Living Water

The woman said to Him,  “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thristy and have to keep coming here to draw water.  John 4:1-26

She wanted the water that makes you never thirst again.

She wanted desparately to never have to come alone to this well again.

She wanted to come back into society without a stain on her character or a noticeable scar on her soul.

She ached for a time when she could look people directly in the eyes without trying to look defiant.

I suspect this woman’s detailed history is left in the dark because it isn’t important how she got where she was only that she turned away from her hellbent direction and fixed her eyes on the light.  Our pasts matter to Jesus less than we think.

O, I know psychology wants to parade it as the whole of our reason for wallowing in our current state–and sometimes we might even get better.  But to Jesus the past just didn’t count once a person left it behind.  I am not saying that our pasts won’t affect our future even in our present saved condition.  On the contrary, I believe many of our habits will haunt us until Jesus comes again–this educates us to the insidiousness of sin, the disgusting nature of it and the tenacity with which evil clouds our judgment.  None of this matters to the child of God who allows themselves to be immersed in the mind of Christ.  We never have to focus to intently on our faults nor rail against those who wronged or hurt us because our inside world dynamic changes with Christ in control.

It’s our pride which whispers to us that we are unable to find redemption, that somehow our sin is greater than God’s forgiveness, that we are too wicked or evil to be changed.  Nothing we have ever done or could ever do is greater than God’s ability to redeem a soul who is willing.  If we crave His forgiveness, grace, mercy, love and a change of character, He is willing and able to give it to us.  The only blockade standing in His way is our refusal to let Him.  To make our sin greater than God is to make our sin god; to make ourselves irredemable is to make Him out to be less than the Almighty Savior; to make us out to be beyond His grace somehow makes His grace unavailable to us only because we choose it over Him, not the other way around.

Again, our past, present and future sin is not important for these things He has the power to change.

Jesus revealed her past only to show her His power to know her heart and, get this, I’m sure it dawned on her that if He knew her sin, He also knew her pain—how she got started on this demolition race in the first place.  I don’t believe it was by accident Jesus came to Jacob’s well at midday, nor do I think it coincidental He spoke to her first out of all the villagers.  He chose her because she needed Him the most, and, if she could change, the miracle would be like a ripple effect throughout the country.

But besides that, Jesus just loved this gal.  He loved her so much that He came specifically to rescue her from her crazy, out of control lifestyle.  He wanted her to know life to the full.

“Those who have been forgiven much love much.”

In the world’s POV she already had a full life.  In heaven’s view we are all destitute and wanting.

But she’s not done trying to argue and divert Jesus from the point because she doesn’t yet know His heart for her.  So she said, “Sir, I can see that You are prophet. our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

O, clever, clever!  She didn’t want to talk about her problems with some stranger she’d just met so she brought up the oldest and most divisive subject she could muster.  A smile must have played on her lips behind the veil–if she even wore one.  No Jew could have resisted this bait, but she didn’t know whom she dealt with and this was not just any Jew, this was Jesus.

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 truth.”

Woe!  Wait just one doggone minute!  No one, especially a Jewish rabbi, had ever talked like this!  Did you catch it too?  He said the temple and buildings man makes were of no consequence to true worship.  He made several points in fact:  1)Salvation is from the Jews–ie Jesus being the Messiah.  2) God only wants us to worship in spirit and truth.  3) God is spirit, the intangible, antithesis of physical matter (at least in our view).  4) The Samaritans worshiped something and someone they had no authority to worship.  Not that they didn’t have a right but they were going off on a tangent other than the one God ordained.  Jesus made it final and without equivocation that salvation and the worship of God comes from the Jews.

Number 4 eliminates all other ways to God as main veins of thought.  Men might be led to God through them and then to Christ in the end, but nothing matches the teachings about God which come from the Hebrew nation.  Jesus made it solid rock truth.  The “I’m okay, you’re okay” approach to God isn’t from God but is a confusion sent to muddle the stew.  This is the view of Judeo/Christian ethic.  It is exclusively one sided and looks at God one way.  If we accept Jesus as Messiah, God, Savior and Teacher, we must accept what He says as bedrock to our lives and nothing short of complete truth.

God wants us to let go our tendancy for images and tangible objective worship and love.  Jesus spoke God’s heart on the matter:  The Father longs for those who will worship Him for who He is not who they wish Him to be!

The woman is so impressed (I take this view from her reply) she makes a question into a statement, “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming.  When He come, He will explain everything to us.”

O, clever woman!  You did what no man to date had ever done on record, you asked Jesus to state His mission and who He was.  In a small country rumors fly around fairly fast, so I’m sure she heard rumors of a teacher out of Galilee or some such thing.  John B’s testimony would have caused a whirlwind of discussion and rumors.  This woman wanted to know.  She hoped Jesus was the one–could it be?  She felt her heart beat faster and must have drawn a sharp breath as she said this. 

How do I know?

I don’t.  But knowing the facts after what Jesus said next, I can deduce the truth.

For the first time in His ministry, and to a gentile foreigner half-breed, adulterous, outcast woman, Jesus confessed, “I who speak to you am He.”

Lightening struck.  Of course!  She stood there stunned and completely unaware of the disciples just coming back from her home town after buying food.  In fact, she was so excited, stunned and completely transported to another realm of being entirely, she forgot herself and the looks of the disciple concerning her sex, time of day she came to the well, and her nationality, none of it affected her at all.

Leaving her water jar she raced back to town to spread the good news.

The disciples didn’t get to hear the dialogue because John A claims they were unaware of the transaction which had taken place.  So they must have just come back after Jesus’ announcement to her because John A says,  Just then the disciples returned and were surprised to find Him talking with a woman.  But no one asked,  “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?”

These men didn’t understand Jesus’ mission at all.  Oh, I’m sure they thought they did, but while they were jockeying for first and second position in the kingdom, a little sinner who wouldn’t have been able to hold her head up in their company from the weight of their scorn learned the truth of Jesus and believed.  Because of her a whole town was changed and made better.  I get a picture of everywhere Jesus walking flowers bloom out of season, trees bend to touch Him, the grass bends to soften his footsteps while birds and animals all over dart back and forth around Him in a celebration of their King.

He took this wilted flower of a woman and made her bloom again.

And, doggone it, He never did get that drink…

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3 Responses to “Living Water”

  1. tlc4women Says:

    You’ve got to love her. Too broken to waste time, she cut to the chase and became an evangelist! This makes me happy! 🙂

    • jonnysoundsketch2 Says:

      I think this is the sign someone has really met Jesus: they immediately want to share their friendship with Him. Like Andrew, Phillip and others she couldn’t wait to share.

  2. thinkpoint Says:

    You’ll find this interesting:

    Ten Tests for Doing Spiritual Inventory

    http://thinkpoint.wordpress.com/2008/12/31/10-tests-for-doing-spiritual-inventory/

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