Have you drunk the “living water” yet? Are you still searching for that “missing link” in your life? Our souls crave spiritual satisfaction and the only remedy for the dryness within is Jesus Christ, the fountain of living water. There are many “wells” and “fountains” that people will drink from and go to, but they all leave us thirsty, parched, and broken. Jesus in John 4, meets a woman with a long line of broken relationships and sin, and reveals Himself as the Savior. In Christ, you will never thirst again!
One of the wonderful things about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that it is the same message for all kinds of people. Old or young, rich or poor, well or sick, educated or uneducated, male or female, Jew or Gentile. The Scriptures plainly declare that Christ Jesus came into the world to die for sinners.
You can go to the highest halls of learning and talk with a man with multiple Ph.D.’s. Although he is highly educated, the message he needs to hear is that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was raised from the dead, and that he can trust in Christ and receive eternal life as a free gift. You can take the same message to the most primitive, illiterate tribesman in some remote jungle and the message that he needs to hear is that Christ died for our sons according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried and rose again from the dead.
Nicodemus and the unnamed Samaritan woman are as different as they could be. He was a Jewish man; she was a Samaritan woman. He was educated and orthodox in the Jewish faith; she was uneducated and heterodox. He was an influential leader; she was a nobody. He was upper middle class; she was lower class. He was morally upright; she was immoral. Nicodemus was a religious wreck who knew he was empty inside and sought out Jesus. This woman was a moral wreck who could not fathom having anything to do with Jesus because she had been ostracized from society. But Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost.
You’ve heard the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10? In John 4 we read the story of the Bad Samaritan!
John 4.4-6 And he must needs go through Samaria.
- He must needs go through Samaria. Although the road through Samaria was the shortest route to Galilee, pious Jews avoided it. They avoided it because of the mutual disregard the Jews and Samaritans had for each other. This was the result of the overthrow of this region in 722 B.C. by the Assyrians. The Assyrians then removed the majority of the Jewish population and replaced them with foreigners. These foreigners intermarried with the remaining Jews, established their own religion, their own version of the scriptures, and their own temple on Mt. Gerizim. The Jews looked down on them for this and the Samaritans resented the Jews because of it.
Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.
- Sychar. This place was the ancient Shechem, and Jacob’s well was about a half mile outside of the city. It was forty miles north of Jerusalem, and was situated between Mount Gerizim (the Samaritans holy mountain) and Mount Ebal, the Mounts of Blessing and Cursing (Jos 8:30-35).
- Here we find one of the many places in Scripture where the humanity of Jesus Christ is revealed. Jesus was fully God and fully man. Paul writes that Jesus was the fulness of The Godhead in bodily form. His Incarnation is the Mystery of godliness. His humanity enabled Him to “experience” our human frailties.
- Heb 2.17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
- The normal time for women to get water was either early morning or later in the afternoon, when it was cooler. The well was a place where women gathered to talk as they filled their water pots. We can’t say for sure why this woman came to the well at noon, but it may be that because of her immoral life, that would cause her to be an outcast in society.
Vs 4.7,8 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.
- Jesus asking the woman for a drink is a picture of how He thirsts for fellowship with us. This fellowship between The Lord and His people is so beautifully pictured in The Song of Solomon. Revealed elsewhere:
- 1 Cor 1.9 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
- 1 John1.3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
- By tradition, a rabbi would not speak with a woman in public, even his own wife. It was also very unusual for a Jewish person of that time to ask a favor or accept a drink from a Samaritan’s cup. Jesus’ request genuinely surprised the woman.
Vs 4.9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.
- How would this woman know that Jesus was a Jew? I believe that she knew that He was a Jew by the ribbon of blue that would have been worn around the border of His robe.
- The Jews would not socialize with Samaritans. There was a saying used by some Jews at this time, “he who eats with a Samaritan is as he who eats swine flesh.” Pastor Bob Caldwell.
- This statement reveals the ethnic, religious, social, and national prejudices between these two people groups.
- For Jesus to speak in public to this Samaritan woman who was a stranger in public was crossing two huge religious and ethnic taboos of His day.
Vs 4.10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
- Note the word gift here. He wasn’t selling this woman anything, He was offering to her living water. He will give her living water if she does what? Just “asks”! The Greek for the English asked here means, “beg, call for, crave, desire.”
- The Scriptures declare that Jesus Himself declared that He was The Gift from The Father in John 3.16 (cp Isa 9.6 unto us a Son is given)
- The significance of Jesus’ offer as the source of living water is grounded in the O.T., where Yahweh is referred to as the fountain of living waters.
- Jer 2.13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
- Jer 17.13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.
- In John 7:37-39 and Isa 44.3, the living water is identified as the Holy Spirit, Who will dwell within those who turn to Him in repentance and faith.
- Jesus being the smitten Rock out of Whom rivers of living water flow (Ex 17.6: Num 20.11).
Vs. 11,12 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?– Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?
- Isn’t it amazing how we so often out limitations on what Jesus can do?
Vs 4.13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
- Any physical experience or pleasure can never quench the spiritual thirst of man. Love, success, wealth, fame, food are but a few of the countless springs at which men drink and remain thirsty.
