The way John told this story—and remember, the timing of things was important to John—it was at the very moment of the woman’s statement about the coming Messiah, and Jesus’ declaration of “YHWH/I AM the very one, speaking to you right now” that the disciples arrived.
Here was One who could truly behold her true self, who accepted her for who she truly was, who admired her character, and honored her dignity, who understood the courage it took for her to choose truth when it held the potential to hurt her, or to render her disqualified to receive the gift this man had to give.
There was no missing the metaphor. “Living water” was something Jesus bestowed that would spiritually enliven the person receiving it and living it out.
Jesus explained that like the wind the Holy Spirit is invisible but powerful, and you can’t predict, explain or control the movements of the wind.
This was the word from the Lord they had been longing to hear. After their sackcloth and ashes, their weeping and mourning, weakened from their fasts, and sacrifices, and prayers, they longed with every fiber of their being to hear some token of God’s love and mercy towards them.
Paul worked his lips together, feeling the dryness in his throat, feeling his tongue stick to his teeth. He could sense the Spirit helping him in his weakness, interceding for him as he sighed a prayer too deep for words.
Imagine Paul, outwardly road weary but inwardly growing warm with spiritual fervor as he neared the thriving metropolis and port city of Ephesus, in the height of its glory
Apollos had everything you could possibly want to be effective: he had education, talent, skill and experience. But until Apollos had the Holy Spirit, his ministry was not effective.
Plenty of times you and I can feel imprisoned by our circumstances … there are all kinds of ways to find ourselves bound in chains, as Peter was, having to fall asleep between hostile guards.
Often, it seems, the way God does that is to shake things up with the unexpected, the unanticipated. Depending on how entrenched you and I are in the way we view something, will determine how willing we are to even entertain the new ways, new perspectives, and new challenges God presents.