Some of the most powerful figures in the Bible are people whose name we never learn. Two thieves, a boy with a lunch, and a woman at the well are all anonymous persons who left a permanent legacy. Over the centuries, the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well has taught untold lessons through her brief conversation. We don't know her name, but here are some things we do know.
It was the middle of a hot day in Samaria when a troubled woman came to draw water, perhaps to avoid the looks and gossip of other women. But while she came to find a well of water, she encountered a well of grace. We discover that a woman from the wrong place with a bad past was changed by an encounter with Jesus. This is the longest individual recorded conversation with the Lord in Scripture, but Jesus made short work of getting to the heart of the matter, as He will for you today.
With that brief bio in mind, let's launch into another study in our Believe Eight-Seven-Nine series with Pastor Skip.
John chapter four. Let's go ahead and pray together.
Lord, it's just great to gather together as a family of believers who love You and love Your work among us in so many different ways. Thank You for all that You're doing, all that You have done. Thank You, Lord, for the well of living water that Jesus will speak about in our text this morning, that we have taken from and been satisfied and are satisfied on a daily basis because of that. Thank You for this great, great experience called salvation, and that it includes us, and that we're part of Your plan that is an eternal plan. We thank You for it. In Jesus' name, amen.
You know, satisfaction doesn't come naturally. That is, our entire culture is built upon the idea that you should be dissatisfied until you get certain things added to your life. Once upon a time, there was a little boy who lived in a small, shabby cottage. He was a very discontented boy. He would wake up in the morning and look around his surroundings and he would say, "I can never be happy here, ever!" What made it worse is that in the evening, every evening, he would look out across the valley and he could see way in the distance a big, beautiful mansion with golden windows. He saw it every evening. He looked at his own shabby little shack and he looked at that mansion with golden windows and one day he decided to make the day-long journey all the way across the valley to that mansion with golden windows. And so he walked and he walked and he got there at the end of the day. It was evening. And he was so disappointed because it wasn't a lovely mansion, it was an old barn. And the windows weren't gold, it was just the reflection of the sun in the afternoon on the windows. It appeared gold to him from across the valley. He was disappointed but he couldn't return. He had made the journey and he spent the night there in the barn. The next day he got up and as the morning sun was coming up and he looked back across the valley at his own shabby little shack atop that hill, he noticed that his own house had golden windows. It was the same allurement that drew him to that barn. It cured him of that dissatisfaction.
It's the myth of the greener grass. It says wherever happiness is, it's not where I am. So I've got to be wherever that happiness is. I need satisfaction. Now, advertisers in our country are banking on your dissatisfaction. Millions of dollars are poured into marketing research to make American viewers of television unhappy with their lives until they buy the product. And so the commercial is crafted with that in mind. And boy, is it working! About a hundred years ago, the average American could come up with a list of seventy, seven zero, needs in his or her life. Seventy. Today the list is around five hundred. Boy, have things changed! I read an article about an American company that set up shop in Panama years ago. They set up shop in Panama, but they had a problem. They couldn't keep workers. Workers kept quitting and here's why. The economy down in Panama at that time was a barter economy. They didn't have cash for service. But this American company every week was giving cash to their employees. So in one week's period of time, the employee had so much cash in his hand, more than he'd ever see in a lifetime, he quit. He had enough, he thought. I have cash. I'm rich! So after a week or two, that worker would quit. They kept losing employees. So the American company did something ingenious. They bought each of their employees, gave one, each a Sears catalog. Now they were seeing things and dreaming of having things they never knew about! And they kept the employees working.
We encounter in John chapter four, a woman, a gal, that Jesus meets who has long given up on any notion of having a happy, satisfied, little life. She is hardened by the time Jesus meets her. Uh, she has an edge to her; it's all over the tone of the story. By the time Jesus meets the woman at the well, she is like twenty miles of bad road, by the time she meets Jesus. Verse one says, "Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples)," and we already covered that in a previous study, "He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria. And so He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, nearing the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.' For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, 'How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?' For Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans." Now that's a footnote by John. "Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink," you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob?'" Can you imagine somebody asking Jesus that question? "'Who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?' Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.'"
