The Outpouring of Living Water

Jesus

The Outpouring of Living Water

Sunday, March 21st, 2021

 

Welcome! Do you have a favorite beverage you long for on a dry, hot day when you find yourself parched? Maybe it’s a glass of iced tea or lemonade. For many there is nothing better than an iced cold glass of water! There is something so refreshing about cold water that we just want to consume large amounts of it when we’re really thirsty. Have you ever drank cold water from a hose? So good right? We can feel the cold water moving all the way through our body when we’re thirsty like that and it’s so refreshing. 

But the thing with water and any other beverage we consume, is we always need more. It satisfies for the moment, but we will get thirsty again. We will be coming back for more water again and again. It doesn’t last. 

Long ago, people had to draw their water from a well and carry it in buckets all the way back to their homes. This would be a far walk, carrying heavy amounts of water and they would need to do this over and over again. In some countries yet today, this is still the process isn’t it, where they don’t have running water. It is very labor intensive. We truly are so blessed with the access we have to clean water readily available to us. If you ever want to really appreciate this gift we have here in America, just go on a mission trip and visit a third world country. You will be quickly humbled and grateful for the many things we take for granted and realize how much we actually waste precious water when you think about the lengths some people have to go through to get water to ration out for cooking, drinking and bathing.

 

Jesus often uses the physical things in our world as a way to teach us about who He is and His divine kingdom. It helps us relate and understand when we can see something we know about and use in this world. In today’s message we’re going to look at Jesus teaching about Living Water that is very different from the water we drink to satisfy our physical bodies. This is not earthly water. This is spiritual and unlike natural water that we have to drink over and over. Jesus shares His Living Water is everlasting and forever quenches our thirst. He reveals He is the Living Water. He dwells in us through His Spirit manifesting in us satisfying our deepest thirsts spiritually. As we drink of Jesus and let His Spirit manifest, we can feel His presence bubbling up and moving through every part of our being. And this by far is more refreshing than any physical drink we can ever consume. Let’s invite the Living Water to refresh us all today and quench our deepest thirsts as we learn from Him. 

Let’s pray.  Father God we thank You for filling us with Your presence through Your Son Jesus Christ. We than You for Living Water that satisfies our deepest thirst, beyond our physical needs. Move in us today through Your Spirit and teach us Your ways. Teach us of Living Water and draw us to You, the fountain. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 

Jesus was leaving Judea because the Pharisees were getting worked up about all that Jesus was doing and it wasn’t His time yet to die, so he headed back to Galilee for a period of time. The route he took was through Samaria where we find the most unusual and wonderful interaction between Jesus and a Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob. We’ll start mid-way into their conversation as our key Scripture and come back to other parts.

 

John 4: 13-26 NIV

13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 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.” 15 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.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

  • Seeks the Broken 

We see here and in countless other examples Jesus didn’t come for those who believed they had it all together and all figured out; the religious elite or the self-righteous. He sought out and made time for the broken, the weak, the outcast and shamed. He came for those who recognized they were sinners in need of saving. He came for the thirsty. This woman was coming to the well that particular day to address her physical thirst but Jesus had something so much greater to offer her, that would change her life for eternity. 

John 4: 5-7 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”

Now we need to understand first of all, the Jews did not associate with Samaritans and would go out of their way to avoid going through and into Samaria. Jesus purposely set out to go right into villages in Samaria. These were what Jews would call the half-breeds. They were not pure Jews. They had been infiltrated by other people as Assyrians repopulated that land after capturing Israel and intermarried with some left behind. They were no one Jews wanted to associate with for they were impure people.

Jesus was about to send a strong message that all people mattered to Him. All people would receive His invitation to drink. Women also mattered greatly to Jesus, to be affirmed, to be valued, to be honored and included in His work.

You see, men would not give a woman the time of day in a public setting. certainly not a Jewish man to a Samaritan woman. But Jesus knew she’s coming to the well that day. He sought her out to expose her broken past and leave it behind, so she could step into something so much more. A new life in Him. He does this for you and me too. Exposes our brokenness in such a loving, gentle way and offers us a new life in Him. He encourages us to leave our past behind, to lay our old self down and pick up a new life containing all that He is. 

