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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well -- New Living Water -- Part 3

The Savior at the well

The fact that Jesus spoke to this immoral, Samaritan woman opened the door for further communication between them. She is amazed that this Jewish Rabbi is not only speaking to her but asking her to give Him a drink! Most Samaritan women would have run from this Jewish Rabbi, but this woman didn't. God had prepared her for this encounter. She is ready to listen to Jesus. Her spiritual need was greater than natural water. Her lifestyle was weighing her down. She had much heartbreak in her life – five husbands who left her and the one she was living with now was not her husband. Six is the number of flesh/man. She has tried the way of the flesh and it has failed. Her seventh husband – Jesus – counted her worthy of His time, His love, His compassion and His revelation knowledge. Now she will come to know Jesus and His salvation. He will not fail her.

The Sinner at the well

This sinful woman came to the well at Sychar with a dry, empty water pot (earthen vessel). The water pot was heavy when empty. It was extremely heavy when full. Drawing water was hard work. We too come to Jesus as dry, empty earthen vessels without spiritual life. When He fills us with the water of His holy Word and Holy Spirit, we will be earthen vessels who will pour out the Truth of Jesus and the Holy Spirit to those who don't know Him. Being filled with His Truth takes hard work and sacrifice.

Living Water

Jesus answered the Samaritan woman, “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.” John 4:10 Jesus says this to get her interested in this “gift of God” and the new “living water.” Jesus is God's greatest gift to humanity. This Samaritan woman had been taught some truth – the five books of Moses. All Truth was sitting at Jacob's well ready to reveal Himself to this sinful woman and save her from her sinful lifestyle. This woman was thirsty in body, soul and spirit. All she had to do is ask for this “living water” and it was hers. “You have not because you ask not.” We have to desire the “gift of God” and the “living water” of God.

When Jesus gives her the living, spiritual water of Truth anointed by the Holy Spirit, her life will be turned around. “If only you knew.” First, she must “know” Jesus and trust in Him. John 7:38: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” The water that Jesus will give her will show her the Father's love, His grace and His truth. Instead of the false love that she had received from the men in her life, Jesus wanted to show her pure love and bring His love into her heart. This sinful woman had experienced the tainted love of the world. Now she will experience the love and Spirit of God through Jesus Christ! Her Deliverer from her sinful lifestyle and her Savior was in front of her.

To the Jew, living water was running, moving water. In the spiritual, it is the eternal, deep and ever-flowing water of the Holy Spirit and the Word – the river of life and the bread of life. Jesus is the smitten Rock that gave the Israelites water to quench their physical thirst in the wilderness. (see Exodus 17:6; 1 Corinthians 10:4)  Jesus was smitten on the cross so He could pour out the living water of the Word and Holy Spirit upon all flesh.  Jesus will pour out spiritual water in fulfillment of the water in the wilderness.

The woman responds, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.” v8 This woman is still looking with natural eyes. She sees a problem. He has no rope or water jar with which to draw the water so how is He going to give her this “living water.“ What she doesn't see is that the invisible Holy Spirit in Jesus and His words are drawing her to the One who is a fountain of living water. The Word (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit are a wellspring of eternal life. When the Spirit and Truth come together, transformation takes place. Jesus who is the fullness of the Word and has the fullness of the Holy Spirit will take this sinful woman from the carnal to the spiritual. Jesus does the same for every person who knows and believes in Him. There is fullness in Jesus. Anyone who is without Jesus will be spiritually hungering and thirsting. Jesus will drink her cup of rejection and shame for her! He drank the cup of this adulterous bride and made her His bride. Jesus drank an even greater cup for all sinners – the cup of suffering on the cross to take away the sin of the world and make us His Bride prepared and ready for union with our Husband. The Bride of Christ is made up of males and females, rich and poor, Jews and Gentiles, young and old.

“Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” vv 11-12 The answer is YES. He is greater than Jacob. This woman is claiming Jacob as the father of the Samaritans because Sychar is in the territory of Joseph – the land given to Jacob's son Joseph through his two sons -- Ephraim and Manasseh.  Jacob is the father of the 12 sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel. Jacob's sons, the 12 tribes of Israel, flocks and herds drank from this earthly well that Jacob dug, but all who believe in Jesus --whether Jew or Gentile – will drink from the well of Jesus' eternal life-giving spiritual water. God is no respecter of persons. The salvation and living water that Jesus gives is for everyone.

The Word and ways of God are deep. Daniel 2:22 says that God reveals deep and secret things. We must dig deep into His well of truth to draw out the pure Truth. This woman wants to know where Jesus would get this living water. She thought He had running water from another source. He did, but it was not from the earth. It was the spiritual spring of eternal water and life – God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (see Revelation 22:1) 1 Corinthians 2:10: But God revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.

In Genesis 1:2, it says that “the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” The Spirit of God was hovering over the darkness at the beginning of Genesis as if in a birthing position. Something new was about to be created by the Word of God. This is happening with this Samaritan woman also. She was in deep darkness because of her lifestyle and her not knowing Jesus. Proverbs 22:14: The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit. The fullness of the Holy Spirit in Jesus was hovering over her to reveal Jesus – the Truth – to her and set her free from the darkness that consumed her. Jesus will make her a “new” creation. He will take her from the deep pit of sin and lift her higher into a holier lifestyle and the spiritual realm with Him.

