Reading: John 4:1-14
There is a thirst in our spiritual lives that cannot be sustained by the things of this world- a thirst that cannot be quenched by natural water. Jesus Christ offers us living water that will quench our thirst for everlasting life. In John 4:13-14, Jesus answers, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
This living water is referring to the water of life; a source that brings forth the spiritual realities that lead to the presence of God, and the very truth that Jesus is the Christ that gives salvation to every believer (John 4:25, 26, 42). This truth produces in the believer a “spring” from which flows eternal life. Since it is everlasting, no one who takes this living water will ever get thirsty, that is, need eternal life again. The living water Jesus provides is a source of nourishment to our salvation and relationship with God. God’s gift of eternal life is permanent and cannot be lost.
In the story of “Jesus and the Woman of Samaria” (John 4; 1-14), John’s writings characterize the Samaritan woman (along with the people of Samaria) with a deep level of racial, psychological, and culture barriers that I feel are pertinent today. It’s a social behavior that has done nothing but form sectors of social barriers, (dividing walls of hostility) within our families and congregations.
These effects today stem from a false identity from doctrinal and domination differences, a worldly source that characterizes and differentiates the church and potentially limits interaction between believers as a part of God’s family.
What’s so amazing is that Jesus overlooks such racial, culture and moral barriers. Jesus did not think twice of having this divine intervention with such a woman with a sexual history. Nor did the fact that the two groups (Samaritans and Jews) were very hostile and bitter toward each other stop Him. Christ focuses on the lost, those who are put to the side and live in sin, and those who feel they are not worthy and have shameful pasts. We, as God’s creation, can come to know Christ, broken and with such barriers. We don’t need to clean ourselves to come to know Christ and except God’s gift of eternal life. We come as we are because we need Him to fix us….
One of the harshest and most painful barriers which I have encountered as a Christian is a social barrier between my family. A “wall of hostility” built up by misrepresentation and misinterpretation of the gospel, set by doctrinal and denominational differences. To add to this experience, I’ve also stood in the midst of believers from different sorts of congregations who don’t take other congregations seriously, have written God’s church off as frivolous, non-scriptural and compromising, and even intentionally assaulted the divine will of God.
Brothers and sisters, the method of salvation is clear and the mystery is solved through Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection. The Bible says “14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility” (Eph 2:14-16). By faith, by trusting and believing that Christ died in your place and was raised from the dead, by trusting Him to forgive you and give you eternal life, Jesus will become your “spiritual overcoat”. He is that well that springs forth eternal life. That water of life lives in you and empowers you to live a life that pleases God.
The goal of unity among Christians is to reflect Christ’s love for each other. Trustful cooperation, sound doctrine and love between family members and churches are a significant way to show our unity. As we fast and give hunger to our fallen flesh, let’s start the day with Jesus Christ, manifesting in his Word, allowing Christ to show Himself as living water overflowing from the well (spirit of God) that is within us, breaking down barriers that divide the church and our families. We need to trust God that He will fulfill every promise, that He will strengthen every weakness, and restore His saints in great measure each new day. We are to live a life through Christ that produces abundant fruit for the glory of God.
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Your example of crossing racial, social and even religious barriers to bring hope to an individual. It motivates me to think differently about people in general and about our neighborhoods here in Chicago. You supply an overflow of refreshing, living nourishment to my soul that will never run dry. Help me not to forget that others are thirsty for Living Water too. Fill me with Your Spirit in such a way today where I become aware of the desert places around me (my block, my job, my school, my sphere of influence) and use me to share You, Jesus, with people that need You as bad as I do. I love You and thank You for taking my sin and giving me Your life!
Go Deeper: What are the desert places around you that seem to have no gospel witness? Who are the people that God has placed around you that may be drinking from other wells (religion, substances, sex, relationships, fame, climbing the corporate ladder, etc.) when they could be living from Jesus’ supply? Are you drinking from some of those other sources of water that doesn’t quench your thirst? If so, why? How can Jesus satisfy that need in you? Drink deeply of Jesus, His Words and His Spirit today, asking Him to use you to share the gospel with someone today.
CityLights Prayer Focus: The lost within CityLights- Pray for those who attend CityLights but have never encountered Jesus, that He would draw them by grace to salvation.
Suggested song: “In Christ Alone” – Keith and Kristyn Getty
Suggested Daily Memory Verse: John 4:13-14 “Everyone who drinks of this water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”