May 21, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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.’”—John 4:10 (NIV)
Imagine for a moment that I gave you a brand-new and very expensive car as a gift. It’s a beautiful car that can carry other passengers, transport you from one place to another, and fit all of the gear that you’d need to take with you. But instead of using the car as it was designed to be, you parked the car in your garage and never drove it. You kept the car safe. You protected it for yourself, but you didn’t use it as it was intended.
In today’s passage, we see the word “gift” mentioned, both in the context of the woman at the well and in Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus. The Greek word for “gift” here is dōrea and is derived from the word dōron, which is found in Ephesians 2:8. Dōron has a deeper meaning, as a present offered as a way to demonstrate honor.
In light of this understanding of gift, let’s dig into the context a bit more. In John 4, Jesus encounters the woman who comes to draw water from the well in the middle of the day. She has a complicated past, and Jesus meets her where she’s at. He tells her He has a source of living water far greater than the water from the well. This source, Jesus, is the gift of God.
In John 7, Jesus further elaborates on this concept of living water as He teaches in front of a divided crowd of people in the temple courts. Some wanted to seize Him, and others put their faith in Him (John 7:30–31). His proclamation is an invitation for anyone who is thirsty to come to Him and that those who believe in Him would have living water flowing from within.
In Ephesians, Paul writes of God’s intent for the Church and how believers ought to work with each other. In chapter 2, Paul writes that salvation is a gift from God. It happens by God’s grace and through our faith in Jesus.
We can see a pattern that God gives us gifts. Specifically, we see the gifts of living water, salvation, and Jesus Himself. Just like the car that is meant to be driven, these gifts are meant to be used and not hidden or hoarded! Jesus is the ultimate gift of God, and He demonstrates what it’s like to give freely. The gifts we’ve been given are for us, but they’re also for others. Share your gift with others. Your life has a purpose! You’re called to reach your city!
Pause: Read John 7:37–38 and Ephesians 2:8. Are you “driving the car” God gave you, or do you have it parked safely in your “garage”? How might you get in the car and start using the gift He gave you?
Practice: When was the last time You thanked God for the gifts He’s given you—the car you drive, the bed you sleep in, the job you have, the clean water that comes from your faucet. Take a moment to thank Him for good gifts!
Pray: God, thank You for Your generous gift of sending your Son to die on the cross for my sins. Thank You for the gift of salvation and the promise of living water. Help me to use and share the gifts You’ve given me with others who might need them today! Amen.
Denise Trio has been on staff with Calvary for almost two years, serving as the Director of Strategic Development. She has 10 years of project management experience, with a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Engingeering from Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA and a Master’s degree in Pastoral Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA. When not on campus, Denise is either making her way through her book list at the beach, ordering tacos on any menu that serves them, or running her side business, The Rose Creative, which specializes in creating beautiful and meaningful products for her clients.