“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” — John 4:13-14
What are we thirsting for in life? With the Samaritan woman by the well, Jesus tells her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again....” The well that Jacob dug almost 2,000 years before served to satisfy the thirst of people who went to draw from it. But the satisfaction is only temporary, as people have to go back and draw from the well again and again. This is why Jesus adds, “…but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst,” because He recognizes that the Samaritan woman has a thirst for something she does not have.
As we get to know the Samaritan woman, we learn what she tried to do to satisfy her “thirst.” Jesus says, “Go, call your husband and come back,” and the woman replies, “I have no husband.” Then Jesus tells her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband” (John 4:16-18). The Samaritan woman has been married five times and is currently living with a man to whom she is not married. We do not know how many other men she may have lived with before that man, but all of this is symptomatic of the fact that she is searching. It is a search for something to satisfy this longing she has inside, and maybe along the way in her search for satisfaction, she begins to realize that she will never find it in a man.
Jesus did not condemn the Samaritan woman of her sin. Rather, in Jesus’s interaction with her, He saw her sin as symptoms of what was going on deep down. G. K. Chesterton once said, “Every man who knocks on the door of a brothel is looking for God.” The man knocking is trying to meet a need that he thinks sexual gratification will give him. Or, in the case with the Samaritan woman, what a romance, marriage and sexual experience would give her—but they do not.
Augustine sums it up perfectly: “You have made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You”. Some of us reading this devotion may be searching for meaning, for love, for purpose, for acceptance or for satisfaction. What the Samaritan woman found is that, in Christ, she could be completely satisfied.
What are we thirsting for? Jesus said, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” May we too come to Jesus and be completely satisfied.
PRAYER: O Lord Jesus Christ, my heart is restless until it finds its rest in You. Thank You for being everything that I am searching for. You alone satisfy me. Amen.