The Scandal Of Living Water

John 4:7-14 (NIV)

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Jesus, in His encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, speaks of living water. This was quite a scandalous scene. Jesus, a Jew, was speaking with a Samaritan, which as John points out, was unacceptable. Not only that, but Jesus was a man and He had approached a woman, which also was socially unacceptable. Samaritan women were seen as “unclean from birth” and Jesus asking her for water may have been misconstrued as flirting with her (IVP Bible Background Commentary). Jesus wasn’t concerned about social customs or appearances. He was more concerned with His mission – to seek and to save the lost.

What if we, as followers of Jesus, could be more devoted to our mission than to keeping up appearances? What if we could be more devoted to Jesus than we are to worrying about what others may think? What if we could be more devoted to Jesus than to man-made legalistic rules about the people we interact with? What if we could be more devoted to the cause of Christ than we are to being free from the charge of guilt by association? We’d meet people where they are, wouldn’t we? We’d be in the bars talking about living water to those sipping on gin and tonics or nursing drinks to escape their pain. We’d be dispensing grace like water on a hot day to people dying of thirst in places we don’t normally go to. Let’s stop worrying about what others think and break through some barriers to do what Jesus did – take the living water of hope to those who are very thirsty.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I want to be like You and to take Your message of love, hope and grace to a world in desperate need of it. Help me to be more concerned with what You think than with what others may think of me. In Your name, amen.

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