When I was a teen, I wanted my worth to come from my good grades and the acceptance of my peers. I wanted to be successful by winning the affection of my teachers and getting the lead in our school play. There was nothing particularly wrong or out of the norm for a thirteen-year-old to desire this kind of attention, but it quickly became apparent that the accolades weren’t really satisfying. My desires were misplaced.
Likewise, the Samaritan woman came to the well with hopes and desires that were misplaced. We don’t glean much about her life, but we understand that she sought affection from multiple husbands. She was probably weary from the mundane task of having to come and draw her water for daily living. She needed the true “living water” Jesus came to give (v.10).
We will all grow weary from our pursuit of the world’s affection. Isaiah makes our efforts plain: “Why do you spend silver on what is not food, and your wages on what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2). When we strive and obsess over the things that are less than what God offers us—His steadfast, sure love—we will find ourselves longing for more and more. It is an endless, exhausting cycle of life that never fulfills.
As I pursued the worldly view of love through middle school, I met a girl in my class who had the “cool factor” everyone wanted. But unlike the rest of us seventh graders, she wasn’t chasing after the things the rest of us were chasing. As we connected more, I learned that she did in fact have something better than what the world had to offer—she had Jesus. Jesus who fulfills our thirst for a gratifying life.
“But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again. In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.” —John 4:14
The Samaritan woman found what she really needed in Jesus. Jesus invites us into the same everlasting life. Jesus offers a new quality of life at the cost of His own—an everlasting life that always fulfills our needs. May we look no further, for His living water will satisfy all our longings and desires.
“Come, everyone who is thirsty, come to the water…come, buy, and eat…without silver and without cost!” —Isaiah 55:1