(full reading: John 4.5-42)
We have had two Sundays of Lent; now we come to the third one. On this Sunday, we hear about Jesus taking a break. He has been walking from one town to another on a very hot day. We know what happens when we walk or work or play in the hot sun. We get tired and thirsty. We need rest and water. Does this happen to Jesus, too?
So Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar... Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
In the middle of this hot day, Jesus rests by a well, a place where people come to get water to drink. How will he get water from the well?
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.”
Jesus is thirsty. He must be glad to see this woman come with a jar to get some water from the well.
The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?”
The woman thinks Jesus is being rude. (We notice that he did not say, "please.") She wonders what is going on. She thinks this is strange.
But then, Jesus says something even stranger. Jesus says that she could have asked him for water and he would have given her something more:
“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
Living water! Water that is alive! What could that be?
Jesus is thirsty himself, but he offers something even better to the woman so that she will never be thirsty. He wants to give her a kind of water that she will always have within her.
Is not this the way of Jesus, the Good Shepherd? He always gives the best for the sheep!
We hear in the Holy Bible,
The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.
He lets me rest in fields of green grass and leads me to quiet pools of fresh water. (Psalm 23:1-2)
Fresh water—only the best for the sheep! The woman from Samaria would agree. Jesus does not offer her ordinary water, but the best water! Living Water!
We wonder, who could that Living Water be?
We know we need water to live. If we plant seeds, we know we have to water them or else they will never grow. We know that water brings life.
But Jesus says,
I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10b)
Not just enough life, but more than enough life!
So much life!
Jesus tells the woman from Samaria,
The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
This Living Water brings eternal life—life that will never end.
Risen Life. Like Jesus has. Life with God so that no one is ever thirsty.
Does Jesus give this Living Water only to the woman from Samaria?
When we are baptized, the priest pours water over our heads. Does the priest use ordinary tap water?
Remember, only the best water for the sheep.
Before Baptism, the priest stretches out his hand over the water. His hand begins up high, and then moves low over the water. It is prayer.
He asks for a gift of God. Who does the priest want to come to fill the water? Who comes, filling the water, making it holy?
The Holy Spirit! Living Water!
Like the woman from Samaria, we rejoice! We have Living Water! We have the Holy Spirit gushing up inside us!
We will one day enjoy abundant Risen Life with Jesus. Amen.