“So he 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.”
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.””
It’s hard to imagine life without running water, isn’t it? If you’re thirsty, turn a faucet and your thirst is quenched!
But it wasn’t always that easy. In Jesus’ day, if you were thirsty it usually meant a trip to the well. And that wasn’t easy work.
In the account you just read from John chapter 4, we see a woman from Samaria go to the nearest well to get some water. When she gets there, Jesus is waiting and makes her an offer that seems too good to be true. He offers her water that will quench her thirst forever!
Immediately this woman is imagining life without trips to the local well. How amazing would that be! But she missed the point. Jesus wasn’t talking about quenching that kind of thirst. He’s offering to quench her thirst for forgiveness. The question is why did she miss the point? Is it simply because she didn’t want to have to haul water anymore, or is there something more?
Maybe if we look at our own lives we’ll figure it out. Have you ever felt guilty? Of course! We all have! When we do something wrong, we feel guilty. It’s as simple as that. But there’s a problem. Just because we feel guilty, doesn’t mean we’re willing to acknowledge that sin. Our sinful nature is so good at convincing us that the guilty feelings are the problem and not the things we’ve done. “It’s okay to look as long as you don’t touch.” “I’m not being lazy. I just need a break like everyone else.” “John Smith is addicted but I’m not. So it’s okay for me.”
See what I mean? Just because we feel guilty about something doesn’t mean we’ve acknowledged our sin. If you look at what happens with the Samaritan woman, you’ll see it’s not until she acknowledges her sin that she realizes she’s thirsty for the forgiveness Jesus has to offer.
The same thing is true for us. If we’re unwilling to acknowledge our sin, we’re essentially tricking ourselves into thinking that we’re not thirsty!
This is why we see Jesus’ love for us not only in his loving announcement of full forgiveness, but ALSO in the fact that he takes the time to point our sin out to us. He knows our sinful nature is working hard to convince us that a little sin is okay or that we’re not really “that bad.” He knows those lies won’t cut it before our God who demands perfection from us. So he takes the time to point out this woman’s sin to her. And he does the same for us.
Every time we read God’s laws, we’re forced to see that we haven’t measured up. We’re forced to realize how thirsty we really are for forgiveness.
It’s then that Jesus swoops in with his Living Water to quench our thirst once and for all! His innocent death really was the perfect sacrifice God demanded for the sins of all people. That sacrifice has been made. Your sins have been paid for! When Jesus says your thirst for forgiveness is quenched. He means it!
Don’t ever be afraid to acknowledge your sins before God or anyone else for that matter. Because we know that in Jesus every sin is forgiven. He quenches our thirsty souls with his Living Water and fills us up with the promise of heaven.
Blessings on the rest of your week!