“Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”
When the woman decided that Jesus must be a prophet she immediately began to discuss the different mountains on which the Samaritans and the Jews worshipped. Jesus response was to say that the debate about mountains would become irrelevant as people learned to worship God ‘in spirit and truth’.
What Jesus was really doing was teaching that the debate about places and procedures was a superficial matter. There was neither lasting truth there nor one that could satisfy the deep pain of failure, rejection and humiliation that was a part of her everyday life – and of so many other peoples. Taking His example from the well He told her that what she needed was something deeper, more satisfying and wonderfully healing than anything she could think of or do. She needed a long, cool drink of pure, life-giving, thirst-quenching, spirit restoring water of life – the water of the Holy Spirit. This water, which He could give her, would become a fountain within her,
“a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Jesus is trying to get us to see that essentially we do not need more religious practices, we need God; we do not need wider and deeper teachings and debates, and more amazing miracles, we need God; and we do not need to find out which are the most special and anointed places, we need God. This was why He had come. It was also the basis of the great promise that He would give to His followers – to be with them, and us, always. This would happen through the Holy Spirit who would come to live within us.
In His first miracle Jesus had changed the water of everyday into Wine. In His meeting with Nicodemus He had introduced Him to the Wind of the Spirit. Now He offers us the Living Water of the Spirit. These vivid teachings are meant to reveal to us the reality of the transforming presence of God available to us.
Here in the Spirit would be the Wine of fellowship and celebration, the Wind of the life-giving breath of God and the Living Water to cleanse, heal and refresh us with God’s redeeming love and presence – both now and forever.
Everything else points us to God – He is what we need more than anything else. Which is why and how Paul could say with such feeling,
“I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ
and him crucified”
(1 Corinthians 2:2)
Keep on praying for (more of) the Holy Spirit in your life.
Almighty God and Glorious Father, give me by Your grace the Spirit of wisdom and revelation so that I may know You better. Amen.