His response to both her shock and obvious conclusion of having no jug or anything to drink from is “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”. She then asks where it is she can get this living water and in her mind, what makes the most sense is to point out that this well she is drawing from was used to give water to both people and livestock. This is the moment when Jesus points out what begins to make what is obvious also life changing. From what we know about this woman of Samaria, she was living a life of promiscuity and indulging in a life of sin. She was not like most women of that time and one of the reasons why the Bible tells us that she had come alone to the well was because she was a social outcast. Her life, like many of ours, was finding fulfillment in what the pleasures of the world were offering her. The only satisfaction she knew of was in what made her physically feel good. There was nothing permanent about her life style, it was all temporary and Jesus was aiming to get at the heart of the matter. There is the hard learned lesson that His grace and love is all sufficient. When we seek to find fulfillment in other things, other then God, we may find enjoyment for a time, however the end result is always the same. Feeling empty and broken and looking for something more.
I remember having a conversation with a friend who was not a Christian at the time, and she kept telling me that every time she went home after either a normal day at work or being with friends, or her boyfriend, she always went to bed feeling empty and like she was missing something. She kept feeling a sense of sadness and felt as though there was a huge hole that needed to be filled. The more she tried to fill that void with what she thought would make her happy, it left her feeling worse then she did before. When she finally gave her life over to Christ, I remember the one verse that she said that kept ringing in her heart over and over before she became a follower of Christ was in Mark 8:36 “ For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?.” I believe that this verse speaks to the fact that when one lives to seek what the world has to offer and not pursue Christ, essentially becomes what one commentator says “spiritually bankrupt, all the worlds goods will not compensate for loosing one’s soul eternally”.
2. Christ’s offer of a soul satisfying life. Verse 14 “ but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
This statement that Christ makes is a promise to all those who choose to believe in Him, will endure a deep and lasting satisfaction. This woman is now being introduced to the reality that she no longer has to keep living out her life style and that she can walk away from a life of sin into a life of experiencing true joy and happiness. Instead of looking for a relationship in the men she was pursuing, Christ was offering a deeper, and more intimate relationship with the God who knows her heart and despite her sin, still loves her and wants to draw her to Him. He also promises that life on earth does not end here, but that in Him she can have an enteral and forever lasting relationship.
He gives us the strength
3. He gives us the strength to not only receive it, but to live it out daily and to spread the news to others. (verse 15) The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
At this point, the Samaritan woman did not yet have a full understanding of what Jesus was getting at. To drive His message home, He lovingly pointed out her sin and answered her question with what she needed to let go of in her life and instead receive. He tells her to go and call for her husband. She truthfully tells him that she has no husband and He points out that she has had five and that the man she is with now she is not married to and is living with. He goes straight to the point and causes her to look at her heart and her life. He lovingly points out that merely living with the man she is with now does not constitute as marriage. Sexual relationships prior to marriage was morally wrong. This also points to the fact that Jesus not only was Jesus pointing out the need for her conversion and cleansing from sin, but that His intimate knowledge of her sin indicated His spiritual ability. The end result is that she ends up leaving her jug and going away to tell everyone about what happened. She excitedly tells people to (Verse 29) “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did, Can this be Christ?”. This woman had not only been given strength to receive Jesus’ message but was filled with enough conviction to go and spread the news to others. She was labeled a social outcast and despite her reputation by God’s Grace was bold enough to go and spread the news to all. Her sin was now being used a means to change the hearts and lives of other people around her.
We are never outside the means of God’s Grace. His Grace knows no bounds there is a hope for each and every one of us that when we choose to pursue Christ, our lives will experience true joy, peace and meaning. Our physical needs are but a small picture of how much greater our need is for an all satisfying relationship with our Saviour. Let our prayer be as the Psalmist said “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore” Psalm 16:11.