The Third Sunday in Lent
“Where Do You Get that Living Water?”
March 19, 2017
Sermon Text: John 4:5-26
Peace be unto you from the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, Christ Jesus. Amen.
Dearly Beloved of the Lord,
To say the least, she was intrigued by what this Jew had to say to her. Amazed first that he even spoke to her. A man speaking to a woman who was not his wife or kin and this, out in public. And then there was the fact that Jews did not speak to Samaritans and vice versa.
No surprise really because who we are talking about here is our Savior, Jesus, who out of great love and mercy breaks down, breaks through, ignores and abolishes all barriers that stand in the way between Himself and us and in this case, between Himself and this woman.
A woman that He cares greatly about as is seen in what He does and says here… His concern for her spiritual welfare… her eternal life… and those, all those, who she will speak with and tell about this Jesus… not to mention those, all those, who have heard and will hear this account down through the centuries to the very end of time… that which we are considering right now under the gracious guidance of God the Holy Spirit.
Leaving our Lord at the end of her discourse with Him, the woman went into the city and declared to all who were around her, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (John 4:29)
My friends, how amazing and truly wonderful our Lord works in people’s lives… your life and mine… the life of this woman who above all other things, needed to come to terms with who He was… who He is. And we are no different.
Our Lord gets her thinking as well as others who she will talk to… thinking… asking… “Can this be the Christ?” Could this be the long-awaited Messiah? The One who knows me perfectly… knows all that I ever did. The One to Whom I am an open book including all of the pages and paragraphs that detail my sins?
In a very simple interchange, Jesus helps this woman come to terms with who she is and who really is standing before her, but that’s not all. Our Lord offers her far more than just knowledge.
As I said starting off this message, the woman was intrigued and it had to do with… of all things… water. The Man standing before her tells her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)
That caught her attention as it would anyone’s. But at this point, the woman is focused still on the element, the substance – the water itself – more than the effect, the spiritual power “in, with and under” this water, if you will. She is confused because this Man is offering her water, but has nothing with which to draw the same and if He was planning to do it from the well that was right there next to Him, good luck.
“The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’” (John 4:11-14)
Living water. That is what Christ offered and offers… to this woman and to all people… everyone… including you and me… right now… here and always. Water that gives eternal life, from which springs eternal life. Water which ends death, let alone ending thirst, spiritual thirst. Water that quenches the soul and its search… its yearning for life, true life that was lost in sin, due to sin.
“Where do you get that living water?” The woman simply asked. And our Lord’s answer was just as simple and amazingly straightforward and profound. He IS this living water. The One from Whom it flows freely and abundantly. Water that quenches and drenches us… filling us, refreshing us, restoring us, cleansing us.
Brothers and Sisters in a matter of a few weeks on an upcoming Friday, we will again take in the view of our Lord… this same Jesus now sitting beside a well will be the same One nailed to a cross. There to die for us. And we remember the soldier’s spear which pierced Christ’s side from which ran… yes, indeed… water and blood.
The living water flowing from Christ… His sacred Body and Blood there on the cross… the two blessed Sacraments… Baptism and the Lord’s Supper so amazingly seen and depicted… amazingly offered and given to us… God’s gift to us… from of all things… the cross.
It is no coincidence that 71 percent of the earth’s surface is covered in water. We have learned well… and rightly… how essential it is to life… and no more so to eternal life in the living water that is readily available to you and me in Christ Jesus… in this, His body, the Church.
We are talking about the water that is a perpetual tide that flows over us, cleaning us from every spot and stain… water that we drink in as we take in the Word of God as it is preached to us, taught to us… that which we regularly read, mark and learn and are again and again refreshed… “rehydrated” if you will.
It is a scientific fact that the human body can go a lot longer without food than without water. Go without water for three days and death is right around the corner. The danger is far greater when we are talking about spiritual water and refraining from the same and yet there are those who take in so little… so sparsely… what is abundantly available to them. And they wonder why they are so spiritually parched, spiritually drained and faint. Go figure!
“Where do you get this living water,” the woman asked. And as our Lord showed her… so He shows us… He tells us, reminds us that He is the living water and He graciously invites us to come and drink deeply and be refreshed… come and drink deeply and live forever in joy and peace. Amen.
May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, unto life everlasting. Amen.
“Where Do You Get this Water?
3/19/17 The Rev. Mark H. Hein
St. Paul’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Lockport, IL