John 4:13-14 “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 again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Have you ever been in a situation where someone you knew and loved was in need, but you didn’t know how to help them? Maybe you’re in such a situation right now. Someone you love is in trouble or hurting, and you would help them if you could, but you just don’t know how. Or perhaps you know how to help, maybe with a gift of money or some encouragement of some type, but you know it isn’t enough to really alleviate the core issues that person is facing, and the need will soon be there again – be it financial difficulties, an illness, or some emotional turmoil of some type. It is to this issue of meeting needs that the verses above speak at the deepest level. Here, Jesus speaks to a Samaritan woman at a well. He has just asked her for something to drink – for He, being human, was thirsty. But then He uses that occasion to point out to her what her greatest need was and the one and only way to have that need met. He talks to her about physical thirst, but then, as He so often did, He turns the conversation to the spiritual. With these words He was showing her – and us – that our greatest needs are not physical, but spiritual.
No matter what the physical need, be it food and water, money, physical healing, or relief from pain, any effort to meet that need is always temporary in nature. Water quenches thirst – for a short time; money helps pay the bills – until the next new bill comes; and medicine addresses an illness – until a new illness comes along. But Jesus shows us, in His teaching above, that spiritual needs, which are actually much deeper and greater than any physical need, can be met with a provision that will meet that need for all eternity. And when that need is met, all other needs and all worries about those needs pale in comparison. You see, the greatest need anyone has in this life is healing from the spiritual disease of sin. It is this disease that is at the root of all other needs. All physical needs, all physical lack, all physical disease, is at its heart, a result of the Fall. It was as a result of the Fall that sin entered the world, and death through sin (Romans 5:12). But it was to bring the solution to this great predicament that Jesus came. As Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, He came to bring a type of “water” that if someone were to drink of it, they would never be “thirsty” again. That life-giving water was the salvation He offered as the result of the death He would suffer as a sacrifice for the sin of the world. It is when a person drinks of this water that all other needs fade. As Paul said after he had received this life-giving water, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Philippians 4:11-13).” Even death could not take this contentment from him, for “to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).”
So, have you received this life-giving water? Do you have this secret of contentment in every circumstance of life? More than that, is this well of living water springing up from your soul so that you can offer it to others in need, including their greatest need – salvation and freedom from sin. It is this very thing that Jesus offers us, and it is this very thing that those who have received it can offer to everyone else they meet, for it is in this and this alone that all other needs of the human heart are met forever.