There are people walking among us who are spiritually dehydrated and do not know it. They often mistake or ignore the signals. They may know they have a void in their lives. Not realizing the cause, they often try to fill it through work, material things or drug use. We will never find happiness until we alleviate our spiritual thirst. And this is the message Jesus shares with the woman at the well:
The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “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.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?” Jesus answered, “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 4:9-14
Jesus was love incarnate. He was the man in the towel who washed the feet of the apostles. His was an expression of love and care—not impatience, irritability or anger. And if we are to imitate him, we must have this same love. Jesus himself tells us how to manifest this love, how to allow his love to overflow in our lives:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you visited me. I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these brothers, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:31-40
We see from this that love means service. Several areas of service are mentioned in these verses. Feed the hungry, clothe the needy, extend hospitality to strangers, visit the sick and those in prison. We must have compassion on people as did Jesus by heeding his call to service. And he served with love as must we. From love springs service. Jesus said:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends. John 15:12-13
Will you lay down your life for your family or friends? Many of us will say, “Of course!” But then, when asked to serve, we say, “I’m sorry. I can’t today. I don’t have time.” Jesus was almost always surrounded by others. People flocked to him. Besides the multitudes, he had almost constant companionship with the twelve apostles the last three years of his life. Jesus served these people, giving of his time, and we are to follow his example.
Let’s recognize we have a spiritual thirst and be able to say: as the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. (Psalm 42:1) Only Jesus has the cool, clean-tasting water that is: as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. (Rev 22:1)