You notice that Jesus doesn't offer this woman more stuff? Doesn't offer this woman, um, I'm going to fulfill five hundred of your needs or, here's a Sears catalog? What, what He promises this woman is one word, summed up: refreshment. Refreshment. That's the name of this message this morning. Refreshment. Now the refreshment, couched in the term "living water" is a spiritual, inward condition. It is not a physical condition. It, it's not an emotional or psychological condition. It's an inward, spiritual quenching of the life thirst of an individual. It doesn't come from having things; it doesn't come from doing things. And it doesn't come from stopping to do things. William Phelps wrote this: "If happiness truly consisted in physical ease and freedom from care, then the happiest individual would neither be a man nor a woman. It would be, I think, the American cow." He's got a point. True refreshment, satisfaction, is an inside job. It's a spiritual reality. In Acts chapter three, Peter will address the nation and say much the same thing. He'll say, "Repent and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out that times of refreshment may come from the Lord." Refreshment.
Now there are four realities about this refreshment, about this living water. First, I want you to notice, and we'll go back over the text that we read, the need is universal. Everybody has this need. Everybody wants this. It's a deep, human need. Doesn't matter your age, your gender, your economic status. It's a universal need. You'll notice in verse three that Jesus left Judea. That's south, that's Jerusalem area. And He departed again to Galilee. Now that's north. Verse four, "But He needed to go through Samaria." Okay, He's been down south and we've covered chapters one through three, Jesus down in Judea, and, uh, there was one notable person that met with Jesus that John writes about in chapter three who was a leader down in Judea, Jerusalem. His name is Nicodemus. Chapter three is about Nicodemus. He's the first great example that John gives us about a person who needed to hear the gospel and needed a Savior. That was Nicodemus. But John wants you to know, and here's the reason for chapter four and this story, he wants you to know that there's a lot of other people besides Nicodemus in Judea who also need to hear the truth of the gospel, like this unnamed woman in Samaria. And that's the reason verse four is stated the way it is. It says, "But He needed to go through Samaria."
Now to a Jewish person two thousand years ago hearing that, they would go, "Huh?! He needed to go through Samaria?" That's like telling somebody now, um, I need to go to Juarez to go to Los Angeles. And you go, huh? Why? That's the long way around. Why would you do that? And that's the way the Jews felt two thousand years ago about Samaria. It, it was, it was, um, not a place anybody wants to go if you're Jewish. Now I've got to tell you why that is because John says the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. You need to know why. The Samaritans, for seven, eight hundred years, had a history of doing worship wrong. It all started when Solomon was the king of Israel and after Solomon the kingdom split. Do you remember that? South and north, Judea and Israel. Two separate countries, if you will. Well, Jeroboam took over the northern part and Jeroboam, uh, instituted calf-worship. Two golden calves. One was set up at the top of the nation, Dan, and one right in the middle of Samaria. That's where it started, the rivalry, the animosity between south and north started. Years passed by and in 722 BC the great Assyrian Empire took the northern country of Israel and Samaria captive and effectively took their best population out of the country and brought them to Assyria. What they did is repopulate Samaria with other foreign nationals that they had taken from other countries they had conquered. So now you have a mixture of Jew and Gentile, and with the Gentile different gods and goddesses and worship systems that got melded into their own worship system. And with their intermarriage of Jew and Gentile in Samaria, over time, those down south began to look at those up north as a bunch of half-breeds. They're not true; they're not like us; they're not really Jewish people. It got so bad that when, in 586 after the temple fell and the Jews went into captivity in Babylon, I know I'm going through a lot of history, when they came back to rebuild their temple, you may remember that in the book of Nehemiah, some of the Samaritans wanted to help. Remember what the Jews said in s-, in Judea? No way. You will not have a part of building this Jewish temple in Judea. The Samaritans weren't allowed. The animosity was so divisive that in 330 BC the Samaritans built a rival temple in Mount Gerazim, which is right where Jesus is at in Samaria, Sychar. Right above this setting was a temple on Mount Gerazim. It was a rival worship system. They made up their own stories about Abraham coming there to offer his son Isaac, not Jerusalem. So when it says, "He had to go through Samaria," the Jewish person would go, "Why would He want to go there?! Why would He need to go there?" Because for most Jews traveling to Galilee, they would go way around Samaria. They would go east of the Jordan River, go north, and at Perea, they'd hang a left and you're in Galilee. It was the long way around but it was worth it to avoid all the cooties that you would get going through Samaria.
