January 29 I Friday
“The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.’” —John 4:15
The opening verse of this devotion has the Samaritan woman asking Jesus for living water that He was offering. While Jesus was speaking on a spiritual level about water that will meet the deepest needs of the human heart, the Samaritan woman is responding on a physical level. How do we know that? From the Samaritan woman’s response, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can You get this living water?” (John 4:11) The Samaritan woman is fixated on the physical means—a water jar—to get this water. Later, she adds, “Give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water” (John 4:15). Again, her motive for wanting this water is so she does not have to carry her water jar every day to draw water.
The Samaritan woman’s response, however, is entirely normal. We may talk to people about spiritual things and they often think about the physical and material things. There are some who have said, “Unless God will change this or God will change that, I don’t want to be a Christian.” Then, sadly, in a subtle way, we adjust our gospel to give people what they actually want. A gospel about material or health benefits, and the Bible becomes a psychology textbook or a book of ethical instruction. But the gospel cannot be detached from its spiritual content, because the spiritual aspect is what gives our life meaning.
We find after the Samaritan woman’s encounter with Jesus, something significant happens: “…leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done’” (John 4:28-29). The Samaritan woman leaves her water jar because she discovers there is something greater to live for. A change occurs in a person’s life when they leave behind their “water jar”: things that used to be important, the focus of their lives, and preoccupied most of their time. Although the Samaritan woman would return to get her water jar because she still needs to drink water, the water jar is no longer important.
Jesus did not come to patch up the old order; He came to bring something new. He did not come to make the old life run better, so we are wealthier, healthier and more sorted out. Rather, He came to replace our old life with something totally different, a spiritual life. We cannot Christianize the old life, which a lot of us are trying to do. We have to leave the “water jar” behind and let Christ become the centre of our lives.
Prayer: Dear God, I want you to be the centre of my life. No longer do I want to cling to my “water jar” but I want to cling to You. Thank You, God.