Summary: Living water and the Spirit: the gift of Jesus

John 5: 1-42 Can I give you a drink?

Bringing water

To the thirsty

Was never really

A problem for God.

If needed,


Could get


From a rock (!)

Which, is what God did

For the very thirsty

people of Israel,

When they

wandering around the wilderness.

Or if you find yourself in the desert,

And you’re thirsty,

God could

Just open your eyes so you would see,

A well of spring water, just when you need it most.

Which is what God did

For Hagar,

Right at the moment the desperate mother

was ready

To give up.

Pouring out water on the earth

Was something

God could do,

Not only to meet an immediate need,

it was even something God

Was really going to do

In the future.

Ezekiel, the prophet,

Saw the vision -- a coming day,

Where water would

Flow from the New Temple of God

Like a stream,

Spilling over,

like a river


Deep and wide,

Deeper and wider,

Water, water everywhere,

Bringing life

to everything it touched.

Whether in the past,

Present or future,

It’s a really good thing

God can make

The Water flow,

Even in the driest of ground,





And without it,

You die.

Death by


In last week’s scripture,

Jesus says to Nicodemus,

You can’t enter the Kingdom of God,

Without being born,


And By Spirit.

This week,

We find Jesus,

In need of a drink.

Of water.

Jesus happened to be passing

Through Samaritan territory,

And -- he is tired.

So, he sat down,

Next to a well.

While the rest of the disciples

Went shopping - for groceries.

While Jesus is sitting there,

Just hanging out at the well,

All tuckered out,

A local woman



An empty


She’s gotta get



Water is life.

I’m guessing her last steps

Toward the well --

Might have been

with some trepidation.

She’s a woman,

Alone on the road,

He’s a man, alone,

Sitting where

She needs to be.

And she doesn‘t know

His intentions:

Whether their honorable,


Or what.

[Plus, Maybe she knows

the stories in the Bible,


A man + a woman + a well (usually) = marriage.]

But, you know,

it’s noon,

Middle of the day,

Sun at its brightest light.

And good things, if they’re going to happen,

happen in the


So, maybe,

It’s alright.

So, she takes




On to the well.

And when she arrives,


Says to HER,

“Give me a drink.”

Is he asking

or demanding?

I’m not quite sure.

Either way,

what Jesus says

Opens up an unexpected




And the Woman

With the empty bucket.

Even the woman

Is surprised.

A Jew talking

To a Samaritan?

A Man talking

To a Woman,


Her … ??

Considering the circumstance

And the history,

It’s odd.

Very odd.

The woman’s entire “life” story

As she seemed to understand it,

Seemed to revolve

around 6 -- count ‘em, 6,

previous men,

We don’t know the reasons for that --

Maybe her husbands died,

Maybe they divorced her,

Something she’d have had no say about

Maybe it was combination of the two.

But in any case,

her “life”

at the least

Is tragic,

Filled with heartbreak and grief,

Or at the worst,

As least as far as

other people are concerned,

it‘s just “wrong.”

But, even so,

Jesus is


to her (!)

[And, it’s the longest conversation

That Jesus will have with anybody.]

The talk

Between the two

Quickly moves from,

Talking about

Being thirsty

For what comes from

Jacob’s well,

And A “thirst”

That is deeper,

Wider than that:

A thirst of the spirit.

A desire,

A longing,

Within the heart,

That cannot

Easily or quickly

Be satisfied.


Doesn’t just happen to a bucket.

It’s something that happens to the heart, too.

The woman’s reason for coming to the well that day

Was just to get water --

But that could only

Fill up a bucket


What Jesus has to offer her

Is quite different.


Wants to



Something he called



What he was offering

Was THE living water

That flows like a river,

Running Deep and wide,

Into the human heart.

And wherever it flows,

THAT living water

can fill you up,

Till you’re

teeming with LIFE,

Life abundant,

Life eternal.

THAT Living Water

That Jesus offered

Can finally (!)


The deepest longings

And deepest desires

Of human life.

And fill

the emptiness

Of the human heart.

That local woman?

She doesn’t have it.

Her life,

Her heart,

For whatever reasons,

Has become

as Dry

as the surrounding desert.


Barren of LIFE.

Her heart

Was as empty

as the bucket she carried.

In the deep place

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Karry Crites

commented on Mar 27, 2011

Nicely done, May God Bless you and your congregation!

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