“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 (NIV)
“Water is life.” That is the first Kenyan proverb I learned, taught to me by semi-nomadic pastoralists who knew more than most how their well-being depended on finding water for their livestock and for themselves. It is a universal truth, known particularly well by those living in dry lands. Water is an image used frequently by Jesus, as well as throughout the rest of the Bible.
In this passage, we see Jesus striking up a conversation with a woman at a well, asking her to draw water for Him. He was well aware that while he was physically thirsty, the woman he was talking with had an even greater spiritual thirst.
The woman’s life was a mess. She had been married 5 times, and was now living with another guy. She was looking for love in all the wrong places. She knew she desperately needed something, but didn’t know how to get it, thinking that it could only come through finding someone to love her. Jesus told her that her real needs could only be met by finding God in a vital, life-giving relationship. Jesus was able and willing to satisfy her thirst — her greatest longing — if she would just ask Him.
As Jesus pointed out, a drink of real water only satisfies for a short time. But having eternal life (which we find out later in the book of John means to walk with God moment-by-moment) is like having a mobile water fountain that is always with you, so that you will never thirst again. Just like the woman at the well, to get this never-ending supply, each of us has to ask Jesus for it. No one is excluded, and Jesus never says no to any sincere request. Having your greatest need met makes all the difference!
Originally posted on April 13, 2010