The Woman at the Well – John 4:13-26, 28-30
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 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.”
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.”
He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 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.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” They came out of the town and made their way toward him.
And even if everyone knows our secret sorrows or sins, it is easy enough to pretend as though we don’t care. We shield ourselves from our pain by creating our own personal cocoon of guilt, shame, and condemnation.
But then one day, in the midst of our denial and/or hiding, Christ shows up and calls us out.
Not in a way that is humiliating but in a manner that suggests that he is hip to this game we’ve been playing with ourselves; this sick and twisted cycle of hiding and not caring that we claim as our fate.
The good thing is…after calling us out…he doesn’t leave us there. He exchanges our temporary fixes with something that is alive and everlasting. His “living water” sustains us not for the moment (like the food that we stuff ourselves with for pseudo-comfort); not for a season (like those unhealthy relationships that failed so miserably); not even for a lifetime (for God is not bound to our earthly notions of time). His love and grace and mercy is eternal; deeply penetrating our current existence but extending greatly beyond it also.
Our response? Well I certainly hope to do exactly as that Samaritan woman did.
Go tell someone all about it.