Text: John 4: 4-14
Icebreaker: When you are really thirsty what do you like to drink? Do you like a hot drink like tea, coffee, or chocolate? Do you like water or juice? Do you like something cold from the fridge or even something with ice? If you are thirsty what is the drink you would most want?
Today’s group is about water!! But it’s not like water that comes from the tap when we turn it on, it’s the Living Water, another name that Jesus called Himself when he talked about who He was.
There are a few things that Jesus said here that can help us understand what it means for us that He is the Living Water.
- There is no life without water
Did you know that our bodies are up to 55-60% water, that your brain and heart is 73% water and that your lungs are about 83% made up of water? Even our bones are watery containing 31%. It’s incredible! We can only live for 3 to 4 days without taking water into our bodies by drinking and through food. If we do not have enough water then we become dehydrated which can cause everything from headaches, dizziness and confusion to, in extreme cases, kidney failure, brain damage and death.
There is no life without water. We see that in the desert, we see it when places are hit by a drought, it is an inescapable fact. Without water, nothing can live.
How powerful is it then, that Jesus described himself as the “Living water”? He describes himself as the very thing that we can have no life without and he meant us to take that description very seriously. Just take a moment to reflect – are you thirsty spiritually right now? Do you need to be refreshed today? Do you think you know what it feels like to be spiritually dehydrated?
- We will always be thirsty without the Living Water of Jesus
The scripture that we are thinking about today, shows Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman. The first thing to know is that this was very shocking for the time – a Jewish man would not have been expected to talk to a woman that He didn’t know, and the fact that she was a woman from Samaria (a place and people that the Jews considered as unclean) added to the risk He was taking. But Jesus knew that this woman was drowning in the dirty water of her sin, and that what she needed was the fresh, clean, living water that knowing Him could give her and so He is willing to speak to her.
They are having a conversation on two levels. On one level Jesus is genuinely thirsty because it is the middle of the day and he has been travelling – he is literally asking for a drink of water – he was human – he needed to drink. But as the conversation unfolds he starts to talk at a completely different level – the level of her need. He offers her a different kind of water, one that goes beyond what she can get from the well. It is the Living Water that comes through Jesus. He tells her that if she drinks it she will never be thirsty again.
WHAT?? How is that possible? We all know that whatever we drink we will get thirsty again.
But of course, Jesus wasn’t talking about physical thirst any more when he made this promise. He is talking about the thirst for God that is in the heart and mind of everyone that He created. If we choose to drink God in, through prayer, through His word, through fellowship with other Christians, then the thirst that is at the very centre of who we are will be quenched. If we choose not do that, we will be spiritually dehydrated and we will shrivel up and dry out in our lives.
What do you think it would it mean to your life today if you asked Jesus to give you this Living Water again, or for the first time, right now?
- The Living water of Jesus will never dry up and it can overflow
In 1976 there was a deep drought in the UK. The reservoirs dried up, and in some parts of the country people were not allowed to use water from taps in their houses but had to take buckets and pans to a tap in the street so that everyone could ration how much water they were using. Of course in many parts of the world, this shortage of water is a common and desperate problem, there are many people who do not have the water they need to meet their physical thirst.
But when it comes to spiritual thirst, no-one ever needs to be without water. Jesus said “Indeed the water I give them will become in them a spring welling up to eternal life”. The living water that Jesus gives us is not like a pool or a pond that just sits inside us, it’s like a bubbling stream or a fountain that springs up within us. The Living Water will never dry up and it can fill us so full that we overflow, and others are blessed by the refreshment that Jesus is bringing to our lives.
Take a moment to reflect – how does this ‘Jesus water’ seem in your life right now – is it a rushing stream or a tiny trickle? Is it Niagra falls or a puddle? Jesus is longing to fill you and take away your thirst. Come to Him again, and ask Him for the Living Water that will refresh you all the days of your life. He came so that you could have it.
How awesome it is that Jesus is the Living Water. He wants us to accept that water so that our spiritual thirst can always be met by the refreshment he gives. I don’t know what is making your soul thirsty today, but whatever it is, let Jesus, be the Living Water in your life. In Jeremiah 17: 8 it says that those who trust in the Lord are “like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by the long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.” If we refresh ourselves with the living water that Jesus offers, then the dryness of the world can’t steal our joy or our fruitfulness and at the roots of our lives we will always be getting the refreshment that we need. When that happens we will overflow, so that we can lead others to find Jesus so that they can stop being thirsty too.
By Amanda Martin
By Amanda Martin