The thirstiest place I ever visited was Israel. Talk about hot and dry…. Chug a whole bottle of water and feel dehydrated a few minutes later. Especially out in rural areas, like where Jesus said some pretty intriguing things about thirst to a woman who had come to a well to fill her water jugs. He had asked her for a drink and she balked, because Jews didn’t ordinarily have anything to do with her kind, much less drink from the same cup.
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.”
When she missed the point,
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”. (excerpts from John 4:8-14)
Obviously, Jesus was talking about a deeper kind of thirst, spiritual thirst. What makes you spiritually thirsty? For me, it was when life seemed pointless and aimless. Even working for myself in a job that seemed somewhat glamorous, I was frustrated by doing the same things over and over, day after day, without accomplishing much of anything except a paycheck. Other times felt thirsty to me when I came face to face with my own moral failings. Death of friends and family made me thirsty.
Notice that Jesus referred to His “water” as a “gift of God.” You cannot earn it or pay for it; it is a gift, one that God Himself gives. It is important to note that Jesus was saying this to a woman who was a social outcast among a people considered too defiled for Jews to associate with. And yet she is (and also by implication, you are) offered the gift. The gift is “living water,” which means it continuously flows, clear and pure. It comes from an inexhaustible supply. This “water” quenches spiritual thirst forever, and gives “eternal life!”
If you have ever experienced spiritual thirst, if that kind of water sounds good to you, notice carefully how Jesus told the woman she could receive it. He said, “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.” It’s a matter of knowing you are thirsty, understanding that God has what you need, knowing Who Jesus is, asking Him and accepting it as a gift. No expert in theology, nevertheless this woman knew real thirst and knew how wonderful an offer she had been given. She accepted it right then and there.
How about you; are you thirsty?