He intentionally waited at that well to reveal to this Samaritan woman a truth no one else had heard yet; Jesus was and is the Living Water who quenches our deepest thirst. He told her in person. How beautiful is this?

Will you drink of the Living Water? 

In another example we see Jesus teaching and as He’s walking along he sees Levi, sitting at a tax collector’s booth-extorting people, as was the practice of tax collectors. They were despised by the Jews. He invited Levi to follow Him. He knew this man’s life choices and He also saw what was deep in this man’s heart. Levi followed immediately. Redemption! A chance at something better with greater purpose! He was so excited and humbled that Jesus would acknowledge him, he invited Jesus to a dinner in his honor and also invited many other tax collectors and town outcasts so they too could drink of the Living Water. This created quite the stir in town. The Pharisees  couldn’t make sense why someone who professed to be holy and authoritative in the Law would ever hang about with such scoundrels. What was Jesus doing?

Mark 2: 16-17 16 When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

You see Jesus was right where He was supposed to be-meeting with the broken, the lost, the sick…those who knew they were sinners.

He did not have time for those who thought they were righteous by their own works. He looked to the heart and He still does today. What is the heart of a person telling Him?  Are they thirsty for truth? Will they drink of the Living Water I offer them? 

Coming back to our original text today after the woman heard the Good News from Jesus she ran into town to tell people to come see the man who knew all about her. The disciples  had returned and wanted Jesus to eat something. Jesus said “I have food to eat you know nothing about. My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.”  

As Jesus looked in the direction of the way the Samaritan woman ran towards town He said this to His disciples, John 4:35   35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”  

He still says that to us today-open your eyes and SEE the broken ripe for harvest! Offer them Me-the Living Water to satisfy their deep thirst. Seek the broken and point them to Jesus-Living Water that quenches their thirst.

  • Refreshes With Living Water                                                                       

This is what Jesus set out to do for this woman. There are many examples of Jesus healing and forgiving people other than Jews in His ministry, because of someone’s faith in Him.

Jesus responds to our level of faith.

All along He has made it known, His gift of new life is available to everyone who believes and follows Him.  Jesus is Living Water. He refreshes us, cleanses us from the inside out and quenches our greatest thirst- to be fully loved, to be valued, to be seen and fully known and to have purpose in our life. He offers all of this. We may not know that we have this deep longing at times, but Jesus does. He sees our heart. He created us, so He knows our deepest needs and He fulfills everyone of them as He lives in and through us.

He is a river of living water flowing in us. 

John 4:10 10 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.”

He makes this known in his ministry again in a much more public setting at the Festival of Tabernacles. His disciples wanted Jesus to go and show himself and His works more openly so others could see the works He was doing. They said no one who wants to be a public figure acts in secret. (What they didn’t know yet.) Jesus said no because my time hasn’t come yet and He knew Jewish leaders wanted to kill him already. But Jesus did go secretly to observe. About halfway through the festival-remember these went on for days, He went to the temple courts and began to teach. This only angered the Pharisees more because the crowds were amazed at His authority on Scripture. On the last day of the festival, He shared this great revelation to all who would hear: 

John 7: 37-38 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”     

This was to signify the Spirit who all would receive as they believed in Jesus. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.

This is the same promise for all today. If you are thirsty, come and drink of Jesus, Himself. Take Him in. Let Him fill you and quench your thirst. His promise is rivers of living water flowing within you. This is His Spirit manifesting and working in you. It’s wonderful and an experience you will never find in this world. It’s of God and from God. His promise is true-as you drink of Him, follow Him, trust in Him and open your heart to Him, you will never thirst again. You will be satisfied and full. He will truly provide everything you need to not only endure this life when it’s hard, but to live life abundantly!                                                                                               

  • Restores With New Purpose 

In her day, the woman Jesus met at the well, would have not been thought highly of in her community for her lifestyle choices, having five husbands and living with a man outside of marriage. Even today in many circles it wouldn’t be any different for her would it? She would be gossiped about, frowned upon and cast out. 

Have you felt like that at any point in your life? Have you witnessed others experiencing this?

