Thursday, January 22, 2004
Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.
- Isaiah 43:18-21
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?.... 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.... Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but 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 4:7-14
Why was Jesus thirsty?
I'm meditating on this passage in John 4, where Jesus goes through Samaria and stops at a well. While the disciples branch out to find a McDonald's to buy lunch, Jesus sits and waits for them to come back. A woman comes to the well, drawing water for the day's chores. Jesus was thirsty, and since he hadn't brought anything to bring water up, He would need help. "Will you give me a drink?"
She asks why would He, a Jewish male, ask her, a Samaritan woman, for anything? And He tells her of living water, of how drinking from His wells would fulfill all your thirst. On a natural plane, she wanted this water, and as He explained a little further, the supernatural nature of "His well" came to light. She could only offer Him a sip of H2O water, something He would need again and again as His journey and His life went on. But He offered an unlimited supply of spirit-filling water, something that would flow forever and never run dry.
I don't see anywhere in the storytelling where Jesus got something to drink. When His disciples get back, they wonder if He'd eaten or had anything to drink already - "My food is doing the will of My Father" (4:34ff). The woman left her jar beside the well and went to tell everyone about the Messiah, but it never says she got Him water.
Was He still thirsty? I'm not sure - but I've got one nagging question beyond the physical need: Did Jesus talk to the woman because of her need, or because of His?