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In our lives we thirst for affirmation, whether in our relationships, social status, or what we set up as our beliefs.

John 4:7-26

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15 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.”

16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”

17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 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.”

19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

Cross,Jesus,God,Holy Spirit,Daily Devotions,Thirst

In the times of Jesus, it was a tough life being a woman and a Samaritan. Women were seen as lower standing in status than men and Samaritans were seen as only part-Jewish. Neither group were permitted to fully worship in the temple (Samaritans could only come in as far as the ‘court of the Gentiles’ while Jewish women could only come a step further into the ‘court of Women’).

But here we see the Messiah making a very deliberate detour in His travels so that He is in a Samaritan town talking to this Samaritan woman. Something no Jewish man of the time would have done.

Jesus looks past her gender and ethnicity however and sees a thirsty person. Not just for the water from the well but for life, love, recognition, hope.

And so starts this unusual conversation that starts with a drink of water and ends with the revelation of the Saviour.

At first the woman is confused wondering if perhaps Jesus has built an amazing well somewhere with ‘magical’ water in it. But her interest is caught, and she would like some of this water.

Jesus then confronts her with the state of things at home. She has had five husbands and is living with a man not her husband. This would have made her an outcast at that time even in her Samaritan village. No wonder she was at the well in the middle of the day when no-one else went – either shame or pride or mixture of both kept her from wanting social contact with the other townswomen.

There is no judgement in Jesus’s words, only a statement of fact, an understanding of the thirst that she has felt, looking for acceptance one man after another, leading to a state where she is no longer accepted in her community.

It may seem like the woman changes the topic hastily, but perhaps she witnessed Jesus’s power to see right through her, and recognising that He is a prophet, and one who is even bothering to converse with her, seizes the opportunity to ask a religious question.

Women of the time were not given the same religious instruction as men. And it was frowned upon to even talk about religious things, but this woman figures, “in for a penny, in for a pound” and we see beyond her thirst for human love, is a hope of confirmation of her beliefs and acceptance by God. Where is the right place to worship? Are the Samaritans right or the Jews? Who does God actually listen to?

And now Jesus talks to her about His Spirit, the living water explained, and that it is more important to worship God in Spirit and in truth rather than on a mountain or in Jerusalem.

As Jesus went out of His way to meet this woman where she was, the Spirit of God can find you wherever you are and set you free to worship in truth.

At this point, it doesn’t matter for this woman what the town thinks of her, what the Jews think of her, what her ex-husbands think of her. All that matters is that Salvation is standing there in the person of Jesus, with the answer to the deep thirst of her soul. And believing this, she will never thirst again.

 

Head: When other wells run dry, only Jesus can satisfy our thirst. Are there things you are turning to in order to quench your thirst, but you find they are not enough?

Heart: It is easy to think that if we have the outward appearances worked out, we are pleasing God. But He looks at the heart. Think of how you can let the truth work inside, in the parts of your life that only God sees.

Hands: In this passage, Jesus reaches out to someone who was a social outcast on multiple levels. How can you reach out to somebody outside of your comfort zone?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for coming to this world and meeting us where we are at. Thank you that true thirst-quenching love is found in you and that it lasts beyond every human relationship, beyond every social up and down, beyond every religious observance. Thank you that acceptance in you the Saviour lasts forever. Amen

A song to listen to: Only You can satisfy

Nicole Davenport- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina

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