The Worshippers God Seeks (Part 2)
Primary Truth Taught- Only Jesus gives sinners the gift of eternal life
In our passage for today, I want to highlight the two types of water that Jesus speaks of. In His dialogue with the woman at the well, He highlights water that sustains life and life giving water.
We all know that everything needs water to stay alive. Our bodies need about 6-8 glasses of water per day. We can remain alive about 3-5 days without water. Humans, animals, plants, everything living needs water.
The woman came to the well to draw fresh water that would sustain her and her family through the next day or two.
While Jesus recognizes the need for life sustaining water, He begins to highlight another type of water…life giving water. The first will keep our bodies alive for a few days; the second will bring us to life and sustain us for all eternity.
Human Need Met
God is seeking true worshippers who long for more and more of Him. As we see our great need to worship God and begin to do so, our hearts will flee from the idols we all have and turn to God. Like the woman of Samaria, we too need the living water Jesus speaks to her about. Have you tasted this water? Have you been awakened by God and given the Holy Spirit for eternal life?
Please hear God’s Word for GCC today…
John 4:7–15 (ESV)
7 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “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.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Verse 10 is about knowledge. Jesus tells her that there are two areas where her knowledge is deficient. She doesn’t know what the gift of God is nor who Jesus is. His point, if you only knew what God has for you and that I’m the One, the only One who can give it, you would be asking Me for the gift.
Now there are many opinions as to what specifically Jesus means by the phrase, gift of God.
The Torah or the Books of Moses have been commonly called the gift of God. So, if that’s what Jesus means then He’s saying, effectively, if you only new your Bible then you would know who I am.
Another view is that Jesus was referring to Jacob’s well due to the fact that she says it was Jacob who gave us this well.
Both of those are in the realm of possibility but I think the answer lies in the context of the passage.
The gift of God in this passage is Eternal Life. It is what the Living Water produces within the soul. Jesus is saying that if she only knew the magnitude and wealth of the gift God has for her she would be pursuing this great gift with all her heart.
Here’s the problem, until the gift is given the lost person cannot fathom the value of the gift. They often scoff and laugh at the gift. They think it is a ridiculous concept. All this is because they’re dead in trespasses and sin. This is because the god of this age has blinded their eyes. You can place the greatest gift mankind has ever been given right in front of them and they turn away from it. We don’t realize the value until the gift is given to us, which brings us to life, and then we begin to see the great value of it.
Mankind would rather drop his own bucket into the well and draw out water to keep him alive for a day or two than to receive as a free gift the Living Water Jesus speaks about here.
There is an OT passage that shows us just how blind we are prior to the work of God in our lives.
God is appalled by His people and their relentless pursuit of other gods, who really are not Gods at all.
Jeremiah 2:9–13 (ESV)
9 “Therefore I still contend with you,
declares the Lord,
and with your children’s children I will contend.
10 For cross to the coasts of Cyprus and see,
or send to Kedar and examine with care;
see if there has been such a thing.
11 Has a nation changed its gods,
even though they are no gods?
But my people have changed their glory
for that which does not profit.
12 Be appalled, O heavens, at this;
be shocked, be utterly desolate,
declares the Lord,
13 for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Look with me at the dynamic of a lost soul. God offers Himself to His people. He is the fountain of living water. He brings eternal life. He gives His people blessings and protection. He does everything anyone could desire and that’s the problem. Lost humanity wants the glory for themselves. God gives life giving water and sinful man would rather get down on his hands and knees a dig in the dry desert and make a cistern. The cistern here is not even one that works. Normally a cistern is dug and lined and used as a place where well water was brought and poured into to keep for later. This cistern is cracked/broken and doesn’t even hold normal water. So the person digs and digs to create a hole for the water. He goes to a well and brings water back. He pours it into the hole in the sand and bends over to drink and finds that there is no water left, it all leaked out. He takes his hand with a little mud in it and licks the mud and says look what I’ve done.
The deceitfulness of sin warps our thinking so that we would rather work ourselves to death for a little mud so that in our warped thinking we can say, everybody look what I’ve done, rather than turn to God who gives Living Water.
These are the two great evils God has in mind: Turned away from God to idols and digging the cistern (working for eternal life).
The issue with the people in Jeremiah’s day was that they had turned away from God; they didn’t know God or the water He had waiting for them, which is free.
Isaiah wrote about the days that were coming for God’s people. He wrote about the days to come. For them, remember, the days to come were the days when Jesus the Messiah would appear.
