Have you ever gotten a gift for someone that you knew was something they had wanted for a long time? Do you remember the surprise and happiness they showed when they received your gift?
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 again. 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.” – John 4:13-15, ESV
The Samaritan woman asked about the water from Jacob’s well. She asked if Jesus was greater than Jacob. Of course, she had no idea who Jesus was. Jesus responded by telling her that God was offering living water, which we know to be the Holy Spirit, and He then continued the metaphor to help her understand just how great a gift God was offering.
God was and is offering eternal life. This is the core of the Gospel. We can only receive eternal life through Jesus Christ. It is a gift. We can’t earn it. The Holy Spirit is the mark God places upon us. The Holy Spirit is God’s guarantee. Once we have it, we will never want for eternal life again. It’s not like regular water. We drink, but eventually we will grow thirsty again. Then we need more water. The Holy Spirit isn’t like that. We don’t need Him to fill us over and over again. After all, God doesn’t run out.
Naturally, when she heard about water which would quench her thirst permanently, the Samaritan woman wanted it. She was most likely thinking in terms of water and physical thirst. She probably didn’t get the metaphor. She would, Jesus would make sure of it, but even when she thought Jesus’ offer was only physical, He was still offering a gift beyond compare.
With the benefit of hindsight we know what He meant. We know He was talking about spiritual things. And this gift has been offered up to each of us. If we belong to Jesus, we have this gift. To us, it should be more precious than anything else. After all, everything else pales in comparison to the Holy Spirit and the promise of eternal life. Certainly everything physical does. Let us rejoice for the gift which God has prepared for us!