Jesus found out that the Pharisees had heard he was making and baptizing more disciples than John, though it was not Jesus himself who was baptizing but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back again to Galilee.

He had to go through Samaria.  So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the piece of land Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Then Jesus, being tired from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.[a]

A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone into town to buy food.)

The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)

10 Jesus answered her, “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.”

11 “Sir,” she said, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this living water? 12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave us this well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his animals.”

13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty ever again. Rather, the water I will give him will become in him a spring of water, bubbling up to eternal life.”

15 “Sir, give me this water,” the woman said to him, “so I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

16 Jesus told her, “Go, call your husband, and come back here.”

17 “I have no husband,” the woman answered.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say, ‘I have no husband.’ 18 In fact, you have had five husbands, and the man you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.”

19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews insist that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will not worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But a time is coming and now is here when the real worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for those are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (the one called Christ). “When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Jesus said to her, “I, the one speaking to you, am he.”

John 4:5-26

So many people are caught up in the madness!   The madness of life?  The madness of anxiety and depression of our culture?  The madness of what Hulu and Netflix is putting on the Smart TV at cool and acceptable?  Or even the madness of the Coronavirus?   You’ve seen the videos of people sick from this virus lying in their hospital beds and you know one of the major treatments for their sickness is plenty of fluids!  We all know the importance of having plenty of fluids whether playing basketball, football or hockey, you see the big orange coolers filled with PowerAde or Gatorade.  The players are handed the squirt bottles filled with thirst-quenching energy drink with electrolytes and vitamins their body needs to rehydrate and revitalize so they can keep playing at their best, or recover from their illness.

Oh, the madness of life and how often we feel exhausted, weary or tired physically because our emotional strength is sapped.  While there are many energy drinks that can quench your physical thirst, wouldn’t it be great if there was a spiritual energy drink to quench our soul?  Jesus offers this drink to the woman at the well and to us because Jesus wants to

Quench Your Thirst!

With Jesus’ Solution

Today we learn of Jesus’ travel plans. “Jesus found out that the Pharisees had heard he was making and baptizing more disciples than John, though it was not Jesus himself who was baptizing but his disciples. So he left Judea and went back again to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria.” Jesus is here because he is traveling from Judea to Galilee to avoid the rising opposition from the Pharisees who were angry at Jesus’ success.  However, if Jesus was trying to avoid hatred, he didn’t pick the best route. For Jews would often walk around Samaria because of the enmity between the Jews and Samaritans (Half Jew and half Gentile people). But, you heard it: He had to go through Samaria.” Why?  He had an important squirt bottle of “soul solution” to share with a woman who was dying of thirst!

So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the piece of land Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Then Jesus, being tired from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone into town to buy food.)”  Gathering water was important and hard work to pull it up out of a deep well.  In most cases the women of the town came out together either in the early morning and late in the day to avoid the hot sun.  But, this woman came by herself in the heat of the day.  From the rest of the account we might well suggest that the other women in town didn’t like her—or at least what she did to the relationships between women and men in her town.  To be sure—this woman was alone, in need of something, yes, very thirsty.  Now add to her history the fact that she walks out to the well and there sits a Jewish man who starts up a conversation with her.  Also, consider the culture that a Rabbi would never start up a conversation with another woman without her husband present!   So, Jesus’ question is met with some hesitation. “Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone into town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)”

Culture, tradition and history is tossed to the side by Jesus to bring her the quenching solution for her thirst.  This woman needed a man, she needed Jesus the God/Man!  And Jesus offers her what no other man could ever offer! 10 Jesus answered her, “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.” 11 “Sir,” she said, “you don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do you get this living water?   12 You are not greater than our father Jacob, are you? He gave us this well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his animals.”   13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty ever again.”  Jesus offers the thirst-quenching water for her soul that would change her life.  She was hurting, broken and alone.  So, Jesus no longer wanted her to give him a drink, now Jesus wants to give her a drink of living water that would take her soul’s thirst away forever!

OK.  Great account and we’re happy for this lady, right?  But, what about you?  Truth be told you’re an awful lot like this Samaritan woman.  The latest statistics tell us that two-thirds of men view pornography monthly and one-third of women watch porn at least weekly.  Do you really think the woman at the well was an isolated case?  Even the New York Post agrees that relationships today are under attack:

According to research, many open their smartphone to check social media first thing in the morning — as soon as they turn off their mobile alarm — before they even get out of bed. That means instead of starting the day with human interaction like saying good morning to your spouse, your mom, or even the coffee guy, increasing numbers of people start their day interacting with a little plastic gadget.” 

