Summary: Often times we are driven by our hunger, which is probably why there are so many fast food joints. We have hunger for a great many things in this life, but are we most hungry for the things that permanently satisfy?
This morning I am going to talk about appetite. Now I know that some of you are already thinking about lunch, but my theme this morning is not food. Often times we speak about being hungry or thirsty for the Lord because they are terms that everyone can understand. Do you long for God like a cold drink on a hot day? Do you seek after God like you run to your refrigerator after a long days work? Well we are going to look at a story this morning where a woman was thirsty literally, but there was a thirst in her soul that was not being quenched. She had an appetite that she was looking to satisfy, but the things she tried always left her empty.
The same old watering hole (vs.4-7)
It is interesting that John begins this story off by making it sound as if it were almost coincidental. For a regular, unsatisfied Samaritan woman it was another normal day. Because of the lifestyle that she had chosen she had to come and get water when she could be sure that there was nobody else there. A branded adulterer, she would have been an outcast and during the hottest part of the day she was going to retrieve water from the same watering hole she had been going to for years. Water was needed for survival in this arid climate and this routine would have been a daily one. Little did she know that by the wonderful design of God she was about to have an encounter with the King of kings. She comes up the hill lost in thought and staring at the ground, thinking no one would be there and she is startled by the voice of a man asking her for a drink.
Jesus comes intersects her life in the midst of ordinary. She, like many of us, was doing what she needed to survive and make it by from day to day. It’s not exciting, but that’s life right. It is hard to have an appetite for something more when you have never tasted anything better. We only ever have an appetite for what we feed ourselves and Jesus comes to challenge that. He comes to meet us where we are. Imagine Jesus leaning against the frozen vegetables at Coles while you are racing through the store because your kids are driving you mad. Well you are here this morning going through whatever it is you’re going through and Jesus is here and he has a challenge for you this morning.
The emptiness (vs.8-14)
One of the things that Jesus was so very good at was pin pointing issues in a person’s life and confronting them on those issues. This woman would have had some self worth problems, not only as a woman, but as a Samaritan. It was not racially correct to speak with a Samaritan when you were a Jew; they were half breeds. Yet Jesus opens a conversation with this woman which would have broken down any racial or gender tensions that might have existed. He asked her for water, but really wanted to give her living water; water that would fill the emptiness in her life. He was offering her something that would completely satisfy her appetite, today and forever.
This is something we struggle with in this culture because there are so many things that claim to satisfy. We often find ourselves filling up on things that do not last and we are left wanting more. Like MacDonald’s, they have food that tastes good to millions of people, but the satisfaction is momentary and its long term effects are destructive. Same goes with trying to find satisfaction in sex, sports, alcohol, T.V., or whatever else you feed on. Jesus is clearly offering something better, but are we hungry for it? Believers can loose your appetite for the things of God when they get hungry for other things instead. Ever been full, absolutely busting? Imagine you are full from eating 25 Big Macs and you go to someone’s house and they have a beautiful meal set out on the table; there’s turkey, potatoes, pumpkin, gravy, fresh bread, and all the trimmings. Now even though this food is clearly superior, both in taste and balance, you have no appetite for it because you have filled yourself with junk.
Many people come to God like this. He clearly has something superior for us to partake in, but because we have filled up on other things we have no appetite for the things of God.
The Source (vs.15-26)
This woman had certainly filled herself with things in this life that were fleeting. We find out that she had had many husbands and was living with some other guy. She was ashamed enough to have to get water when nobody else was there. Thank God he came to us while we were still sinners. Jesus was telling this woman that not only could he give her something that would truly satisfy, but that she would be able to enjoy this satisfaction no matter where she was. She didn’t have to go to Jerusalem or even to the temple. She could find Him wherever and whenever she chose to worship. All of this seemed too much for her, but she knew that when Christ would come he would make all things clear.