October 10, 2006

A Woman Learns of Living Water

John 4:1-26

If you knew the gift of God ... he would have given you living water. John 4:10


The woman was surprised when Jesus asked her for a drink of water. She was even more surprised when Jesus told her about "living water" that would quench her thirst forever.

This encounter is remarkable in several ways. First, we see that Jesus reached out to her. We need to follow his example by reaching out to others. Second, Jesus crossed barriers of race, religion, and culture. For many years the Jews and Samaritans had despised one another. Third, the Samaritan woman did not seem a "likely candidate" for salvation. Her life was full of broken relationships and sin. Jesus addressed her past, but he did not dwell on it. He saw what she could become if she drank of God's living water.

Jesus wanted to lead her to believe in him. He said it was no longer the place of worship that mattered, but the devotion of people's hearts: "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." These were little "sips" of the water of salvation, which could become an endless source of new life, strength, and joy.

Jesus offers this same water to all who believe in him. "If anyone is thirsty," he said, "let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:37-38).

Lord, I thirst for you. Fill me with living water, and I will never thirst again. Give all your people new life, strength, and joy, and help us devote our lives to you. Amen.

About the author — Roger S. Greenway

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