Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Give Me This Water

When Jesus met the woman at the well in John chapter 4, the conversation they had contains several interesting phrases. One of them came to mind recently as I read and reflected on this passage.

Jesus offers the woman water, but not normal water. He said, “…but 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.” (John 4:14) These little phrases are full of interesting nuances.

Jesus said, “the water I will give him…” This water can come only from him. When we look for something to give us life that is not centered on, sustained through and directed toward Christ, we will remain thirsty. The thirst of life is only satisfied by living water. All our attempts to quench the thirsts of our souls with anything other than living water, will sentence us to return to the “wells” of the world over and over again.

The woman said, “Give me this water”. But she did not want the water of life. She didn’t even know there was a water of life. Her focus was on her self. Her expressed reason for wanting “this water” was to ease her own life. She said, “…so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” Thirst was natural, it was the “coming” and “drawing” that she wanted to avoid.

I know we love our Lord and we know him to be living water for us. But do we sometimes make the demand, “Give me this water”, on the basis of avoiding the work of the walk to the well and the drawing of the water? Do we sit in church like baby birds chirping, “feed me, feed me”, never realizing that there are true babies in Christ that we could feed. Do we ask Jesus for peace instead of presence? No! Don’t ask me to minister to others. Don’t ask me to read God’s word. Don’t ask me to serve someone else. I got the living water so I could avoid all those “works”.

Jesus offered living water for a purpose. He said, “Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” We will talk about this next week.

Michael Taylor


Doug B said...

I like provoking thought. Where are we? What are we really doing? What is really important? Too often, I believe, we use self accusation in order to illustrate what we should do. The preacher says "we sit here and then go eat and don't put the sermon to work in our lives".etc... Maybe this doesn't make sense. I've been tuned into comments like these for a while now and I may seem over sensitive to them. I loathe listening to someone toot their own horn but there must be some middle ground. My ways are improving every year, maybe every month. I don't want to stop growing, ever, and maybe once in a while I need reproof for being a slacker. I'm just a bit tired of hearing that I suck all the time. Don't think I'm picking on Michael because, I believe he is right. Many times I've been guilty of asking God to just fix the problem I created. I don't want to work. I might be the laziest man you know. I'm sorta putting this out so folks smarter than me can fix it. haha. Fair warning!, I once asked God to "give me the tough stuff", I really wanted to test my strength and be found a warrior. In very short order I was begging for relief.

gibor_el said...

Growing up I loathed activities that served only these two functions, 1. Complete work for someone else and 2. Build Character.

"Why do I have to mow the lawn?"
"It builds Character."

"Why do I have to help re-shingle the house?"
"It builds character"

"Why do I have to crawl under the house and replace the toilet pipe?"
"You are the smallest and the only one who fits... besides (all together now) it builds character."

I grew up thinking that character was a great thing to have and a sorry thing to try to get. After building what I considered a Great Wall of Character in my childhood I decided the work never really was that bad and I felt good for helping out.

That's a lie actually, sometimes the work was really really hard, but I did usually feel good once the work was done.

Character is a funny thing. I firmly believe that you don't truly appreciate it untill you meet someone who doesn't have any.

I was walking out of the mall the other day and there were two sets of double doors. I held the first set of doors open while 450 billion people (well at least 15) walked through and a few mumbled, "thanks." When the last 2 people went through I turned and followed them through the second set of doors that no one was holding. The guy 2 people in front of me didn't push the door like all the people in front of him, he instead quick stepped through the door before it shut. This wouldn't have been a problem except the guy in front of me was still walking through the door with his arms full. It picked up momentum and hit him in the shoulder like a Mack truck. Needless to say packages went everywhere and he went down like a sack of potatoes. The guy never even looked back. My first thought was, "What a jerk!" But as the second guy and I started picking up packages I started to wonder what was different between him and me.

Why all this with the flashbacks and the childhood issues you ask?

"Why does Jesus want us to walk to the well to get water?"

Yeah, the "Sunday Morning" answer is, "To build character." But I think there is more to it than that. In going to get the water and working to either help others or ourselves, we not only achieve our goal, we begin to appericiate the end result.

By walking to the well, we think about the well, where the water comes from and why we want it.

Jesus knows the work isn't easy all the time. But I think the appericiation we get from him and for the work makes us appericiate the water he is giving us.

gibor_el said...

Doug, I think the reason you feel you suck all the time is your own growth. As you grow you are harder on yourself.

Nobody sucks all the time with the possible exception of the guy who draws Ziggy.

The Telemicus Files said...

doug and gibor, i dont mean to say that we all suck and need to shape up and stop whining. i mean to say go for the water for the right reasons. ill elaborate more next week but for now consider how he changed her perspective, where she missed it, and what his purpose was. the end of the story is the answer. mt

brett atom bomb yniguez said...

Work has got me by the heels. I just now got a blogger because...I dont know why.