A Drink of Needed Water

Jesus said to her, ‘Every one who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’         John 4:13-14

As Alexander the Great made his way through India, his soldiers, having lost their supply of water, suffered terribly from thirst and were near mutiny.  The great general stood before his army, took his personal supply of water and poured it out on the arid wilderness.  The mutiny stopped right there.  The troops knew that he would not hide behind status nor privilege – their fate was his, his fate was theirs – he would be there with them in whatever they would encounter, in whatever they endured.

This incident describes one aspect of what Jesus had done on the first Christmas.  As St Paul put it, He ”emptied Himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men; and being found in human form He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” [Philippians 2:7-8].  The comfort in the Incarnation is that we know that Jesus became fully human and subjected Himself to all the conditions which you and I find ourselves in.  In today’s Gospel, Jesus is both weary and thirsty.  We know that experience.

Water. It is so common and ordinary.  Over 3/4’s of our planet surface is water.  Yet it is a most precious and wonderful substance.  A simple combination of two basic elements, hydrogen and oxygen, it can divide into ions, thus creating an acid or an alkali, which allows it to do many things.  It has properties unique from most other substances, for example, as freezing water just begins to solidify, it does not shrink but rather expands – which accounts for how even a seemingly weak substance can split apart solid rock.

But most of all, science will tell you that it is so very crucial to life.  Our human body is some 90% water.  Water is needed to move about the nutrients in the body, and to remove the wastes.  The body can go weeks without food, but it cannot go many days without water.

It was at noon when the woman had come for water – an odd time because usually the village women came in the morning before the day’s work had begun, and in the evening in preparation for supper and the night.  One just didn’t go in the hot noonday sun, because carrying a large jar of water was not an easy task.  So the likelihood is that this woman was an outcast in the village.  Having had five husbands and living with another man she likely was not welcome among the ladies, and to avoid the catty little comments and the snubs of others she choose this odd time.  Although she will not or cannot change her life, still she likely did not think very highly of herself.

Therefore it was with surprise that she realized that Jesus was speaking to her.  She had no idea Who He was – so was He “coming on” to her?.  With her history, she knew her way around.  Still it was puzzling: here was a Jewish man, and Jews despised Samaritans – usually a Jew would take the literally long way around to avoid contact with Samaritans.  It is not much of an exaggeration to say that as soon as a Jew realized that he touched a Samaritan, he would run home to scrub his hands, even take a whole bath just to get the dirt off of him.

So here was a Jew and she was a woman with a past – her curiosity was tweaked.  What did He really want?  Was it really a drink or was He looking for something else?  Certainly such a question was going through her mind.

Jesus blew her mind completely.  Yes, He had an ulterior motive after all, but nothing like what she was expecting.  He didn’t want an affair with her – He wanted life for her, or rather, He wanted to give life to her, eternal life.

Jesus had to break her free from the mind-set that she was already in.  Was He was playing mind games with her, with His talk of water that would make you never thirsty again.  Sure enough, Jesus gets around to asking her about her husband – now this was familiar territory!  She answers evasively, still not sure what Jesus was really after, but to leave the door open for any kind of relationship that might ensue.

imagine the shock on her face, when Jesus doesn’t make a play on her, but instead agrees that she spoke the truth, and then tells her her history.  At this point the whole conversation turns.  Jesus has finally broken her of her mind-set.  Suddenly, that relationship with God which always lurked under the surface, but was always pushed down because she was too ashamed of herself before God – now it exploded into her consciousness.

She knew that before God that she would only be condemned, and now that she was forced to confront God, you can just see the terror begin to rise in her.  God had found her out, and now He has come in judgment.

A chiropractic manipulation can help realign the vertebrae, restore motion, and relieve the pressure within levitra generic usa continue reading over here the ears. In time of erective state the veins get extra energy and so you will get the results that you desire without having to worry about your current condition. It is actually a phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor and works sildenafil sales by preventing the action of mechanism of the medicines is based on production of nitric oxide by the arteries of the body, including the male reproductive organ. In fact, smoking has also been linked with infertility. There is that helplessness which comes at a time like this: What shall I do??  If there is any chance for me, what shall I do??  How she betrays her common heritage with all mankind right here, as she turns to Jesus and starts a theological debate.  God had focused on her sins, and the first thing she does is to change the subject to a miscellaneous point of theology.  And yet it wasn’t all that miscellaneous – after all where was she to go, to whom could she turn, to whom was there that she could come who wouldn’t immediately reject her?

