In John chapter 4, Jesus is resting by a well when a Samaritan woman comes to draw water. In a shocking departure from social norms, Jesus asks this woman to give him a drink, and then explains to her that if she knew who she was speaking to, she would ask him for living water. Stunned by his claim, she asks him how he can provide such a thing without a bucket, and where he plans on getting it.
Jesus responds in verses 13-14: “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman is eager to receive Jesus’ gift so that she will no longer need to come to the well.
So what’s so important about water?
There are many different wells in our lives that we drink from with the hope that it will quench our thirst. We look to our careers to quench our thirst for success, to fame to satisfy our desire for significance, or to money to meet our need for safety. The problem with drinking from these wells is that we will always have to go back for more. They are, as the prophet Jeremiah described them, “broken cisterns.” No matter how much we drink from these wells, we will always be thirsty again.
Jesus is explaining to us that only the water that he can give us will truly satisfy. As the woman comes to this realization, something interesting happens in verse 28: “Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city.” The woman left her jar with Jesus and went back to the city to exclaim to the people what she had found. She no longer needed her jar because her thirst had finally been quenched. She no longer had a need to drink from any well other than Jesus.
We are all scrambling to quench our thirst at wells that we falsely believe will meet our deepest needs. The result of drinking from such wells is always the same: we will always be thirsty again. We were not designed to be satisfied by the wells of career, fame, or money.
What is so important about water? It is critical to life. This is why the living water that God offers us through His son is so vital. In Jesus, God has provided us with the one true well from which we can drink and never be thirsty again.
Let’s take some time this week to pray and ask God to reveal the empty wells, the broken cisterns, from which we are seeking life. Ask God to replace these false sources of life with the true source: Jesus. Then, like that Samaritan woman, we will leave our jars behind and go and tell others about the true source of living water.