Summary: A sermon on John 4 about the living water that Jesus Christ gives to every believer. (Adapted from MaClaren’s Expositions of Holy Scripture)
Sermon for 3/2/2003
The Living Water
A. "Cool Water" - Sons of the Pioneers
"All day I face the barren waste
Without the taste of water, cool water.
Old Dan and I with throats burned dry
And souls that cry for water, cool, clear, water."
B. Water is essential for life. A human can survive almost two months without food, but he will not survive a week without water.
C. J. Norfleete Day- When I was a child, my dad often took me to a neighborhood county to visit the place where he grew up. One particularly hot day we were on our way home from such an outing when dad suddenly pulled off the road at a small outcropping of rock. Getting out of the car, we saw that a small stream of water was pouring from an opening among the rocks. Dad caught some of the water in his hand and invited me to drink. I was unprepared for how cool and refreshing the water was, even without ice to chill it. It tasted immensely better than the water that came from the faucet at home. Dad explained that the water at home was held in storage tanks and treated with chemicals to ensure its safety for drinking. This water, by contrast, was flowing from a natural spring up in the hills and had not been treated with any chemicals. It tasted better because it was pure. This lesson, which was new to me, was common knowledge among people in Palestine around the time of Jesus. Because of the extremely dry conditions of the land of Palestine, water was a precious commodity, available in plentiful supply only during the rainy season of the year. During that time, the Hebrews would collect water in cisterns, large vats carved into the rocks, so that when the rainy season ended, they would still have water. While they were probably grateful for the stagnant cistern water during times of drought, the Hebrews knew the superiority of “living” or running water.
D. We don’t know the condition of the well at Sychar, but it probably was better than cistern water but not as good as water from a fresh spring.
E. The church in the 2nd and 3rd centuries believed that they needed to baptize people in “living” or running water. Baptisteries were not common until after this time.
F. Where did they get this idea? From the words of Jesus.
1. John 4:10-14- Already read this.
2. John 6:35- I did a sermon on the bread of life. Jesus is the bread of life and he supplies the water of life. Without water, fish die and all living things eventually die.
3. John 7:37-39
G. Nice to have living water to baptize people but if they would have looked at the text, especially from the conversation of the woman at the well they would have known that Jesus just wasn’t talking about different forms of water. Drink of earthly living water we will thirst again.
H. Three symbols for water:
1. Cleansing of the soul, baptism.
2. (Eph 5:26 NIV) to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,
3. The Holy Spirit
I. Talk about the last two today.
J. With this woman, Jesus is not talking about earthly water. That is why this woman is surprised and sarcastic. If you have living water, why do you ask me for a drink?