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.”
- John 4:13-15
What are you thirsty for?
Every day the Samaritan woman would have had to lug water back from the well to her home. She did this work in the heat of the day, possibly to avoid judgmental comments about her love life (see v. 16-18). A way to bypass this physically and emotionally exhausting rhythm would be immensely valuable to her.
Even though Jesus clearly rang metaphorical notes in the conversation, the Samaritan woman latched on to the literal layer of Jesus’ words. She had such a hard time seeing beyond her thirst. And so do we.
We thirst for love, fun, success, purpose … all kinds of things. The list could go on forever. And our thirsts shape what we hear when we listen to Jesus. We don’t just hear him as he is; we hear him as we are.
This is one of the reasons it’s so important to read the Bible in community. As we read together, we can learn to identify our own particular soul-thirsts. Jesus brings them to the surface and satisfies them in ways that surprise us.
This little detail in John 4:28 jumps out to us: the woman leaves her water jar behind and runs back to the village to tell her neighbors about Jesus. Something happens between her and Jesus that takes her focus off of her thirst.
What do you find yourself thirsting for this week? How do your “thirsts” shape the way you hear Jesus? To what do they sensitize you? In what ways do they distract you?