Thirst is a primal need in all of us humans…more demanding even than hunger! We can go quite a while without eating, but a very short time without drinking. Jesus on the Cross had refrained up to this point from satisfying His thirst. Instead, He drank the Father’s cup to the very last drop! He became sin for us…the Sinless One! Jesus took our place, and the Father turned His back. The punishment for sin had been accomplished…spiritual separation from God….for US!
Now in fulfillment of prophecy, Jesus expresses His own physical need:
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said ( to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. John 19:28-29 ESV
Here He is…the Source of Living Water…asking for a drink! That reminds me of another time Jesus was thirsty…and it was a thirst that ended up quenching thirsty souls.
He had been traveling through Samaria, and He asked an unknown woman at a well for a drink.
Samaria was the place where a mixed-race lived…half pagan, half Jewish…wholly outcast to purebred Jews. But not to Jesus! He was to have a divine encounter with this forgotten woman over a drink of water.
This woman of Samaria was not the godly, religious type, even according to Samaritan standards…in fact, the exact opposite. She was looking for love in all the wrong places…five husbands and now a live-in boyfriend. Yet still thirsty for love…from Someone, but didn’t know it!
So in her shame, she daily came to the well to draw water at mid-day… at a time when she could avoid the knowing glances and whispers of the “righteous women” of the community.
Here she encountered a Stranger with a strange request:
Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.”
The woman was surprised, for Jews refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?”
Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who you are speaking to, you would ask me, and I would give you living water.”
“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,” she said, “and this well is very deep. Where would you get this living water?…
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
Thinking that Jesus was talking about physical water and physical thirst,
“Please, sir, the woman said, give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.”
Jesus, gently confronting her of her sinful and fruitless life, answered her God questions:
The woman said, “I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
Then Jesus told her, “I AM the Messiah!”
The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, “Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?” So the people came streaming from the village to see him…
Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!” When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay in their village. So he stayed for two days, long enough for many more to hear his message and believe.
Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not just because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves. Now we know that he is indeed the Savior of the world. John 4:1-42 NLT
In the end, this little woman, as well as the community she desperately tried to avoid, drank deep of the Well of Living Water…all in response to a Thirsty Stranger‘s request for a drink.
Lord, I hear Your words, I thirst, and I realize that You thirsted for me too. Thank you for Your ever-thirsting thirst for the souls of men and women like me! I have to admit that I go through my days thirsting also. But I often try to quench my thirst at broken cisterns that hold no water …cisterns of human approval, recreation and entertainment, social media, relationships (even good ones), religion, perfectionism, comparison, one-up-manship, and the list goes on. In the end, I come up dry…because I’m really thirsty for YOU, my Savior and Lord. Thank you for Your Indwelling Spring of Living Water…Your Beautiful Self! Cause me to walk in Your overflowing fullness every day of my life. Amen and amen!
Let anyone who is thirsty come to ME and drink. Whoever believes in ME, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. John 7:37-38