But John wants us to know Jesus needed to go through Samaria because people in Samaria need the gospel as much as people in Judea. That's why he wants us to know that. The need is universal. Now here's what's interesting to me. You couldn't find two more polar opposites in human beings than Nicodemus, the Jew of Judea, and this unnamed woman of Samaria. Totally opposite from each other. I wrote a list. He was a Jew, she was a Samaritan. He was a Pharisee, she belonged to a rival religion. He was a politician, she had no status whatsoever. He was a scholar, she was uneducated. He is highly moral. The woman is immoral, as you will see next time. He has a name, Nicodemus. She's nameless, we don't know her name. He was a man, she was a woman. He came at night, she came at noon. With Nicodemus, Nicodemus came seeking Jesus. With this woman at the well, Jesus came needing to go through Samaria, seeking the woman. So you got two people that John wants us to know about next to each other, in three and four. You've got Nicodemus who represents that no one is too high and mighty and lofty so as to be above the need for the gospel. The woman represents you can't sink too low to be noticed and wanted by Christ. Beautiful in their juxtaposition to each other.
So you have two opposites. But they have a common ground and the common ground is their need. Nicodemus needs Jesus; the woman at the well needs Jesus. The Bible says in Romans chapter three verse twenty-three, "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Nicodemus has and the woman has. Isaiah fifty-three tells us, "All we like sheep have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way." Whether it's the way of religion, like Nicodemus, or it's the way of loose living, like the woman in Samaria. They've gone their own way and they have a common need and that is for Christ. I love what somebody wrote: "If our greatest need would've been for information, God would've sent us an educator. If our greatest need would've been technology, God would've sent us a scientist. If our greatest need was money, God would've sent us an economist. But our greatest need was forgiveness, and so He sent us a Savior." Here's the Savior going to Jer, Jerusalem, Judea, and now to Samaria. The need is universal.
Look at the next few verses, beginning in verse five, there's a second great reality about this spiritual refreshment, living water. And that is the task is formidable. "He came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey," picture in your mind Christ tired, "sat thus by the well." The idea of the wording is He just sort of plopped down in exhaustion. "It was about the sixth hour," so it's the hottest part of the day. "A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.' For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food." Now Samaria isn't a place that the disciples would've thought, let's go on vacation to, let's have a little R and R and fun in the sun at Samaria. But they went there and they walked there. Now some of us are going to be in Israel in a few weeks. We're going to be, uh, in a bus. It's a small country but we're still going to ride an air-conditioned bus. But Jesus and His disciples didn't have Team Jesus Bus going through Israel. They're on foot. They're climbing up the Judean hills and the Samaritan hills and it's hot. And by the way, they have sandals. You know, no Dr. Scholl, uh, lifters in the back, or I guess it would be Dr. Schlomo lifters back then. And they're weary, they're exhausted, they're thirsty. And just let that phrase sink in, "wearied from His journey."