Jesus gently gets her off the theological debate by accenting that the relationship with God is the crucial pivot of everything.  But that doesn’t help!  She knows that she made a mess of her life!  All Jesus does is bring this mess back into focus.  Now she clutches at straws – she knows that there is a Messiah – a Christ – coming; could her hope lie in Him??

I wonder what tremendous realizations must have flashed through her mind when Jesus said, “I Who speak to you am He!”  First must have been the realization HE KNOWS!  Here was the Messiah, and He knows everything.

But then the deeper shock: He knows ME!  It is nice to be able to say that God knows all things, God sees all things.  But then to realize in an awful moment of time that He is standing in front me, that He is looking directly at me, that He is talking to me – I am under the microscope – this is most frightening.

And then an astounding realization: Jesus, all this time, hasn’t spoken a word of judgment.  He could have.  He had every right and every reason to.  Her life, which He apparently knew exactly, well demanded it.  Yet He didn’t.

Not a hint of the rejection that she had felt from every other person around, instead there is every indication that God had actually wanted HERGod wanted HER.  He was speaking about eternal life to HER.  That He can accept even someone like HER! – more than just merely accept, that He could forgive and dispose of all that junky life that He had just laid out visible on the table.  What a breathtaking awareness must have come crashing into her heart.  Here was the Messiah, the God of the Heavens, the God of the Old Testament Law and prophets, and He comes with of all things, FORGIVENESS.  She forgot all about her water jar, and she ran to tell the rest of the town.

You know, each one of us has an area of our life of which we are most ashamed.  That’s the part of ourselves which we think we protect so tightly from anybody else seeing.  There are places or things we avoid, perhaps avoid talking about, because our sense of shame is just like that woman’s, who avoided the rest of the ladies of the town, to come out by herself to the well.  It’s the area where we know we can be condemned, that we have failed or that we feel trapped into or that we just can’t let go of.

And how terrifying to see that God does not just look in your general direction, but that He looks directly at YOU specifically.  He knows you.  He knows all about you.  He knows EVERYTHING.  He knows how you are going to do things again.  How frightening that as He stands before you, He lays you bare right down to the core.  As we see Jesus, this true Human Who knows everything in human life intimately by experience, Who can see through all the excuses and defenses which we hide behind – the fear and intimidation runs deep.  Like that woman, how we squirm as we realize just how detailed the Lord knows us.

But now comes a wonderful drink of the Water of Life – how cool and refreshing it is for our souls weary with the burden of guilt, weary with the disillusionment of the battle with sin, weary with the exhaustion of self-condemnation and of the rebuke from others.  We hear instead, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls; for My yoke is easy and My burden is light” [Matthew 11:28-30].

Here is the amazing realization.  Jesus’ standing before you with absolute knowledge about you is not going to reject you, but rather making you understand how much He accepts you.  He knew exactly what He was getting into when He died for you.  There will be no day when He will suddenly find out “the truth” about you to His great disappointment and disillusionment about you.  Instead, just when you figure that God ought to come to destroy you, that’s when you find Him talking to you about eternal life, sharing His very self in real, physical terms here in His Body and Blood..  That’s when you find Him talking about forgiveness, about abundant life, about new birth, new heart, new mind, a new value to who you are.

Boy, but that’s powerful!  And it works.  That woman went back to her town banging on doors to tell them the Good News of such a God as this.  And it does not take much stretch of the imagination to know that that woman’s life will be very different from that point on.  Anybody who has had that compelling a realization – it profoundly affects the way they live from that point on.  They can get their sin out on the table and deal with it now.  They don’t have to hide it any longer, but more, they know that they’ve got a most wonderful source of help available, a God Who walked on our level of life and did it because He would care that much even for a sinner – like ME and YOU.

Did you ever have an encounter with God like this one?  Has He put you through the terror of revealing to you your shortcomings, your failures, even your hidden sins?  Then realize also how He stands before you today, right now, looking intensely into your life and your heart, but then listen as He speaks to you of eternal life, of forgiveness, of abundant life.  That’s what makes a spring well up in the heart which just overflows to the praise, the Glory, and the sharing of our Savior God.

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