Summary: There is a thirst in every heart that can only be satisfied by our Creator. This is seen in John's account of the woman at the well. Like her, we must encounter Jesus in order to satisfy the spiritual thirst we have.
THE GIFT THAT NEVER STOPS
John 4:1-18 The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John, 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 When the Lord learned of this, he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered 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." 11 "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?" 13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 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." 15 The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water." 16 He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back." 17 "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
Prop: There is a thirst in every heart that can only be satisfied by our Creator.
Interrogative: How can man’s greatest need be met by the One who created him?
TS: To answer this, I’d like to make a few observations about man’s thirst & God’s remedy.
I. People Are Thirsty for the Gift of God (13-15)
-Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but the water I give will satisfy one’s thirst.” The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
-This well, from which Jesus once asked a drink, is fed by underground springs, and its water is fresh and cool. Because the water is moving and not from a cistern, the ancients called it "living water" -- a term to which Jesus gave a new and special meaning.
-However, drinking the “living water” from Jacob’s Well will not quench the thirst that people have for God. Obviously, the woman did not at first understand what Jesus was getting at. She did not want to have to come back to this well in the heat of the day to avoid the rejection of others. It was hot, hard work to lower her bucket some 150 feet and bring it back up full of water. It would have been nice to be able to do this early in the morning when it was cool, like the other women of the community did. They would go together and visit with one another while lowering and raising the bucket. It was a social event - kind of like visiting with people you know at the post office or at a local restaurant. This woman, however, was not welcome in these kinds of places, because she was involved in sexual immorality and was living with someone who was not her husband.
-If we were to make a list of reasons why Jesus should not have been talking to this woman, we could probably come up with several things. First, she was a Samaritan. The Jews & Samaritans despised one another, because of a past of bitter rivalry. Some believe that Samaritans were among those who opposed the rebuilding of the temple under Ezra & Nehemiah. The Jews viewed the Samaritans as halfbreeds, and looked down on them with contempt. Secondly, she was a woman. In that culture, it was not proper for a man to speak with a woman unless her husband was with her. It might have been viewed as flirting and was not acceptable behavior. One might think that this is why Jesus told her to go call her husband, so He could speak to her more without appearing improper. However, that seems unlikely, because in the next breath He tells her that she has had 5 husbands and that her current partner is not her husband. It is possible that this woman was a prostitute. At the very least, she had some serious relationship problems and was currently living in adultery. How did Jesus respond to this? Did he tell her she should be ashamed of herself and command her to move out immediately? No, but He did uncover her sinful lifestyle. We can only assume that her life changed after her meeting with Jesus. I believe it did, but the change was made because of the gift of God, not through the disapproval and contempt of God. Does God hate sin? Yes. However, He loves the sinner and is willing to accept him or her just the way they are. [Jn 3:17] His gift will help them become what they were meant to be. This is why Jesus broke nearly every cultural social guideline to reach out to this woman.