Lent 4A Sermon – Jesus fills our empty wells with living water

Lent 4A – Jesus fills our empty wells with living water

  1. Our society is consumed with finding satisfaction flitting from one “authentic” experience to another.
    1. And yet in an era when we have more disposable income and more things to help us dispose of our income many are still DIS-satisfied and always THIRSTY for more. 
      1. Why?  So many people walk around with a sense of unmet expectations always in search of the next best thing guaranteed to delight us. 
      1. What many in our society don’t realize is that satisfaction is not found in parties, boats, cars, homes, or even personal relationships (because people can disappoint, too). 
    1. Our thirst for meaning and purpose stems from our separation from God
      1. We attempt to fill the “void” that separation leaves behind. 
      1. The problem is that nothing can fill that God-shaped void except God. 
      1. But our sinful, darkened minds don’t realize what’s missing, so we try to fill the hole with all sorts of other things. 
    1. That’s what we see in our Gospel text today. 
      1. The Samaritan woman had made a complete mess of her life seeking love and satisfaction with many husbands, and yet found herself an outcast among outcasts. 
      1. She was thirsty, but she didn’t know for what until Jesus revealed that He was what she was missing. 
      1. How about you?  Do you find yourself searching for something that you can’t put your finger on?  Are you thirsty but you don’t know for what?  Let’s take a closer look at the woman and maybe we’ll see ourselves.
  2. First of all she was a Samaritan – OUTCAST RACE
    1. Mixed race with Jews and Gentile blood, great animosity between Jews and Samaritans for hundreds of years going back to exile of 10 tribes…
      1. Jews did everything could to NOT go to Samaria or interact with them.  Look at reaction when Jesus asks for drink!
      1. Remember story of “Good Samaritan…” – the surprise of story was his race
      1. This woman was coming to well alone at the sixth hour (12 PM) – women usually came in groups in the cooler times of day (morning/evening) – OUTCAST PERSON
    1. Find out why she is alone – she has had 5 husbands; now living with #6
      1. This woman like so many in our society today (maybe even some of us here today or where you were when you came) – she was at an end – not accepted it seems anywhere.
      1. All her strivings come up empty; sins caught up to her – NO HOPE.
      1. How much like us?  How often have we striven to live for the moment, for fun, spontaneously, whatever and come up dry?
  3. But Jesus has come that we may have life and have it to the full no matter where we’ve been in our lives…no matter what you think you’ve done He is here to fill us with living water so that we never thirst for anything else again
    1. First, He does unexpected: He approaches her and asks for drink – think context:
      1. Outcast woman of outcast race; alone at well with Jewish man (VERY unusual).  In that culture inappropriate to be alone with a man; let alone a Jewish man
      1. Can tell by her response she’s surprised, How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?
      1. Then offers her “living water,” but she doesn’t get it – thinks he’s still talking about physical water but Jesus says, 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.
    1. She still doesn’t get it, still stuck in the physical world, short-sighted, but eyes opened when confronted by her sin when Jesus asks her to call her husband.
      1. She tries to avoid topic by denial – “I don’t have a husband.” Then tries to change subject by talking about true worship.
      1. Similar to us when God’s Word reveals us for who we all are at heart – sin sick people in need of God’s grace and mercy
      1. We don’t like looking in the mirror, we’re rarely that honest with selves
      1. But Jesus redirects the conversation by revealing that ALL are acceptable to God; He’s not approached by certain race, religious office, or worship style, But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
    1. Jesus fills the empty wells that we’ve dug for ourselves with living water, the void that sinful humans try unsuccessfully to fill with all manner of things.
      1. As He proclaimed later in John 7, If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
      1. When we have been filled He sends us back out into the world with that living water, like the Samaritan woman with the invitation like the woman had for other people in her village, Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?
      1. We have that living water in our hearts given through the Holy Spirit that others may taste and see that the Lord is good, that through our lives of witness God will draw all people to Himself.