My favourite drink is water, especially now that summer is here. I pretty much only drink water and coffee. I don’t just drink water because it’s good for me, I genuinely love the taste and texture of it. When I wake up in the morning, I drink a big glass of water and it’s better than any energy drink. After a long night’s sleep, our bodies are dehydrated in the mornings, and the first thing it needs is water. Our bodies are mostly made up of water – 60-70% of our bodies – two-thirds of that water is within our cells. We each drink around 1000 litres of water a year. Give or take, 5 minutes of shower time uses 200 litres of water. We use 8 litres to flush the toilet and it takes 200 litres of water to produce the coffee beans for one cup of coffee. The crazy thing is that less than 1% of the earth’s water is available as fresh water.** Here’s my point: water is important, very important. Without it, we could not exist and without constantly replenishing our bodies by drinking it, we would die in less than a week.
Jesus cleverly uses water to illustrate a greater need—a necessity beyond our physical requirements:
In John chapter 4, verses 4-26, Jesus bumps into a Samaritan woman at a well. After asking her to draw water for him, they engage in conversation. During this conversation, it is revealed that she previously had five husbands and that the man she was with at the time wasn’t her husband. She was not a woman who was devoted to faithfulness, but a woman who had been devoted to sin. Jesus discusses her sins with her not to be judgemental, but to give her hope. She was perplexed that Jesus asked her to draw him water because she was a Samaritan woman. She says, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?”. Jesus answers: “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.”
Jesus knows that the woman doesn’t realise what the gift of God is. So what is the gift of God? Well, it’s Jesus himself. As the story continues to unfold, Jesus tells her something that is quite extraordinary: “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
As important as water is to our physical bodies, Jesus has a kind of water (metaphorically speaking) that if we were to drink it, we would never thirst again. The woman becomes confused and thinks he is literally referring to the chemical combination H2O and asks him to give her this water. But Jesus is only using the physical benefits of water to illustrate the eternal and spiritual benefits of what Jesus can give: ‘living water’. The “spring of water welling up to eternal life” is the salvation for our souls. Jesus is the only one who can provide us with this ‘living water’.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites were in desperate need of water during their 40-year journey through the desert between Egypt and the promised land, so God told Moses to strike a Rock out of which will flow water for the people. That Rock, we are told in the New Testament, was a foreshadowing picture of the coming of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians10:4). From Jesus, who is the Rock of salvation flows eternal life for humanity. Just like the Rock was struck to bring forth life for the people in the desert, Jesus was struck to bring life to those who believe in him. During Jesus’ ministry, he gradually revealed himself to be the Messiah, the King of Kings and was to be the one to redeem us from judgement. He died on the cross to give us life. If we trust in him through repentance and faith, we will be with God for all eternity. Jesus is the key to everlasting hope, love, peace, life and joy.
Water can help us to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but it cannot save us from the ultimate reality of death. Death comes to us all, it doesn’t matter how much water we drink. But Jesus gives us the water of eternal life – he was punished for our sins and rose from death to give us life in, through and by him. Are you thirsty for the Lord?
**These water facts were obtained from the following web address: https://www.buzzfeed.com/tomchivers/fascinating-and-strange-facts-about-water?utm_term=.co7El7mMm#.klZrQJeOe. Buzzfeed compiled these facts from a book called ‘The Water Book’ written by Alok Jha.