Thursday, March 16, 2017

John 5:4-42 Satisfying Our Inner Thirst

KEY TEXT: John 4:13-15 Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,  but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water."

KEY TEXT: While the Samaritan woman was focusing her attention on getting the physical water that could satisfy her physical thirst, Jesus was pointing out to her that what she really needed was not physical but spiritual water to satisfy her inner thirst. Physical water can only satisfy our bodily need--and only for a while. But Jesus was offering to her the water of life that would satisfy her inner thirst forever. The woman was unaware that her inner thirst could only be satisfied by "living water" (v.10). 

It was her inner thirst that drove her into the arms of five serial "husbands". She was seeking to quench her inner thirst with emotional trips. But such emotional trips produced in her a hangover of low self-esteem and isolation from others. Her inner thirst could only be quenched by God's eternal life: "The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:14).

The devil offers us counterfeit gods to satisfy the emptiness in our soul that only God could fill. We have been deceived to think that the solutions to our emptiness are found in earthly things: food, drink, sex, consumerism and even relationships. Or maybe even religion: "Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship" (v.20). Religion is focused on how and where. True worship is focused on who and whom. Religion is ritualistic; worship is relational. 

So, Jesus concluded: "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father... But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." (John 4:21-24). 

True worship is focused on inward realities of spirit and truth, not outward performance and place.

When the woman finally acknowledged Jesus was the Christ, she was completely transformed: "So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 'Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?'" She was delivered from her isolation and alienation from others. She was telling everyone the Man who told her everything!

May we too be completely satisfied by Christ our Lord and not seek to fill the God-shaped void He has created within every human soul with the things of this world.

Lord Jesus, deliver us from false gods that never satisfy. Help us to become true worshipers who worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth. Amen.

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