SCRIPTURES – Ps. 84;
Exodus 17:1-7; Romans 5:1-8; John 4:5-39
“Everyone who drinks of this water will be
thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never
be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring
of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4)
I’m sure you’ve had this happen to
you: you go to a restaurant, place an order, and then end up getting something
you didn’t order. Aaaagh, that’s frustrating! Well, imagine being told: “Oh, I didn’t mess up your order. I know
what you wanted, but I decided to give you something better instead.” Boy,
would this make you angry! You’d probably walk out!!
Well, this is what our Lord does
with us. We hear in today’s Scriptures that Jesus is thirsty, but we’re not
told if He ever gets a drink. This is because He makes His own thirst
secondary. He primarily thirsts to give
water, and when the opportunity arises to do so He sets His thirst aside. His
focus becomes the Samaritan woman and her thirst; and, not the water she is thirsting for, but the water
she should be thirsting for.
But, to get her to focus on this He must take her outside of her comfort zone.
He does so by making her focus on her sins.
What were her sins? Well, having
been married and divorced (it seems) five times was certainly not good. Nor was
the fact that she was currently living with a man to whom she was not married.
She was looking for love in all the wrong places! This was true of her faith,
also; and that, ultimately, was her greatest sin. The most uncomfortable thing
that this Samaritan woman had to confront was that her true Messiah and Savior
was a Jewish man! Jews and Samaritans, you see, hated each other and had no
dealings with one another. But, she, along with the rest of the people from her
village, comes to believe that Jesus is “the Savior of the world.” He takes
her outside of her comfort zone and gives her the living water that wells up to
What is your comfort zone? What
sins do you not want Jesus to bring up? Well, know this: you can’t hide them,
not any of them. As surely as Jesus knew the life of a woman that He had never
met, so He knows your life. No sin of yours can be hidden from His eyes.
But, don’t let the worst of your
sins be that you avoid bringing them to Him. We need to take to heart what the
Samaritan woman needed to take to heart: that salvation is located in a Jewish
man! The water of life – of forgiveness and peace with God that wells up to
eternal life – comes from the man Jesus of Nazareth. Go to Him with your sins
and drink from the water of life that He thirsts to give and freely and gladly
to Him; this is where you must get outside of your comfort zone. The
modern Lutheran comfort zone is faith. You know, “we are saved by faith alone, and not by what we do.” This, I hope,
is what most of us Lutherans will say, and it is true. But, take note that Jesus
says, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and
truth.” You must not content yourself with spirit alone, with faith in
the heart. Spirit and truth; heart and true teaching; faith that
is located, in a Jewish man who died and rose to forgive your sins and
who is present to pour forth living water for you – this is what Jesus points
you to. He was present in flesh to pour forth living water unto eternal life to
the Samaritan villagers. He is present in Word and Sacrament to pour forth that
same living water to us. Go to Him and drink up!
But, as you do, also know this: after
He quenches your thirst Jesus is going to send you outside of your comfort
zone. He is going to send you to others.
Did you notice that Jesus’
disciples are barely mentioned in the story of the woman at the well? They were
kind of dragged along for the ride. How hard it must have been for those good
Jewish men to even be at that well in Samaria! Religious Jews, you see, would
not even set foot in Samaria but would go out of their way to avoid it. Well,
their Master not only took them into Samaria and to that well; He even made
them stay two whole days in their village! Jesus didn’t seem to be too
concerned about their comfort.
Oh, but He was. He had called them
to Himself. He walked with them; He taught them; He shared His Father’s love
and mercy with them. He was an ever-flowing spring of water welling up to
eternal life from whom they were blessed to drink daily. How blessed they were
But, He wanted them to be a
blessing to others, and so He took them outside of their comfort zone. Jesus
was not only their Messiah. He was “the Savior of the world.” As He
brought the water of eternal life to a Samaritan village, so He would use them
to bring it to the world.
He will do the same with you. How
blessed you are to be with Jesus, to drink from Him as an ever-flowing spring
of water welling up to eternal life! “Welling up to eternal life,” Jesus
says. Eternal life in Him is not just something you have to look forward to,
something that will be yours after you die. It is present within you now,
welling up within you to give you strength to fight against temptation; to
comfort you when you fail with the peace of knowing that your sins are
forgiven; and, oh, so much more! Countless are the blessings we have in Jesus!
Great, indeed, is the peace we have with God through our Lord Jesus Christ!!
How will Jesus well up in you and
overflow to others for their blessing? The Lord tested His people Israel with
thirst after He brought them out of Egypt (Ex. 17). He makes us uncomfortable
by laying various sufferings upon us:
Difficult people. They may be strangers, like
the Samaritans were to the disciples, or they may be people who are close to
Difficult and uncomfortable situations: sins;
sicknesses; sorrows; and the like.
He sends us into the fire of
difficulties and sins and trials so that we might pour out upon them the water
of life. Being a Christian doesn’t spare you hardships. It gives you “peace
with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1) so that you can “rejoice
in [your] sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance
produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to
shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy
Spirit who has been given to us.” God will bring about good, for you
and for others. Christ’s water of life will well up within you and bless you
unto eternal life!
The end of all of this was seen by
Jesus’ apostle John in the visions that he saw and recorded in the Book of
Revelation. He writes in chapter 22:
The angel showed me the river of the water
of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb
through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the
river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each
month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer
will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be
in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name
will be on their foreheads.
Some of those servants will be Samaritans who had lived in a
town called Sychar, who drank from the water of life after they met Jesus
personally. Some may be those who drank from the water of life after meeting
you. Drink, that Christ and His life may well up within you and overflow from
you to the eternal blessing of many!