Living Water

Friday, Mar. 31

We can learn a lot in Scripture by what is not said as well as what is said.  Jesus’ dialogue with the Samaritan woman in John 4 is a case in point.  The whole account is loaded with unusual happenings.  It is as though it was scripted by a master playwright.  Jesus and his disciples were en route to Galilee, but instead of going the normal route to the east in order to avoid the despised Samaritans, they went right through Samaria.  When they got near the town of Sychar, the disciples went into town to get food, leaving Jesus alone at the well. Voila!  A Samaritan woman comes to draw water at an unusual time of day.  Jesus, a Jew and a man, contrary to societal norms, asked the woman for a drink of water.  Here was Jesus sitting at the site of the ancient well of Jacob, and unable to get a drink of water from it.  The woman was straight forward enough to question his social gaffe, which gave Jesus opportunity to extend the conversation, using water as a key to the truth.  He neatly connected the idea of living water with himself.  But instead of pursuing the idea of being the Messiah at this point, he focused on the water, the living water that would satisfy her thirst for all time.  That really caught her attention.  She didn’t understand it as an analogy, but wanted that kind of water.  Her normal response should have been “I don’t know what you’re talking about” or “You must be out of your mind.”  But no, she said she wanted that water.  Obviously, the Holy Spirit was at work.  At this point Jesus could have explained the analogy or pursue his identity as the Messiah, but he did neither. He told the woman to call her husband and come back, which opened the door to her sinful condition.  Because Jesus knew all about her private life, she deduced that he was a prophet, and turned the discussion to worship.  Jesus spoke with authority on that subject, too, saying that there was a time coming when all would worship God in spirit and in truth.  The woman’s response was that she knew a Messiah would be coming.  Jesus simply said, “I who speak to you am he.”  Right on cue, the disciples return.  The woman hurries off, so excited about it all that she left her water jar and ran off to bring the men of Sychar to “come and see.”  Surprisingly, many of them came.  The Holy Spirit was working there, too.  Many who came believed.  They invited Jesus to stay, which he did (two days), and even more of the people believed.  A plethora of coincidences?  I don’t think so.

 

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