Immanuel Lutheran Church

Sermon

Lent 3

"Give me, Lord, the water of life."

John 4:7-15

March 19, 2017

Water is essential to life. 71% of the earth's surface is water. 57% of the human body is water. We can't live without water. Yet, while the ocean is full of water, if you drink it, you'll die. In the desert water is hard to find. If you don't drink, you'll die. All too often, we take clean water for granted. Turn on the faucet and it's there. Sadly, in many places in the world, water is hard to come by. This was the case of the woman Jesus met at Jacob's well.

It's noon. Jesus and His disciples are walking through Samaria to Galilee. They have come to a place named Jacob's well. While the disciples have gone into the village in search of food, Jesus waits beside the well.

Read John 4:7-9 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" ( For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

As He sits there, a lone Samaritan woman comes to draw water. She says nothing to him. He breaks the silence by asking her for a drink of water. She recognizes Him as a Jew. Since Jews and Samaritans got along about as well as Jews and Palestinians today, we're not surprised that she rather politely refuses Him.

In her experience, most Jewish men would rather die of thirst than ask a Samaritan woman for a drink. Jesus isn't your typical Jewish rabbi. He responds to her with a curious statement, "if only you knew who was asking you." This pricks the woman's curiosity and the conversation between she and the Lord begins.

Jesus answered 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." (10)

Jesus makes her an offer. "Have I got a deal for you. I have water that once you drink you'll never be thirsty again." For a woman who has to come from her home in the heat of the day to draw water, this sounds too good to be true. Nevertheless, she wants more information.

Although she doesn't realize it, the Samaritan woman is living in a spiritual desert. Jesus is offering her the water of life. It is hers by drinking, for it is by faith that we receive eternal life.

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." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water."(11-15)

She is eager to receive this spiritual water. Before Jesus gives her that water, she must first confess her sins. Jesus leads her in her confession. He begins by suggesting that she go tell her husband and come back. Oops. She confesses she has no husband. In fact, Jesus completes her confession for her. You've had five husbands and you're not married to the guy you're living with now.

This woman is genuinely surprised. She remains rooted in place. She recognizes that Jesus is a prophet. Yet, she's still confused. The Jews said that true worship could take place only in Jerusalem and Samaritans were not welcome there. How can this woman properly worship since she's not a Jew? Jesus explains that the time is coming when true worship is not a matter of a physical location but a matter of the heart.

Jesus now leads her in her confession of faith. All who truly worship God will worship Him in spirit and in truth. The woman knows that the Messiah has been promised and when He comes, He will reveal and explain everything. It is to this obscure non-Jewish woman Jesus now reveals something He has told no one else, "I am He."

The woman is ready to believe. She has confessed her sins and through Jesus, she now confessed her faith. She goes into the village to invite her neighbors to come and hear what this Jewish rabbi has to say. Her enthusiasm is so contagious that the village comes to meet Jesus. When they hear what He taught, they begged Him to remain longer to tell them more.

If Jesus approached the woman today, offering her the water of life, what would she think? Since we live with all the conveniences of indoor plumbing, perhaps she would be thinking in terms of some new miraculous bottled water. What if she were told that water could be hers in baptism? What might she think if she were told the water of life wells up from the cross of Christ? What do you think? What do those still unbelieving think?

We live in a spiritually thirsty world. We can't live without clean water. You wouldn't go down to the Cedar River and drink out of it. It is far from clean drinking water. Because many people don't even trust their tap water, they use only bottled drinking water. We have access to clean drinking water but still many are dying because their spiritual thirst isn't being satisfied. Just like us, they need the living water of life only Jesus can supply.

Sin contaminates. Although we think of sin as muddy, murky water, sin is more like the micro-organisms that cannot be detected in what seems to be clear water. The deadly is invisible. Cholera and diphtheria germs manifest themselves in deadly diseases to the body. Sin is invisible but causes deadly consequences to the human body and soul. In the end, sin, like contaminated water, brings only disease and death.

Jesus has given us the water of life. In this water we find healing, hope and restoration. This life giving water flows into our lives through the water of holy baptism. Our spiritual thirst us slacked as we hear the Word. He who drinks will thirst no more. You are invited to receive the blessings of this life in the sacrament this morning. The Lord invites you to be refreshed in His wonderful love and goodness.

We need water to live. Although the Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water for the body, she left with life-bestowing water that continued to well up in her to eternal life. Jesus gives us the same water of life. By His grace, we invite others to hear about and receive this wonderful, life-giving water. Thanks be to God who quenches our thirst from His well of salvation. Amen.


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03/26/2017
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February
02/26/2017
02/05/2017
January
01/29/2017
01/22/2017
01/15/2017
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December
12/25/2016
12/18/2016
12/11/2016
12/04/2016
November
11/27/2016
11/20/2016
11/13/2016
11/06/2016
October
10/30/2016
10/23/2016
10/16/2016
10/09/2016
10/02/2016
September
09/25/2016
09/18/2016
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09/04/2016
August
08/28/2016
08/21/2016
July
07/31/2016
07/24/2016
07/17/2016
07/03/2016
June
06/26/2016
06/19/2016
06/05/2016
May
05/29/2016
05/22/2016
05/15/2016
05/08/2016
05/01/2016
April
04/17/2016
04/10/2016
04/03/2016
March
03/27/2016
03/20/2016
03/13/2016
03/06/2016
February
02/28/2016
02/21/2016
02/17/2016
02/14/2016
02/07/2016
January
01/31/2016
01/24/2016
01/03/2016
01/01/2016

December
12/27/2015
12/20/2015
12/13/2015
12/06/2015
November
11/22/2015
11/15/2015
11/08/2015
11/01/2015
October
10/25/2015
10/18/2015
10/11/2015
10/04/2015
September
09/27/2015
09/20/2015
09/13/2015
09/06/2015
August
08/30/2015
08/23/2015
08/16/2015
08/09/2015
08/02/2015
July
07/26/2015
07/19/2015
07/12/2015
07/05/2015
June
06/28/2015
06/21/2015
06/14/2015
06/07/2015
May
05/31/2015
05/24/2015
05/17/2015
05/10/2015
April
04/19/2015
04/12/2015
04/12/2015
04/05/2015
March
03/29/2015
03/22/2015
03/15/2015
03/08/2015
February
02/15/2015
02/15/2015
02/08/2015
02/01/2015
January
01/25/2015
01/25/2015
01/18/2015
01/11/2015
01/04/2015

December
12/28/2014
12/21/2014
12/14/2014
12/07/2014
November
11/23/2014
11/16/2014
11/09/2014
11/02/2014
October
10/12/2014
10/05/2014
September
09/28/2014
09/21/2014
09/14/2014
09/07/2014
August
08/31/2014
08/24/2014
08/17/2014
08/10/2014
08/03/2014
July
07/27/2014
07/20/2014
07/13/2014
07/06/2014
June
06/29/2014
06/22/2014
06/15/2014
06/08/2014
06/01/2014
May
05/11/2014
April
04/27/2014
04/20/2014
04/13/2014
04/06/2014
March
03/30/2014
03/23/2014
03/16/2014
03/02/2014
February
02/02/2014
January
01/26/2014
01/19/2014
01/12/2014
01/05/2014