Spiritual Thirst

Message/Application: In John 4 when the woman at the well encountered Jesus I couldn’t help but notice how quickly she responded to him without explanation. She came to the well to a fulfill a physical and legitimate need. She needed water and she even acknowledged the significance of the water source. The well belonged to Jacob, her ancestor and she expressed her respect and gratefulness for him as that source. When Jesus challenged her with his living water she even called to question whether Jesus was greater than Jacob because in the moment she didn’t know who she was speaking with. She was thirsty enough to press in deeper so he quickly showed her the spiritual thirst she was trying to quench by exposing her physical pattern with men. She fully embraced the exposure, and immediately recognized that this was a spiritual matter and Jesus as a spiritual authority by calling him a prophet. She didn’t stop there though. As Jesus led her even deeper into understanding she expressed her desire for more understanding that she knew would come from the Messiah so in that moment Jesus revealed himself fully to her as the Messiah by saying “I am He”. This is HUGE because not only was she seen as an “unworthy” Samaritan, but this was also a woman and it wasn’t right for a Jewish man to even be talking to her.  Jesus had not revealed himself this way to even his own disciples until Peter (who was inspired by God) recognized him as the Messiah on the mount of transfiguration. What this woman thirsted for, discerned and understood in just one short conversation took a long time with his disciples. When the woman took hold of this understanding, she literally abandoned her water jar (a very important necessity for her physical survival) but also a very significant symbolization of her understanding of Jesus as her spiritual source. Her understanding drove an urgency to share this with anyone in the town that would listen. The irony of it all is that once his disciples showed up with the food they went to buy, Jesus told them he had “other food” that they didn’t know about. They were confused and wondering if someone else had given him something to eat, but he was referring to the spiritual substance and his satisfaction of doing the work of the ministry. He had just satisfied the spiritual thirst of this woman and it satisfied the spiritual hunger of his soul. As I pondered this I realized that like this woman, we try to quench our spiritual thirst with physical things. Once we recognize our spiritual source is in Jesus we are willing to abandon the physical things that we are using in his place.

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