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The Message of John (Lesson 11)
Living Water | John 4:10
Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
In John 4, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at a well.
During the interaction, after drawing water from the well, Jesus tells her that he is able to provide "living water."
This "living water" is contrasted with the water that the woman has been drawing from the well, which is physical and temporary. In contrast, the "living water" offered by Jesus is spiritual and eternal.
In John 7:38, Jesus says that for those who believe in him, "rivers of living water" will flow from within. By this, he meant the renewing, refreshing, life-giving, and life-sustaining Holy Spirit.
With the woman at the well’s life background exposed by Jesus, it’s easy to see how she is a prime example of someone is who spiritually thirsty. Jesus’ offer of "living water” is the opportunity of a lifetime! In Jesus, she’s discovered the love, peace, hope, joy, and security that has eluded her all her life.
Some look for soul satisfaction in relationships, money, fame, peer approval, or more and better stuff—all represented by the jars of water she has filled at the well. but these will never bring us true satisfaction or eternal life.
The problem is, when we try to find our ultimate joy in lesser joys, they become “broken cisterns.” This is the image used when exposing the hearts of the Israelites in Jeremiah 2:13.
“For My people have committed two evils:
They have forsaken Me,
the fountain of living water,
and they have dug their own cisterns—
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.
Only the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit can provide us with the spiritual refreshment for which our souls thirst.
Eventually, Jesus reveals his true identity to the Samaritan woman and she believes in him as the Christ. Her faith is demonstrated by her leaving her water jugs by the well and running to town to tell others about Jesus.
Jesus, as Savior, would thirst unto death upon a cross so that we would never thirst again. When we believe that, we are filled with the Spirit and receive the flowing rivers of living water to refresh our souls with grace and empower our lives by grace.
When was a time you were really thirsty? What did you do?
In what ways are we all spiritually thirsty?
What does the "living water" offered by Jesus represent and how does it differ from the physical water the woman has been drawing from the well?
In what ways do we try to quench our spiritual thirst through temporary means (“broken cisterns”)?
Why are they ineffective in bringing us true satisfaction and eternal life?
What is the significance of Jesus thirsting on the cross?
A Suggested Prayer
Dear Father in heaven,
Thank you for sending Jesus to provide us with "living water." We recognize that we are spiritually thirsty and that only You can provide us with the spiritual refreshment we need to experience love, peace, hope, joy, and security. We ask that you would fill us with your Holy Spirit and enable us to experience the transformative power of Your grace in our lives. Help us to recognize that the temporary things of this world cannot satisfy our spiritual thirst and that only you can bring us true happiness and eternal life. We pray that we would be filled with your love, peace, hope, joy, and security, as we share the good news of Jesus with others.
For we pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.