Jesus packs a lot into one sentence.
Jesus answered and said to her,
“If you knew the gift of God,
and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’
you would have asked Him,
and He would have given you living water.”
- Do we know the gift of God?
- Do we know who is engaging us in the first place? Who’s initiating?
- Do we make requests of Him? Do we initiate back?
- Do we trust that He would answer our request?
She said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do you get that living water? You are not greater than our father Jacob, are You, who gave us the well, and drank of it himself and his sons and his cattle?”
Jesus answered and said to her,
“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty nor come all the way here to draw.”
Jesus lays it out:
- physical needs will continue to be physical needs, but spiritual needs can be satisfied — by Me!
- what Jesus gives is not a sip to quench our thirsty spirits, it’s a source
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying,
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”
But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
Jesus calls people to recognize their thirst and come to Him. Jesus says that those who believe in Him will receive what the Scriptures have promised–living water. This is a prophesied, planned out gift. Not some random thing.
John equates the rivers of living water and the promise of the Scriptures to being the Spirit that the disciples received once Jesus was glorified.
So… to help with the visuals, we can think of Jesus post crucifixion and resurrection, in His glorified state of being at the right hand of the Father ready to give living water to those who ask.
Now, what Scriptures could Jesus be referencing?
How about the one that
- not only mentions water, but talks about God’s desire to make an everlasting covenant
- that the covenant is free and merciful
- that a ruler will reign because God will glorify
- that the covenant allows for the wicked to repent
- that God will compassionately and abundantly pardon
- that God has a plan that we cannot comprehend, it’s too great
- and that the plan, because God has spoken it, cannot fail
- and that adherents to the plan will be filled with joy
- and the curse from the beginning of Genesis will be done away with, there will be blessing instead
Isn’t it cool that something so promise-packed also symbolically references the gift of Holy Spirit?
Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters,
and you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
and your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourself in abundance.
Incline your ear and come to me.
Listen, that you may live:
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
according to the faithful mercies shown to David.
Behold, you will call a nation you do not know,
and a nation which knows you not will run to you,
because of the Lord your God, even the Holy One of Israel;
for He has glorified you.
Seek the Lord while He may be found;
call upon Him while He is near.
Let the wicked forsake his way
and the unrighteous man his thoughts;
and let him return to the Lord,
and He will have compassion on him,
and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there without watering the earth
and making it bear and sprout,
and furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
so will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;
it will not return to Me empty,
without accomplishing what I desire,
and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
For you will go out with joy
and be led forth with peace;
the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn bush the cypress will come up,
and instead of the nettle the myrtle will come up,
and it will be a memorial to the Lord,
for an everlasting sign which will not be cut off.
And the Lord will continually guide you,
and satisfy your desire in scorched places,
and give strength to your bones;
and you will be like a watered garden,
and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
God is offering so much care. Shouldn’t we trust Jesus and ask Him for living water?