Throughout the Bible we see God using water as an illustration that easily relates to everyday life. There is water all around. At Capernwray Harbour there’s the water of the lower pond which is a mixture of fresh and seawater depending on the seasons and tides. There’s the upper pond that receives from the streams, run-offs, and groundwater of parts of Thetis Island and then provides water for us to use. Then there’s the saltwater-filled Pacific Ocean. In the mornings there’s water on the ground, condensation on the earth from the air called dew, and most of the year we even have water that comes from the sky! Each of these types of water sources has its uses and purposes. Each of these could teach us about the character of God because each of these is made by Him, is from Him, and is for Him. We may have been given wisdom in how to gather or collect some of the water but we know and acknowledge that He has provided every single source. We need water to live and God provides it. Some of the ways God uses water in the Bible to illustrate His character are the creation of water, water provided from the rock for the Israelites, dew on the wool that Gideon left out, streams of water that refresh the deer, the stream which turns into a raging river of life, and baptism in water. There are many more.
One particular characteristic is the Living Water that Jesus offers anyone who believes in Him. He offers eternal water that satisfies, that pours out, and that can be shared with others. We see this in John 4 when Jesus encounters the Samaritan Woman at Jacob’s well. This chapter is most likely familiar, but just in case, here’s what happened. Jesus and His disciples are on their way from Judea, heading North to Galilee when they stop at a well in Samaria instead of going around it, which would be the usual route to avoid the Samaritan people. When the disciples go into town to buy some food, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at that well and asks her for a drink of water.
This Samaritan woman comes to collect water from the well; she appears to be alone and it is the middle of the day. Women would normally collect water early in the morning to avoid having to walk during the heat of the day. Her collecting the water at this time of day could also imply that she not only doesn’t associate with the Jews but she might be an outcast with the Samaritans too.
Leave it to Jesus to start a conversation with someone who is not of the same race, gender, background, or social status as Himself. Interestingly, this woman is coming to collect water. She needs water (like we all do) – she’s looking for something that will provide earthly satisfaction but won’t sustain her long term. She will always need to come for more water.
We learn through Jesus’ questioning that this woman has been married many times and is currently with a man that she is not married to. We see from this lifestyle that she has a need she’s trying to fill in her relationships but has not been satisfied so she keeps trying over and over again. She comes to collect water to satisfy her thirst, but Jesus is there and He begins a conversation with her that shows her that He is truly the One that she has been waiting for to satisfy her.
Jesus offers her living water. He says that this living water is a gift from God. (We know from throughout the scriptures that God’s gift is His Son, Jesus, who would be Father God’s very Presence with us and in all those who believe). This living water will satisfy eternally and that it will be a well, springing forth from within, implying that it will provide for others through the one who receives this living water. She believes that Jesus is indeed the Messiah from this encounter. He offers her the living water – Himself – that satisfies and she is nourished.
She leaves behind what she thought satisfied, both her sinful lifestyle and her water jugs, immediately running into town to tell everyone about this encounter with Jesus, who offered her the living water – that truly satisfied her soul and many came to believe in Him as well through her. She was like the gushing wellspring of water to others.
The Prophet Isaiah writes in chapter 55,
“Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the water; and you without silver, come, buy, and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without silver and without cost!
Why do you spend silver on what is not food, and your wages on what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and you will enjoy the choicest of foods.
Pay attention and come to me; listen, so that you will live.” Isaiah 55:1-3
God is offering the people water that they do not have to pay for, it is a gift. He’s asking why they would purchase things that don’t satisfy when they, when we, can come to Him for free and be satisfied.
In Revelation 21:6 it says,
“It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will freely give to the thirsty from the spring of the water of life.”
And in Revelation 22:17,
“Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let anyone who hears, say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who desires take the water of life freely.”
Jesus continues to offer to all of mankind, to each of us, this gift from God the Father, this gift of living water which is eternal life. We know that life with God is eternal life and that eternal life can begin right now, immediately, just as it did for that Samaritan woman. She received the gift of His presence, which then one day she would receive through His Spirit after the payment He made that was costly to Him, but that was free to her and to us who believe in Him and receive.
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus the Lord.” Romans 6:23
“God has given us eternal life, and the life is in His Son.” 1 John 5:11
“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we may know the true one. We are in the true one—that is, in His Son, Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.” John 5:20
So, let us come, everyone who is thirsty and drink from the living, eternal water that is being offered to us through Jesus Christ and we will never be thirsty again!
By: April Galbraith