By CRAIG HARRIS
John 4: 7-14 (NIV): When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 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." "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 flocks and herds?" 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."
Jesus broke several social and cultural barriers in this event. He spoke in public to a woman, he spoke to a Samaritan, and even asked a favor of her, and he allowed himself to be alone with her. These were things that Jewish men in his day simply did not do. But he was more concerned about her than the social boundaries placed upon them.
Like Jesus' visit with Nicodemus in John, chapter 3, Jesus used natural examples to describe spiritual events. She understood what it was like to be thirsty. It is an ever-increasing longing that takes over your thought processes. But as Jesus told her, even if you quench your thirst, you will soon find yourself thirsty again. Jesus quenches the thirst we all have for meaning, hope, purpose and fulfillment. We are all born with a God-shaped hole in our hearts and only he can fill it. Trying to fill that space in our lives with other things will leave us unfulfilled.
I encourage you to read the rest of this story. We can see her spiritual journey. She recognized Jesus as a prophet when he told her personal things about her, and the Christ when she tasted the spiritual water he offered. She left her water jar and shared the gospel with her town.
She had been discarded by at least five men and was certainly an outcast because of it, but Jesus gave her salvation and she became a soul-winner. Jesus loves us all and offers each of us right-standing with God. We simply must accept the living water he offers.
Craig Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek United Methodist Church in Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church in Pert. Sunday services are at 9:30 at Brushy Creek and 11 a.m. at Pert. See more of his columns at www.instantmessagelive.com.