In John Chapter 4 Jesus meets the Woman at the well and asks her for water. she's surprised that a Jew would actually talk to a Samaritan but Jesus tells her something very interesting “whoever drinks the water from the well shall thirst again but the water I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up to eternal life”- vs 14.
What are the characteristics of this water
- It is eternal, lasts forever not just for a time and leads to eternal life,
- The water springs from within and whoever drinks out of him shall flow rivers of living water. It is not only for the recipient but will flow to others around.
It is obvious that this water he talks about his figurative and he was referring to the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives satisfies, it is not a temporary high but a source of eternal hope ans sustenance for our spirits. Not only for us but it flows to bless and impact those around us.
Contrast this with the earthly water which comes from a well. After drinking it you will eventually become thirsty again. So it is with earthly physical things, they are temporary just as life on earth is temporary. You find them here and you shall leave them here when you die. They can only satisfy for a time and they will leave you hungering and thirsting for more. In this woman's case you can tell it had to do with love/sex because of the 5 husbands story.
What are these things that people try to satisfy themselves with?
- Sex /love
- Entertainment, etc
The list could go on and on. There's a common saying that there's a God shaped vacuum in every one of us. One of the greatest needs for us as human beings is for significance, a sense of purpose and many a time we try to fill our lives with a lot of those things some of which I have listed above but in the end we still find ourselves empty. Why? It is because it's 'water that is from the well', not the living water hence we thirst again and the cycle continues.
However if we come to the well of Living water Jesus Christ we shall find rest for our souls. He shall take away the burden of sin that holds us down and give us a new sense of purpose, God is the one who created us and has the answers to those questions that we seek. If we believe in him he has promised us eternal life...
In the old testament the people of Judah were accused of abandoning the living well and digging broken cisterns- Jeremiah 2:13. These cisterns were dug in the ground to hold water for use in the dry season but if it was broken the water would leak out and all you'd scoop is sand! God had given them his laws but they chose to disobey and worship idols forsaking Him 'the fountain of living water.' They knew the true God and went outside to serve useless gods who could do nothing for them but bring destruction. Even the other nations around them had never left their own gods but they did. They are urged by the prophet Jeremiah to come back to that fountain.
Jesus said that whoever believes in Him shall have river of living water shall flow out of his belly. In our day as Christians we are even more privileged to have Christ living within us and so it is even more tragic for us when we look to other sources for fulfilment.
In Jeremiah's time the people of Judah looked to idolatry and immorality- broken cisterns which were flawed in their very design and would never hold any water. Even we as Christians can easily fall into that trap by allowing ourselves to yield to worldly desires yet Christ is the one who is our source, the giver of every good thing. The best is in Christ not out in the world where there is so much that does not give real purpose and meaning. Let us return to Christ and be refreshed again. We could be letting other things become our priority which in the end will not give us satisfaction.
These could be the things listed above but also sometimes also we can be looking for fulfilment in something like career which is not inherently bad but once again it is only temporary not permanent and should not blind us from seeing the bigger picture. So what is it that is substituting for Christ? Is it your job? Is it you family? Is it political ambitions? Is is money? Is it a relationship or the search for love? Is it entertainment in a quest to cure boredom to fill the emptiness within?
In conclusion there are two groups of people reading this. If you are looking for meaning and purpose in your life, wearied by the struggles of this life, trying to work it all out on your own, like the woman at the well come to Christ and get that living water that you shall never thirst again. I'm also speaking to those who have tasted of that living fountain and are trying to dig other wells that do not hold water. It will not work! Return to the source and be refreshed again then the waters shall flow in and through you...