Water for the Thirsty

March 12, 2023 —

The Bible uses a number of analogies for what the Gospel offers. In answering the devil’s temptation, Jesus answered, “Man does not live on bread alone, but by every word which comes from the mouth of God.” Elsewhere, Isaiah describes the Gospel as a rich feast with rich food and fine wine offered to any and all without cost.

But one of the most enduring pictures used to describe the Gospel is the “Water of Life.” And the most potent story surrounding that analogy is a true one. It happened at Jacob’s well and is recorded in our Gospel Lesson. There Jesus promises a Samaritan woman with a bad reputation, “whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty ever again. Rather, the water I will give him will become in him a spring of water, bubbling up to eternal life.”

St. Paul uses more concrete terms in our Epistle Lesson to describe what Jesus is talking about. The spring that bubbles up in a believer’s heart is peace and hope. Hopelessness is no way to live in a parched world. How stressful that is for those who don’t know Jesus! But Our Lord has given us hope as we make our way through so many earthly trials to our ultimate goal—eternal joy in heaven. God gave us that peace and hope “through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God is able to miraculously produce water out of rock, if need be, to take care of His people. He did just that for the Israelites in the wilderness. Our Old Testament Lesson describes what happened. In the same way, it is a miracle when God produces springs of eternal life in our stony hearts and brings us to spiritual life.

This Week’s Lessons:

Exodus 17:1–7

Romans 5:1–8

John 4:5–26  (sermon text)

Psalm 95