April 1, 2003 - One has to live in the desert to fully appreciate wells—especially when one's flocks and herds depend on the water they provide.
by Ruth Bell Graham
In John 4, Jesus, wearied by walking in the heat of the noonday sun, sat beside a well. It was in Samaria, and a woman came at midday to get water. He knew women in that time and place did their water carrying in the cool of the day. This one chose the heat of noon for a reason; she was a moral outcast.
He asked her for a drink. Imagine—the Great Shepherd asking a little black sheep for a drink! But it worked. Why, she wondered suspiciously, did He, a Jew, ask a favor of a Samaritan?
"If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water" (John 4:10, NIV).
Deftly she changed the subject. "Sir," she said, "You have nothing to draw with and the water is deep. Where can You get this living water?" (Cf. John 4:11).
Here was a thirsty Shepherd, an even thirstier sheep. And soon many more in that village would come to drink of Him.
Since that day there have been many thirsty sheep—and perhaps shepherds, too—who thought they could improve on that Water. They never will.
As Jesus said, "Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life" (John 4:14, NIV).