Summary: Demonstrates the fulfillment that comes through the Living Water of God to those who are spiritually thirsty. Can have evangelistic application as well as application for hurting believers.
Come and Drink
John 7:37-39, “37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, "If you are thirsty, come to me! 38 If you believe in me, come and drink! For the Scriptures declare that rivers of living water will flow out from within." F33 39 (When he said "living water," he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)”
Now, right off the bat, in case anybody was thinking that Jesus was talking about some physical water that would quench a physical thirst, John helps us out by pointing out what is the Living Water that Jesus was talking about. He reveals to us that the water that Jesus was talking about was none other than the Holy Spirit.
I remember the old Gatorade commercials that say, “Gatorade is thirst aid for that deep down body thirst.” This “deep down body thirst” isn’t just being a little thirsty, or saying, “Oh, it sure would be nice to have a refreshing drink right now.” No, instead in the commercials they would show an athlete who had just finished competing. He is completely exhausted; having sweating so much that his body craves water. He has just expended all his water resources by “beating up on his body.” Now he needs something to replenish his store. He doesn’t just need the surface satisfaction of a Coca-cola, but he needs something that’s going to penetrate right down to the cells and replenish them with water. The premise of the commercial is that Gatorade is just the thing for the job. Well, I’m not trying to sell you Gatorade this afternoon. I brought this up so I could talk about a similar thirst.
You see, just like every athlete has a “deep down body thirst.” Every person has a “deep down spirit thirst.” As I’m sure you know, who we are isn’t limited to our bodies. We all have a soul and a spirit as well. And just as our bodies have a fundamental need for water, so do our spirits have a fundamental need and desire. When life beats up on our spirits, just as physical activity beats up on our bodies, we need our spirits to be replenished. And people have tried many things to satisfy these deep cravings of their spirit, but there is only one thing that can really satisfy this deep thirst. That is the Living Water which Jesus offers—the Holy Spirit.
To get a closer look at how this Living Water can meet the deep spiritual needs, lets examine a specific time when Jesus offered this water to someone—the Samaritan woman at the well.
While it is not immediately clear at the beginning of the passage, this Samaritan woman is quite torn and hurting. Her life is miserable. It certainly would be easy to determine that she was not satisfied. She needed something to satisfy her. She needed something to heal her wounds. Her life was like a barren wilderness and she was desperately in need of a change that would allow her life to flourish again.
The first problem we see that she has is with her relationships. She had five husbands and was living with a sixth man who was not her husband. Questions of guilt aside, she must have had a lot of pain and turmoil, not to mention probably bitterness, in her heart over five failed marriages. As if that pain were not enough for her to bear, it was worsened by the social stigma of her lifestyle. She was obviously an outcast. We know this by the fact that she was at the well at noon. Noon was the hottest part of the day. It was a good time for finding a place in the shade for a nap. It was not time to be doing hard work like hauling water. It was certainly no time to be venturing into the open sun outside of the city, which is where the well was. Nobody would choose to draw water from the well at noon. And this is precisely why she chose that time to go to the well. I guess some things never change. Even today when we talk of workplace gossip, we think of the “water cooler.” It’s a place where a few people gather and talk for a few minutes about nothing in particular. It must have been the same then, and this woman was ashamed to show herself in such a public place. I’m sure she had seen her share of people staring and pointing, trying to hide their snickers or grins, quickly hushing their whispers when she came within earshot. So, she decided, better to endure the hot noonday sun that the pain and shame of public scorn.