Living Water

Written October 11, 2012

Water is essential to all life. The locations of cities and towns all over the world were dictated by the availability of abundant sources of water. As American settlers moved westward, they relied on natural springs to replenish their water supplies. A look at a map of western states reveals a number of communities with the word “springs” in their names.

When Jesus met the Samaritan woman, she was drawing water from a well. In the account from John chapter 4, the woman was somewhat surprised when Jesus spoke to her to ask for a drink of water. Jesus required food and water like any of us. From that same passage of scripture, we also know He needed to stop and rest every now then, like anyone else. Jesus was fully man.

And at the same time, Jesus is fully God. He continued his conversation with the Samaritan woman, gently addressing her spiritual condition by saying to 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.”

She was still thinking of the human body’s physical need for water. She asked “Where can you get this living water?”  She probably thought it would be great if she didn’t have to keep lugging water jugs to and from the well.

As they continued their conversation, she came to understand who was standing in front of her. She came to believe in Jesus, as did many other Samaritans.

So exactly what did Jesus mean when he said would give “living water”? In verse 14 of John 4, Jesus said “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.”

Without water, plant life withers and dies. People and animals will suffer from dehydration and eventually die of thirst. We can live longer without solid food than without water. Water sustains life. Jesus said he would give living water, and whoever drinks it will never thirst again.

Just as water sustains life here on earth, Jesus sustains our very souls. Planting the seed of God’s word and all growth thereafter  must take place here on earth. That’s just the way God designed it. But the very power and love and presence of Jesus Christ is we all need to sustain us for all eternity. That is “living water”. It’s water we simply cannot do without.