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November 21, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“’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 livestock?’ Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them 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.’”—John 4:11–15 (NIV)
What’s the thirstiest you’ve ever felt? As a kid, I watched cartoons where characters in the desert became so thirsty they began hallucinating. I’ve never been that thirsty before, but after running sprints in the dead of summer at baseball practice, I remember feeling like I was going to pass out without a drink of refreshing water!
As we saw yesterday, Jesus, thirsty from His journey to Samaria, asked a Samaritan woman for water, which shocked her because she’s a Samaritan woman. Jesus responds to her saying if she knew who was asking she would have asked Him and He would have given her living water (John 4:10). Notice how Jesus completely ignores her hostility and takes the conversation to a different place, leaving her dumbstruck.
Did you know the expression Jesus used (living water) was actually a common term used for running water as opposed to water in a well? Not surprisingly, the woman thought Jesus was talking about water from the spring that fed Jacob’s well, wondering how He could draw water from this over 100-foot deep well without a bucket. In response, Jesus explains that all who drink of the water He gives would never thirst again. As F.F. Bruce wrote, “Jesus now speaks of a greater gift of God than the purest earthly spring can supply . . . the gift of the Spirit, life eternal.”
The thirst Jesus is talking about isn’t physical, it’s spiritual—it’s that longing, yearning we all feel that needs to be filled. Often, we spend years trying to fill it with other things—money, power, relationships, addictions, work, etc. Yet, we always come back thirsty. It’s only in the living water of Christ Jesus, the eternal spring which overflows into our lives and never stops flowing, that we can find true satisfaction. Paul testifies personally to this in Philippians 3:7–9 (NIV), saying, “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him.”
As Christians, YOU HAVE THIS SPRING OF LIVING WATER! “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19 NIV, emphasis added). And as you are filled to overflowing by Him, I pray you would be attuned to the Spirit who desires to use you to pour into the lives of others.
Pause: What is the significance of water in your life? Why does the Bible so frequently connect the grace of God to water? What does this teach us about our lives?
Practice: Read through John 2 and 3 today, then re-read John 4:1–19. Notice the constant use of water in describing our spiritual lives, eternal lives, and the power of God to save us. Then spend some time in prayer for someone you know who needs to experience the fountain of living water spring up in their heart!
Pray: Father, I pray for ______ today. I pray that _______ would drink of the better water that Jesus offers, the water that produces eternal life and abundant life! I pray that ______ would stop seeking to fill his/her life with the still and unquenching water this world has to offer and instead experience the ever-flowing spring. And Father, I pray that You would use me in whatever way You see fit to reach him/her with the truth, grace, love, and power of the gospel. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.