- Imagine a handful of stickers that read “will thirst again!” Now imagine taking those stickers with you and placing them on your dinner plates, on your TV set or computer screen. On the doors of every bar, pub, restaurant, health clubs, universities, seminaries, bottles of alcohol, joints, OTB tickets or a pipe; Or on the desk of the most successful business exec or pastor who has made it to the top… “you will thirst again!”
- Let’s not miss here in verse 14 that this offer of living water is for whosoever thirsts or hungers. Who here is a whosoever, will you please raise your hand?
- The water that Jesus gives shall be In him. Did you see that? This proves that true Christianity is not primarily a matter of rituals and ceremonies, but rather an inward, personal relationship with the living God. It must be in each person’s heart.
- What does it mean to thirst? It describes a person who has had no water to drink for days, and if they do not have something to drink they will die of dehydration. That is the idea in the following Psalms:
- Psa 42.2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
- Psa 63.1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; 2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. 3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
- There was a story, not a Christian one, but it illustrates the idea of the degree of thirst or hunger for Jesus that we must have. A young man in India asked his guru how he could find God. The guru took him to the river, held his head beneath the water until the young man was kicking and swinging for his life. When the young man emerged from the water, the guru said, “When you were submerged under the water, what was the one thing that you desired more than anything?” The young man said, “Air.” The guru said, “When you desire God as much as you desired that air, you will find Him.”
- In Psalm 27 David said one thing I desire; In Philippians 3, Paul said one thing I do; in Luke 10, Jesus told Mary that one thing was needful.
- The gift of eternal life is not simply something, it is more than religiosity, it is Someone. Rev 21:6 I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
- Though Jesus Himself was weary and thirsty, He delayed refreshing himself in order that He might bring her who was spiritually dead, to the water of life.
Vs 4.15-18 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband:in that saidst thou truly.
- The woman wants this water. She realizes that she does not have it. But in verse 16, Jesus drops the sin bomb! Why did Jesus bring up such an embarrassing issue? Because the issue of her sinful life must be confronted. This woman had to decide what she loved more: her sin or the Messiah?
- With the rich young ruler, the issue of his heart was his money. With this woman, the issue was her immorality. According to Jesus, living together does not constitute marriage. In a day and age when more and more professing Christians are “cohabitating” because marriage is “just a piece of paper, you need to know that you are at odds with Jesus.
- There is no conversion apart from confession and repentance of sin. You cannot come to Jesus if you intend to hold on to sin. Grace is not a license to sin, it is deliverance from sins destructive grip and power over your life. The gospel message is not accept and receive, it is repent and believe.
Vs 4.19,20 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain (My Gerizim); and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
- Mt. Gerizim is the place where the Samaritans worshipped. There is a synagogue today on the slopes of the mountain. The Samaritans had rewritten history to back up their differences with the Jews concerning their religion. They believed Mt. Gerizim was where Abraham had been willing to sacrifice Isaac, though in fact it was on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem. They also taught that on Mt. Gerizim, Melchizedeck met Abraham (Gen. 14:18-20) and Moses built an altar.
- This woman was tripped on the location of worship. Jesus is going to correct her erroneous views by pointing to Who you worship and how.
- The church, according to Scripture has 2 legs, eyes, and a heart; it isn’t 4 walls.
- Note that the woman worshiped there because “our fathers” did. The “fathers” were wrong.
Vs 4.21-24 Jesus saith unto her, Woman (this word woman is a very tender term. It is the same word that we find in John 8 with another woman), believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
- This hour has lasted for 2,000 years and continues today! Please note that The Father is looking for worshippers! Every child of God may not be called to be worship leaders, but every child of God is called to be a worshipper!
- Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (worship:–(divine) service) 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- The English word “worship” was originally spelled “worthship” and means to acknowledge the worth of the object worshiped. What does it mean to worship God in spirit and in truth? It means the submission of all our nature to God;
It’s the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose. Pastor Brian Bell
Vs. 25,26 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am He.
- Observe how this woman’s view of Jesus progresses from calling him first a Jew (9); a Sir (11); greater than Jacob(12); a prophet(19); Messiah(25); Christ(29). That is how The Lord progressively reveals Himself to us…..from the titles that this woman gave to Jesus, who is Jesus to you my friend?
- The admission that Jesus makes, “I am he”, is the declaration that He is The Messiah, the Christ.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is about experiencing the presence and peace of God in this life as well as living forever with God in eternity. In the book of Revelation, we read about a great multitude who are martyred during the great tribulation period but who come out of that time clothed in robes of white because of the blood of the Lamb…..
- Rev 7.14-17 These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.
Do you know the gift of God? Do you know that salvation is the gift of God? Do you know that eternal life is a gift? Do you know that God is not a merchantman seeking to bargain with people, but God is a Giver, offering everything freely?
- For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
- When we think of Christ as the Water of Life, our minds go to Isaiah 55:1-13 , where the marvelous invitation is given: “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” He bids sinners to come and drink, will you come this morning?