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Jesus and the Woman at the Well teaches us about God; forgiveness, omniscience, etc. In this lesson, Jesus teaches us something very important about His ministry...and ours. 

Harmony Of The Gospels Series 7, Read Jn 4:7-41

For more information about Jesus see these books on the History of Jesus Christ

Jesus and the Woman at the Well

This story is about more than forgiveness or God knowing everything.  We're going to learn about our relationship and responsibility to the Living Water.  We'll talk about a well. People visit wells because they're thirsty. They're looking to have a need satisfied. What are we thirsty for? How do our needs present themselves? We travel through life, craving this and craving that, sometimes even addictive cravings for things that don't truly satisfy that need. Most things we crave only diminish or dull our need, usually in a steadily decreasing manner. What are we addicted to? What can heal us of those addictions? To help understand how this episode relates to us, see these best-selling books on Jesus and the woman at the well.  Even if we don't sense some addiction, many of us feel that we're more and more useless for service; like we've run out of whatever supplied us with our ability to serve, driving on empty with our engine sputtering. I've often looked into the vision of my calling and said, "I don't have what it takes to do that." How about you? Are you addicted to something, out of gas, or balking in the face of what you know you should do? You're in luck! This section of Scripture was written for you. We're going to study the character of living water. This passage reveals to us that...Living Water Flows.

We'll use one verse as an outline for the whole 34 verse section. In verse 14, Jesus said, "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." 'Never thirst' is point 1, Removing Thirst. 'Become a spring' is point 2, Replenishing Supply. 'Welling up' is point 3, Refreshing Others. You see, everything in this section seems to be an object lesson, or metaphor for the teaching Jesus gave on living water.

1. Removing Thirst: Jesus said if we drink His water we'll never thirst. As it appears, unlike the woman He was talking to, we know He wasn't talking about literal water, but something else. What is it that we crave at least as much as water? I'm a diabetic. I drink 12-16 8-oz-glasses of water each day, and still I wake up thirsty. Healthy people should drink 10 glasses a day to maintain their health. Water is a serious need. It's a need! If you go 3 days without water, you die. What do we need as much as water? Some would think their addiction to alcohol is that strong. Others, drugs, money, power, praise, food addiction. What cravings are you sacrificing your life for? The woman had a craving, too, and I don't think it was water. Vs 17-18: "I have no husband," she replied. Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."

I think it's pretty likely the woman's craving had something to do with men. The implication seems to be she's had five men living with her as her husband without actually being married. Today, sadly, this kind of thing is common, but at that time it was extremely rare. Frankly, I think she was 'hitting on' Jesus, too. Why else would she tell a strange man she wasn't married and ask for His 'living water' not even knowing what it is? Whatever her thirst was, Jesus had told her His living water would eliminate it.  Eliminate it, not just satisfy it. When we go to the gas station to fill up our car, we satisfy the need for gasoline for about 2 weeks; then we have to return to the station. There seems to be no escaping these repeated trips to the station. Since we have not increased our oil supply in the US, this year we've paid the highest prices ever for gasoline. We're very concerned that we'll pay a lot more, maybe even run out at some point. I was reading about a 'pill' that a company had developed that would revolutionize the transportation industry. You could drop this thing into an empty tank and it will fill up and never drop below ¾. Plus, your engine will run more efficiently, allowing you to accelerate twice as fast. That's not all! Anyone you know can tap a few ounces out of your tank and it will do the same thing in their car. And, everyone they know can do the same with their car, etc. etc. etc. Oh, one more thing…it's free. I'm sure you caught on to my fib a while back. But that living water is just like that. Whatever we're craving we no longer crave…healed of our addiction by Jesus. As the cheesy commercial says, "But wait! There's more!"

2. Replenishing Supply: Jesus said this water would become a spring. In many places the Bible refers to the Holy Spirit as water. The Holy Spirit (spring) enables us to worship God and leads us in our lives. He provides for us an internal spring and an internal compass.

Internal Spring: vs 20-24: "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem." 21Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." In those days, the place of worship was Jerusalem. Today, many still believe you have to go to a 'place of worship' to worship God. Jesus said that's not true. The place He said we must be willing to go to worship is in Spirit and truth. Once we've got His living water we carry around in us the only place of worship we'll ever need. Don't let anyone tell you you need their building to worship God because 'the kingdom of God is within you'. You are a place of worship. Go tell your nearest friend, "I'm a place of worship!" This spring in us keeps us in worship of Him and in overflowing 'water' to fulfill His calling on our lives. We need never run out of gas.
Completed at Jesus And The Woman At The Well-2

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