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.”
“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 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?”
Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 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.”
We often feel a void in our souls that makes us feel terrible. And because we can’t bear the emptiness, we try to fill it with the things of this world: with sex, with alcohol, with drugs, with nicotine, with shopping, with food, with any number of things. But nothing, as I am sure you would agree, fills us. That is because the hole is a God-sized hole, and the only thing that can fill a God-sized hole is, well, God.
So, why do we have a God-sized hole? Augustine might have the answer. He once said, “Our hearts are restless till they find their rest in God.” And the reason for this, he explains, is that God has made us for himself. Consequently, nothing will ever fill us until we fill ourselves with God. As Jesus told the woman in today’s story: “The water you drink will only leave you thirsty again, but the water I give you will —living water— will become a spring leading to eternal life.”
The prophet Jeremiah put it even more bluntly. Speaking for God, he said: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13). Imagine drinking dirty water from a broken vessel, frantically trying to satisfy our thirst, when we have an entire spring of life-giving water available to us.
And what is this living water? It is the Holy Spirit. A few weeks later, Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him (would) receive” (John 7:38-39). All of us who are baptized in Jesus receive the Holy Spirit. If he isn’t flowing freely, it is because we have blocked the flow by pursuing worldly things rather than spiritual things.
Do notice how Jesus refers to the Holy Spirit as flowing from within us, suggesting an internal release of his power rather than something we receive externally. During this study, we will discover the profound implications of this and more about what prevents him from flowing powerfully.
God bless you.