6th October 2013

Superlative Water 

“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
John7:38 (NIV UK) 

Bottled water is a multi-billion business. Consumption in the US averages 30 gallons per-person per year. My local supermarket offers some 12 varieties, each promising to be superior, although many argue that none of them is any better than tap water. I wouldn’t know if that’s true—I’m not an expert on water. 

But Jesus was; He walked on it and he turned it into wine. In the beginning he created it, and, if you remember the account in John’s gospel, he met a Samaritan woman who was drawing it from a well. He said he could supply her with never-ending water. He called it ‘living water’. 

‘Living water’ meant moving, flowing water. The woman knew there was no flowing water nearby. In fact, good clean drinking water was hard to come by. The only local water was in that well. So, of course she naturally asked him how she could get this exceptional water. Jesus told her: “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” (John 4:13-14). 

When we become thirsty, water satisfies us, but we are more than just physical creatures. As the physical body needs water to continue living, so does the spirit. We are made in God’s image and we have a spiritual thirst. Jesus explained that he was the source of that spiritual ‘living water’ and by drinking it, one can never thirst again. 

The woman was astonished by his extraordinary offer. In fact, she may have not fully understood it at the time. In the first place, she was astonished that Jesus spoke to her at all. She was a Gentile, a woman and had a dubious reputation. She was used to being shunned. But Jesus accepted her—offering hope and encouragement. 

Jesus offers new life, and he offers it to all humanity. By reaching out to an outcast Samaritan woman, Jesus showed that his Kingdom is for everybody from every nation, every tribe and every culture, no matter how many sins one has committed. 

‘Living water’ is just one of the metaphors Jesus used to teach us about his Kingdom. Think about it next time you see an array of ‘superior’ bottled waters on a supermarket shelf. Remember that the best water of all is even cheaper than the water from your tap, and you can have an endless supply—the gift of grace, free of charge. You just have to know where to get it. 

Holy Father, thank you for the living waters of your Holy Spirit given to us to satisfy that Spiritual thirst we all experience. Thank you for your grace and mercy given to us in Jesus’ name.

Study by Joseph Tkach


joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

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