So on one hand Jesus needed to go through Samaria but in so doing He was weary because of the journey. So here you have Christ tired while He is serving others. As I read the gospels, and you probably have noticed it, too, especially in the Gospel of Mark, there's such a rapid pacing of Jesus' life as told by the gospel writers, that it seems that Jesus barely had two minutes to rub together for His own quiet. He was always surrounded with people, crowds pressing Him. Um, He'd work into the night, long hours. Uh, when He was alone with His disciples, He was mentoring them. He's, they have questions for Him. In fact, I sometimes think if I were Jesus I'd say, "Peter, if you give Me one more question... it's just gonna be like too much." So He rarely had any time alone unless He carved it out early in the morning or late at night with His Heavenly Father. The point I want to make is that Jesus reached out to people even when He was on the edge of physical exhaustion. I read something by Oswald Sanders, it stuck out to me. He said, "The world is run by tired men." Men and women, I mean that generically. Those who are tired. I would say that there's a ring of truth to that. I would say it is that way in the church world. R. Kent Hughes, in his commentary, writes, "Most souls are won by tired people. The best sermons are preached by tired men. The best camps are run by exhausted youth pastors. The third world is being evangelized by tired missionaries. The Christian organizations of our world are being run by tired men and women." Hey, you show me a really great VBS, vacation Bible school, and I'll show you a whole bunch of tired women. Because to do something great like that requires great energy. You think Olympic athletes just showed up at Vancouver out of nowhere and thought, I could do that. No, they, they've worked hard all their lives and especially in the days before, their energy was focused. And some of them on the edge of exhaustion. Here's a question that I have for all of us. Have you ever wearied yourself in the pursuit of the souls of other men and women? Have ever been a place where you're uncomfortable, hot, or just tired from communicating truth to other people? Missionaries make a life of this. In fact, we marvel at missionaries. And quite honestly, when we see somebody willing to leave our country and go to another country, the question is always, Why are you doing this? Why would you go to a place where it's going to be very difficult and hot and hard and there's persecution? Why would you do that? There's one simple answer. 'Cause Jesus said, "Go." That's why. He said go. Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. And He went Himself and it was not easy.
I've told you this before, it bears repeating. Right now the population of this dirt clod we call the earth floating through space? Six point eight billion people on it. Six point eight billion people. The task of evangelism on that little ball is enormous because most of them don't know what we know in terms of truth or Christ. So it's been estimated that if you took all of the unsaved, lost people on planet earth and they formed a line, the line would go around, single-file line, around the earth, around the whole earth, thirty times. And the line is growing twenty miles longer every single day. The task is enormous. It's huge. Now I don't say that to make you feel guilty, but to warn us a church to not let church become all inward-oriented. Many churches turn inward. It becomes a "bless-me" club. That's your job, pastor, here I am to be blessed, now bless me! And all of the energy and focus and programs are for the benefit of only those who come weekly. In 1963, it took the world two to three hours to hear about the death of John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in Dallas. In 1999, it took the world two to three minutes to hear of the death of JFK, Jr. when his plane went down in the Atlantic. Well, it's been two thousand years since Jesus died on a cross and rose from the dead and we have a lot of technology today at our disposal. Most people around the world haven't heard it.
I read something recently: fifty-one percent of the population on planet earth, fifty-one percent, just slightly over half, but it's significant, fifty-one percent have tasted Coke. Coca-Cola. Talk about a strategy for marketing. You know, here's a corporation that says, we've got to get everybody to drink Coke. Fifty-one percent of earth has tasted Coca-Cola. Now I know that things go better with Coke, but things go really better with Christ. Eternally. And so here we have this task and I know that we can't go, all of us, across the world. But how about just across town? How about just across the street? Or how about just being partners with those who are willing to go across the world, to be their prayer support and their financial support? That's part of the process. Here's a third reality about this refreshment and living water and that is the heart is insensible. What I mean is simply without feeling. They're numb to their own condition. The world needs it, it's a universal need, it's a formidable task because there are so many people, but the human heart is hardened to it, as revealed here in this woman. Verse seven: "A woman of Samaria came to draw water." Now watch. "Jesus said to her, 'Give Me a drink.' The disciples had gone away into the city to buy food," verse nine. "Then the woman of Samaria said to Him," now listen to her tone. See if you can pick it up. "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" John writes, "For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, "Give Me a drink," you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.' The woman said to Him, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?'"