Yes, we own our choices-we all do. Yes, there are consequences for our choices. And we as God’s people are called to love one another. Loving doesn’t mean we gloss over someone’s negative or destructive choices. Jesus didn’t do that-He went right to the matter at hand. He exposed the woman fully, and He did so in love. 

 

People that knew her might have written her off as someone who was just a lost cause who would never get it together. Maybe you have felt that from others or felt that way towards others. Jesus sees the heart. He knew she would respond to the Living Water. He knew she would believe and He took this woman lost from one failed marriage after another and gave her new hope. He gave her a new purpose. He positioned her to be seen with fresh eyes among her community. Meeting this woman was more than just revealing who He was to her, Jesus was calling on her specifically to share the Good News with others-their long-awaited Messiah was here! He called her to evangelize! 

 

 John 4:28-30  28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.

They believed her testimony and they followed where she led them to Jesus. She had been redeemed not only by Jesus, but by her community for they listened and followed. Restored with new purpose and a new way to live. 

 

We see another profound example of forgiveness and restoration between Peter and Jesus. Peter who was outspoken and boldly said “Lord even if all others stumble, I will never. I am willing to go to prison and even death with you.”

He had no idea what he was saying and what was about to happen. Aren’t we like this in our claims too? I will never stray Jesus! I will always follow you! I will never fall. Until we do… Jesus said, “Peter before the rooster crows three times you will deny Me.” As Jesus is arrested and is on trial before He endures the painful journey to the cross, people see Peter there among the crowds watching from a distance. He’s just trying to blend in and go unnoticed. They ask him, “aren’t you with Jesus?” He said “No, I am not.” Even boldly again said, “I don’t know this man!” As he said it three times the rooster crowed immediately and Peter saw Jesus looking straight at him. It wrecked Peter. He couldn’t believe what he just did and he ran away weeping. 

 

After Jesus died, Peter was completely broken and lost, so he decided to just go back to what he knew before- fishing. Our resurrected Savior showed up on the shore cooking breakfast. He called out to the men in the boats nearby and offered them to come and eat.  When Peter saw it was Jesus, alive and well he jumped out of the boat to get to Him faster! He was so excited and yet so instantly filled with shame for what he did. Right there in that moment, Jesus restored Peter for the purpose He called him to fulfill.                               

 

John 21: 15-17 15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”

16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

 

With every question, Jesus was wiping away the shame from Peter’s denial. Three times Peter denied Jesus. Three times Jesus affirms Peter’s love and purpose. It’s a beautiful moment to show us no matter how far we fall, Jesus is always willing to refresh and restore us to the purpose He has called us. If we are willing. Let us drink of Living Water that cleanses and makes us new. 

 

Let us also offer the Living Water to others that they might be refreshed and restored just as the woman at the well did. We can’t fix people; we can’t do it for them when their thinking and habits need to change; but we can love them as Jesus does and we can offer Living Water that quenches their deepest thirst. We can pray for God to move in their lives and draw them to the fountain that contains Living Water. This is what we’re called to do. Let His Spirit bubble up in us and be an outpouring to share with others around us. 

 

 Conclusion:  The wonderful truth is Jesus sees us as we are and loves us fully as we are, in our greatest messes and darkest hours. He offers us Himself- Living Water to satisfy our greatest thirst. He redeems, restores, and repurposes us to live life abundant in Him. Let us drink deeply of His Living Water. Let us in turn share the outpouring of who He is with those around us. Let us come to the fountain daily and be eternally refreshed. 

Let’s pray: We thank YOU Jesus for being Living Water flowing in us as we believe in You. We thank You for seeing us as we are and offering us to drink something better, something eternal that quenches our spirit and soul’s deepest cravings. We thank You for Your cleansing power that transforms us and makes us new from the inside out. Draw us to Your heart. Move in us. Have Your way in us and continue to cleanse and purify us to make us more and more into Your glorious image. Show us the purposes You have for us to further Your kingdom and help us have willing hearts to follow. In Your name we pray and trust, Jesus. Amen. 

 

Final Blessing: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. May the beauty of God be reflected in your eyes, the love of God be reflected in your hands, the wisdom of God be reflected in your words, and the knowledge of God flow from your heart, that all might see, and seeing, believe.

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