John 4:13-14

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.’
John 4:13-14
Our daughter Anna graduates from high school next week in circumstances we never would have imagined. With life’s milestones come memories. When Anna was little, she always asked for a drink of water before bed. Some nights came with a litany of requests before she settled down to sleep. She ‘needed’ a drink, a story, a song, another hug and kiss. Even after all of that, she would still call me to her bedside.

“What now, Anna?” I would ask.
“I need something,” she would answer. “I just need something.”
 
In this cute little memory, there is profound metaphor. Unable to name what we are thirsty for, we know we’re thirsty. We wear ourselves out running to well after well, filling our cups with whatever we think will satisfy. Sometimes, we drink up inconsequential stuff – clothing, jewelry, the latest tech, cars, a Starbucks Iced Caramel Cloud Macchiato. Sometimes, we thirst after heartfelt desires – a job, a home, a healed relationship, a cure for a loved one, a cure for a global pandemic.
 
Jesus offers living water to anyone who is thirsty, to whoever believes in Him. It’s impossible to miss the gender dynamics and cultural tension in Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well. Such deadly hatred lurked between Jews and Samaritans; they did not even associate. But Jesus lives above the sinful codes of society. He asks the woman for a drink, and He offers her eternal life.
 
Jesus tells the Samaritan woman ‘everything she ever did’ (John 4:39). Jesus knows everything about us, but He doesn’t dismiss us as hopeless. He loves us without limit and offers us living water—satisfying, thirst-quenching, eternal water—the very Spirit of God living inside us. This water goes far beyond our dry mouths to the depths of our parched and cracked souls, offering joy despite circumstances and peace beyond understanding. Jesus says the one who drinks the water He gives will never thirst again.
 
Jesus told the woman at the well directly, ‘I who speak to you am he,’ meaning the Messiah (John 4:26). He tells us the same thing through words that have echoed across the centuries. Jesus reveals himself to us through the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16), through the miracle of His creation (Rom 1:20), and through His people.
 
With living water spilling out of her, the woman at the well cannot help but tell her story. Many from her town believe Jesus ‘really is the Savior of the World’ (John 4:42). When we are filled with living water, we are compelled to tell our stories with grace and truth, to invite others to the well to taste and see that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).

Rebecca Janni | Author

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