Isaiah 12:1–6 (ESV)
12 You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.
2 “Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”
3 With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And you will say in that day:
“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.
5 “Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth.
6 Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”
When Jesus offers this woman Living Water, He is telling her that the days of God’s wrath are about to come to an end. I am the Messiah and I am giving out God’s Living Water freely to all who will come and drink. No more will we need to dig broken cisterns but God has living water drawn from the well of salvation and Jesus is drawing it for us.
Church come to the well and drink freely. Come to Christ and receive this living water.
Isaiah 55:1 (ESV)
55 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Do you see the difference between water that we drink daily verses the Water of Life that God gives? One comes from Jacob’s well the other comes from Salvation’s well. God wants us to drink until we can’t drink any more and when we’re done He wants us to say…Ahh what good water that is. God is the Giver of the Gift and He is the One we glorify for His mercy and compassion.
11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “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 woman asks Jesus is He greater than the Patriarch Jacob? Rather than answering with a yes or no, Jesus explains to her that the water Jacob gave them was good to drink and would quench thirst for a time but was just everyday water. The water He had to give was superior because it’s refreshing would last for eternity. Jesus is superior to Jacob and this is proven by the superiority of His gift. Jacob’s gift was temporal Jesus’ gift is eternal.
The woman is going along with His analogy. He says, “If you knew Who I was, you could ask and I would give you Living Water,” so she picks up on that. You can see that this woman is thinking all through this conversation. She doesn’t understand, but she senses that this is something important, so her answer shows that she understands that He must be planning to get this living water from some other well. She is pretty confused, but she understands that there is something special about Jesus. She takes Him seriously, and she knows that there is something special.
That is typical of unbelievers in whose heart the Spirit of God begins to work. If God is working in the heart of an unbeliever when we are witnessing to them, they like to believe the promises of Christ; but at the same time, they think, “How can it be possible that God could meet my needs and solve my problems?” If you have witnessed to someone about Christ, maybe you have had them say to you, “You just don’t know my problems; you just don’t know what kind of a sinner I am. Christ couldn’t help me.” They hope that maybe Christ can, but they just can’t see how it could be possible.
That is the flow here in her conversation. “I would like to believe it, but I can’t see how You can really do it.” She is beginning to get a glimmer, so Jesus, in His grace, tries to probe further. Look at verse 13:
John 4:13 (ESV)
13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
Human efforts at reform are like liquid water. They satisfy for a little while, but after a while, you get thirsty again. Jesus is really using the analogy here that trying to save yourself, trying to get yourself out of your own problems is like drinking water. It tastes good; it satisfies your thirst for a little while; but pretty soon you have to get more water. You can never do enough human good works to satisfy your spiritual thirst. Jesus is making that very clear distinction. Salvation is living water, because God, in the Person of the Holy Spirit, lives within us and continues to direct and empower us. It is like having a fountain of spiritual life within us. That is what Jesus is saying in those verses.
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
She is open to Jesus, you see. She wants what He has, but we can see from her response that she didn’t fully understand what Jesus was talking about, but she was on her way. She takes a positive step toward God. She is not sure what the distinction is between physical water and spiritual water, but she knows that whatever it is, it is something that she wants. She says, “Give me this water,” and therefore, because she is positive to the degree that she can understand, God gives her the next step of knowledge just as He does to all seekers. Don’t get discouraged if, as you witness to someone, they don’t seem to get the point. Keep working with them. Stay with them, because God honors faith, no matter how fragile that faith may be. Remember, this woman had never heard a sermon on this subject. She had never heard this in Sunday School. This was new to her. She didn’t know where this conversation was going, but the best way that she knew how, she said, “I want what You have.”
Church, I wonder how desperate we are for this Living Water? Are you longing for Christ and all He has for us? I think sometimes we may be a lot like this woman who knows a little but doesn’t have it all quite figured out yet. You know what? That’s ok. Jesus is amazed when we offer Him even a little genuine faith. When we believe Him to the degree we can, He is honored.
It’s not so much the degree of knowledge we have acquired but the intensity of our longing for Jesus and all He has for us. This woman hardly knew anything but Jesus was patient and continued with her until she received the Living Water He had for her.
Isn’t God good to us. He would spend so much time with this nameless woman because He would have her worship.
Declaration of Grace
In the mercy and grace of Almighty God, Jesus Christ was given to die for us, and for His sake God forgives us all our sins. To those who believe in Jesus Christ He gives the power to become the children of God and gives to them the Holy Spirit. May the Lord, who has begun this good work in us, bring it to completion in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen