John 4:10, “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.’” These are the words Christ speaks to the woman at the well. He later identifies living water as ‘eternal life’.
(John 4:14). Jesus amplifies this in John 7:37-39, “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. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’ By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.” Genuine life comes through the power of God as it is released through the Holy Spirit.
Sadly, the people of Israel had abandoned the true source of life. The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah warned: “My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.’” The Israelites had resorted to bogus sources of life—and this ultimately meant their destruction. Isaiah invited the people to discover the authentic source of life, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters…” (Isaiah 55:1).
Christ himself is the source of precious living water. We only have life as we are connected to the living water. God calls us to connect to Christ and to connect others to Christ. In John 4, Jesus said to the woman at the well, “I’m thirsty.” But fast forward to John 19:28, and you will find Jesus speaking of thirst again. From the cross, he says, “I am thirsty.” Jesus had been flogged and beaten almost to death. He had been crucified and had been hanging on a tree for hours. He was, of course, physically thirsty. But his thirst was much more than this. His thirst was triggered by his separation from God the Father, the wellspring of living water. Jesus endured this pain and humiliation and suffering because of his deep love for you and me. It is impossible for me to comprehend the depth of his love. But I am grateful for it. And I am thankful that He gives me the opportunity to experience the living water that He gives through His Holy Spirit!