Do you really think that the Samaritan woman had a relationship problem greater than you?  Our sins stand exposed before God and make us spiritually thirsty.  And even though our holy God should rightfully avoid you, rather because of his great love for you in Christ Jesus, he comes looking for you with his eternal solution.  He wants to quench your thirst with Jesus—the water of life.

With the Water of Life

When life is so stressed and filled with madness, the Lord has provided us with many solutions.  Some are temporary—going on vacation, taking a day off, or even catching up on sleep.  Just like an athlete who receives his drink knows how short-lived it will be once he steps back on the court or field.  How much more so for our souls!   The water of life Jesus offers provides an eternal solution. “Rather, the water I will give him will become in him a spring of water, bubbling up to eternal life.” Now, that’s some pretty powerful water!  It’s powerful because of what it is.  The woman still didn’t understand. 15 “Sir, give me this water,” the woman said to him, “so I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”  16 Jesus told her, “Go, call your husband, and come back here.”  17 “I have no husband,” the woman answered.  Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say, ‘I have no husband.’ 18 In fact, you have had five husbands, and the man you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true.”  19 “Sir,” the woman replied, “I see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews insist that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”  Now, the woman was feeling her thirst.  She was forced to look into the mirror of her life and realize how messed up and broken she was.  The solution to her problems was right in front of her, but still she tried to dodge the accusation by changing the subject to a well know argument between Jews and Samaritans—where to worship!  This opened up the door for Jesus to impress upon her the miracle of the living water he was offering: 21 Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will not worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. 23 But a time is coming and now is here when the real worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth, for those are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”   25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (the one called Christ). “When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”  26 Jesus said to her, “I, the one speaking to you, am he.””

Some of you are really into energy drinks.  You probably read the label to find things like vitamins, caffeine, sugars, carbs, proteins, and so on.  Those ingredients give you body the energy and refreshment it needs.  Jesus generously gives to this woman the living water for her soul.  Just read the label!  God’s living water contains the sweet gospel—forgiveness of sins, eternal life, deliverance from the devil, the spiritual proteins you need—grace (God’s underserved love), peace (the results from knowing your sins’ penalty is paid by Jesus), hope (not hoping for something, but hoping IN the life waiting for us in heaven), and relief (the soul’s thirst quench by Jesus the promised Messiah)!

After a sermon like this I would think you’ve become a little bit thirsty.  Sitting through a sermon can be a little bit like working in the yard on a hot day, or you’ve just exercised or gone for a long run, or you’ve just eaten something salty or spicy and you really just want something to drink.   When we’re dehydrated we get worn out, weary, crabby, unpleasant and finally without water the average person dies within two to three weeks.  So, how long do you think your soul takes to become parched?  How long do you think it takes before the faith in your heart begins to whither?  Do you think it is just a coincidence that the Lord said, “Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy!”  At minimum the Lord wants our faith to receive the thirst-quenching living water of the gospel every 7 days.  Am I saying too much to say if you go longer than that you doing harm to your soul and faith?  I don’t think so. 

Look, I know there are lots of drinks that can quench your thirst, or at least you think they do.  When you’re thirsty and your drink coffee we’ve learned that two or three cups are moderate for most people, but more than that will cause dehydration.  Or if you drink alcohol—you know a cold beer after mowing the lawn—that in moderation will not cause negative symptoms, but in excess alcohol can prevent your body from absorbing water!  Research has also shown that drinking Cokes in excess can also do the same thing (too much sugar and caffeine).  Do you know what that means?  We all need to drink water!

So how about for a life that is super busy?  Or a life that is plagued with madness of work, family, relationships, health, or we let the urgent drown out what is important—what shall we do for relief and refreshment?  Go on vacation?  Sure.  Take a walk?  Play with your pet?  Listen to music?  Go ahead.  But, if you want long-term, yes, eternal relief from the thirst of living in this world, then how about we drink the replenishing water of life.  Enjoy the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Drink often, Drink deeply and never thirst again!  Amen!