There is a well-known dialogue between Jesus and the so called “woman at the well.” It took place when Jesus took a trip through Samaria, stopped at a well, and asked a woman to give Him water.
|Water of Life Discourse by Angelika Kauffmann|
The woman questioned why Jesus would ask her for water. Jesus responded by saying that if she knew who she was talking too, she would ask Him for a drink because the “water” Jesus offers keeps us from ever thirsting again.
The proposal of perpetual hydration sounded good to the woman, so she asked Jesus to give her some of this magical liquid.
At this point Jesus takes what seems like a wild left turn. He asks the woman to go get her husband. Jesus knew that she was not married. It appears He was trying to bring up the fact that the woman had been through five husbands and was now living with a man she was not married to.
Why did Jesus move from the metaphor of living water to talk about the woman’s sex life?
I think it was to show the woman that she was drinking the wrong water. The woman was trying to quench her spiritual thirst through men. Her quest for spiritual fulfillment had not worked. She tried husband one. He did not quench her thirst. Husband two also failed. Three, four, and five all did not seem to meet her spiritual need. Now she was trying a boyfriend, yet her thirst remained.
The woman is not alone. All of us have the tendency to search for something to quench our thirst. Some, like the woman, drink from the well of relationships. Others drink from the well of money or power. Others drink from the well of prestige and reputation. Pleasure, knowledge, adventure, there are countless other wells we try to quench our thirst. Yet there is only one source of living water, and the woman at the well was talking to Him.
A simple trip around the internet can reveal several poisoned wells from which we drink. It is not difficult to find pornographic sites. There are even sites devoted to cheating on your spouse. Extra-marital sex remains a popular poisoned well.
There are sites for gambling and sites to promote tricks for quick financial gain. Money is a big poisoned well.
Then there is social media. We post selfies showing our adventures so that everyone knows how amazing our lives are, and we drink from the well of prestige. We argue about how superior our political opinions are, and we drink from the well of arrogance and pride. We post complaints about how we are unsatisfied with the latest products or services at a local business, and we drink from the well of anger and selfishness.
Yet nothing satisfies. As C. S. Lewis wrote, “I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”
The source of living water is available to us all. Jesus has invited us to come and find what we really need, a relationship with God. That is the only well that will satisfy, because it is the only well that provides the “living water” our souls crave. All other wells will only provide temporary relief. Our thirst will keep returning.
Access to the well is available through Jesus. Are you thirsty? Then drink up!