Relief may feel like satisfaction for a while. But true satisfaction, the deep and lasting kind, can only come through faith in Jesus, personally relating to Jesus and responding to him in faith, living it out because you believe.
The noble official was covered in the dust of his travels, his robes powdered a dull grey, his feet nearly monochrome with dirt. Streaks of sweat lined his face, and the hair across his forehead was matted. Real tears streamed from his eyes and nose, flying in drops as he dropped to his knees, clasped his hands before Jesus, and wrung them.
John made it clear it was the woman who testified about Jesus, and the whole town was her harvest, not the disciples.’ Oh yes, they would reap the harvest. But she was the sower Now Jesus would rejoice with this woman as her entire town came out to meet Him.
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.
The Samaritans called the Messiah “Tahav,” the Revealer. Someday the Messiah would come, and He would bring about this radical change in worship, but Jesus certainly could not mean that time had come now . . . could he?
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.
There is never a time when one person has all the resources and the other person has all the needs. We need each other, and for those who think they have nothing to offer others, and for those who think they have nothing to gain from others (or at least from certain others), here is the truth Jesus modeled that day: Every human interaction involves both, on both sides.
It would be one of many unusual, unsettling, even unnerving experiences they would have with Jesus. Today, they would have to navigate the uncomfortable social situation of entering a potentially hostile environment.