Jesus tells this woman that “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” vv13-14 Jesus saw this woman's need. Jesus reveals what He means even further. Jesus' eternal, spiritual water never runs dry and satisfies our spiritual thirst forever. Jesus is basically saying that He has better water than Jacob's well that He can give her. In order to drink from His well of living water, we must thirst for it. If we don't continue to hunger and thirst for His living water and living bread, our soul will sink back into the mire and spirit of the world.

The sinful woman said to Jesus, “Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” v15 This woman is still looking with “natural” eyes and doesn't understand this “living water,” but she is tired of having to work so hard drawing and carrying this water from Jacob's well to her home. She is also tired of avoiding others who condemn and judge her because of her sinful life in order to draw this natural water. So, even though she doesn't understand what He is saying, she tells Jesus to give her that water.

Confession Time!

Before Jesus can give her this “living water,” He must get her to confess her sinful life. She must see her true condition and need of salvation and cleansing. He doesn't point out her sin to her. Instead, He makes a statement, “Go call your husband.” He is testing her to see if she will be honest with Him. She is. Jesus commends her for her honesty. Jesus, who is all-knowing, knew that the man she is living with now is not her husband. Because Jesus knew that she had five husbands and that the man she was with now was not her husband, this woman perceived that Jesus was a prophet. He was not only a prophet, He is the Supreme Prophet of God – the very Word of God through whom all things were created. In her mind, she is also starting to believe that He is the Messiah who was to come to save Israel.

This sinful woman is beginning to get a little nervous that Jesus knows all about her, so she tries to change the subject. She wants to talk about the true place of worship. I will continue with this in next week's teaching.

Second Mention of Living Water

On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. By this He meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not yet been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.” John 7:37-38

The feast spoken of is the Feast of Tabernacles which is also known as the Feast of Ingathering and the Feast of Rest. It is the seventh and final feast of God given to Israel. At this Feast, there is a water-pouring ceremony which takes place at dawn of each of the seven days of this feast. Every day a procession of priests would go to the pool of Siloam. The high priest would take a golden pitcher and fill it with water from the pool. Siloam means “sent” or “one who has been sent.” Gold is symbolic of the Divine. The high priest carrying a gold pitcher represents our Divine High Priest Jesus who is the Sent One of God who has the Divine healing water and the Divine water of life.

The high priest and the priests would return to the brazen altar of sacrifice in the Outer Court of the Temple. Each day they would walk around the altar once. Then the high priest would ascend up the stairs on the right side to the altar. At the top of the altar were two silver basins – one for water and the other for wine. The high priest would raise the golden pitcher high for all to see and pour the water into one of the silver basins. At the same time, another priest would pour the wine into the other silver basin. Silver is the metal of atonement. Every Jewish male had to pay a ½ shekel of silver to the temple on the Day of Atonement. The gold and silver together represent Divine Atonement. 

Our spiritual eyes will help us see that this water pouring ceremony is a picture of Jesus. He is our Divine High Priest (gold) who poured out the water and blood from the wound in His side at the cross for the atonement of the world (silver).  Jesus was high and lifted up. He is seated at the right hand of the Father in power and authority.   The two silver basins represent the atonement of Jesus once-for-all which is revealed in the two testaments. The wine of this ceremony represents the blood of Jesus and the water the Anointed Word. The same price was paid by all. Jesus paid the price of atonement for all on the cross.

On the last and great day of this feast, the high priest and the procession of priests walk around the altar 7 times indicating completion – It is finished! The final and finished atonement of the world was through the water and blood that flowed from the wound in Jesus' side on the cross. Jesus said after this, “It is finished.” Going around the altar represents the circle of the Word that reveals God's redemption plan through His Son Jesus. Jesus is the pure and perfect altar of God. After the high priest and priests have walked around the brazen altar of sacrifice seven times, the high priest would ascend up the ramp on the right side and pour out the “living” water while another priest poured out the wine. Siloam was a fountain of water indicating living, moving water. Jesus poured out His blood on the cross so the Living Water of the Holy Spirit could be poured out on all who believe in Christ's redeeming, finished work on the cross.  The water and blood that poured out of His side represent the blood of atonement and the water of the Word and Holy Spirit that cleanses and breathes spiritual life into all who receive it.

Jesus was showing those around Him that He is this water-pouring ceremony and the Source of Living Water. He is the fulfillment of the Feast of Tabernacles and the water-pouring ceremony. The last book of the Bible says that all who are thirsty can come to the river of life that flows from the throne of the Father and the Lamb and drink freely. Revelation 21:6: To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life.

For reference:
Living water in the Older Testament that points to what Jesus is saying are:
  • Isaiah 12:2
  • Isaiah 44:3
  • Isaiah 55:1
  • Zechariah 13:1
  • Zechariah 14:8
  • Psalm 36:9
  • Psalm 42:1
  • Jeremiah 17:13
And in Revelation:
  • Revelation 7:17
  • Revelation 21:6

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