Summary: Jesus is glorified are we enjoying the streams of living water that flow from him?
An unexpected Good Friday message.
The phone rings.
“Good morning, how can I help you?”
“We have a problem, there has been no water here since Harold passed through.” (Harold was Tropical Cyclone Harold that hit Fiji on the 8th of April, 2020. Today is the 10th).
Okay, so plans were put into place to get a water tank and a supply of drinking water to the officers who needed it. The supplying of the tank will be a tricky process as there are restrictions on getting supplies across the Lami bridge due to the Covid 19 virus causing a lockdown of the Greater Suva area.
I talk with the Property Manager. “Leave it to me I will organise it,” he says. The team works well.
It’s Good Friday.
My mind goes to another setting, a woman coming to a well to draw water and Jesus asking her a simple question, “Will you give me a drink?” John’s Gospel 4:1-42.
Now in this setting, it seems that the outcome would be simple, here take a cup of water from my bucket, yip why not.
However, there’s an issue, a race issue. She’s Samaritan and he’s Jewish. As my Bible says, “Jews do associate with Samaritans.”
While the Jews and the Samaritans were and still are related there were some differences in how they observed religion and how they viewed one another. Best just not to associate then maybe?
Here’s a picture early in John’s gospel, of Jesus, associating with those that his people didn’t. Here’s Jesus crossing a boundary to make a difference.
She asks him, “You are a Jew, I am a Samaritan, how can you ask me for a drink.” Yip a deep race issue, a barrier is being crossed here and this is well outside the norm.
His answer, “If you knew the gift of God and who it was that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Between them, there’s an ongoing discussion here about how Jesus might supply this woman with water as he does not have the tools to get the job done. There is a discussion about their common ancestor Jacob, whose well they are at. There is a discussion about how this water, this liquid once it is consumed must be consumed again, consumed on and on, as thirst will come again and again. There is a question from the woman, “Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well?”
Jesus comment to her after all this discussion is after her question is this, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed the water I give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Her reply was simple and direct, “Sir give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Now there is further discussion in which Jesus and the woman discuss her husband, well the man she is with and her former husbands. She comes to see he knows things about her that are out of the ordinary. They discuss the differences in how their races worship God.
They talk and discuss, and the conversation arrives at a point once Jesus has given an indication to the woman that he is no ordinary person. Jesus shows through his knowledge of the woman’s life that there is something very deep, something not ordinary about himself, something extortionary about himself, when he says, “Yet a time is coming and has come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and truth.”
Her reply is and I think at this time she had her suspicions and was wondering just who she was speaking to; “I know that Messiah is coming. When he comes he will explain everything to us.”
He replies…”I who speak to you am he.”
There is more to this story, the woman went back to her town and the people of the town came to hear her story about Jesus. He went to that town and stayed for a couple of days, he broke down the barriers of race and religion, the rules that restricted and bound interaction between, the rules that restricted freedom of contact between these two peoples. But more than that, the people of this town came to understand that, more than that, believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ, more than that, The Saviour of the world.
This Good Friday, as we think on Jesus going to the place he died, as we think of this broken figure upon the cross, a man whose few recorded last words included, “I am thirsty” (John 19:28) let those of us who know him, let us celebrate the freedom that we have come to find in him this day.