Now, it's a simple conversation and Jesus begins it with a simple request. Give Me a drink. Then He quickly moves the conversation into deeper spiritual levels as we go. All the while He's doing that, the whole concept of the spiritual level, the metaphor of living water, does this to her. Phewww. Right over her head. She's going, listening, phoom! Right over. Doesn't even get it. And she is revealing that she doesn't even get it. Listen to her tone: "How is that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink of water?" So Jesus says in verse ten, "If you knew," which implies that she doesn't know. She doesn't get it. Now there's something that would help at this point. Two thousand years ago in Jewish vernacular, you know what living water was? Nothing more than flowing water. It was a contrast to water in a well or water in a cistern that didn't move. It was collected, but it was standing water; it was stagnant water. Living water was water on the move. A stream of water was living water. So that's what she's thinking of. Jesus is meaning it spiritually but she's taking it very, very literally. Like she's saying, "Well where is this stream, tell me where the stream is, Jacob didn't find the stream. He wouldn't have dug this hundred foot well if he found the stream. So You found this little living water stream, where is it?" She doesn't get what Jesus is saying to her, yet. Now, if she would've known her Bible just a little bit better she would've picked up on it. Because all throughout the Old Testament, there is this analogy of refreshment, using the term water. But it speaks of the inner refreshment of the soul. Psalm forty-two, "As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul after You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the Living God." Isaiah chapter twelve promises, "You will drink deeply from the fountains of salvation," that's all a spiritual metaphor. Here's the best Old Testament passage. It fits right in with this. In Jeremiah chapter two, listen to what God says. He says, "For My people have committed two evils. Number one, they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living water, and they have dug out for themselves cisterns that are broken cisterns that can hold no water." They've rejected Me, the fountain of living water. They've dug out their own experiences, these wells, these cisterns, and they're broken 'cause they can't even hold water. But she, again, is like, here's the woman and here's what Jesus said. Phoom! Flew right over her head.
Now what she reveals here is the condition I believe of every human heart. And here it is. People are massively thirsty but they don't admit it. Many of them, frankly, don't even realize it. They're not even in touch with the need. Do you find it interesting that both Nicodemus and the woman reacted to what Jesus said to each of them in a very wooden, literal kind of a way? Remember Nicodemus? Jesus said, "Nicodemus, you must be --"? Born again. He goes, "Well, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born?" Phoom! And here's the woman at the well going, "Where's that stream, I can't see that stream." Now that is typically the condition of people today. We live in a culture that is a post-Christian culture. I hope you know that. It is a post-Christian culture. It is a mechanistic, materialistic culture that says science has all the answers, there's no room at all for spirituality, there's no room for God. Well that's what the Bible predicts. First Corinthians two, Paul writes, "For the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God. They are foolishness unto him. Neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned." Did you get that? What is spiritual truth to the average natural man or unbeliever? Foolishness. Pah! You know how the world views us, right? We're, we're like, the lights are on but nobody's home. We're, like, dim-witted. We're mental midgets in their view. We're not thinking people. A bunch of idiots to believe that stuff. I got this the first day of college. My integrated zoology professor, first day of class, stood up and these were his first words, "How many people in my class are stupid enough to believe in creation?" That was his fir-, that was his opening remark. I'm a brand-new Christian, I put my hand up. I'm dumb enough to believe it. Right over here. Dumb. Believe it. There's maybe two other students but they sort of went like this. That's what we're up against.
Have you ever shared with somebody the gospel and they don't get it? They don't see it. You've labored and the way you crafted your talk, your, your witness to them, you're thinking, this is good! I'm good! And they're going, huh? And you're wondering, why don't they get it? It's the same reason a blind person doesn't get a beautiful sunset. You could all day, "Isn't that great? Look at the hues, the colors, look at the, the marvelous clouds." They don't have the faculties to enjoy it. They lack capacity. If you were to describe a beautiful symphony to somebody who's deaf, they have other wonderful capacities but that's the one capacity that they lack. It's very difficult to convey the sound nuance to that person. And so it is very difficult, because of the insensibility of the heart, to tell people the truth unless God opens up that heart. Which He will to the Samaritan woman before the day's end. Now. Here's the fourth and final reality about the spiritual living water, this refreshment. The Savior is capable. He can do it. What He promises, He can perform. And He will in this woman's life.
Verse thirteen, He says, here's the, here's the promise, two of them: "Jesus answered and said to her, 'Whoever drinks of this water [that's her water, that's the water from the well] will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.'" The New Living Translation says, "The water that I give him will take away his thirst altogether." "But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." You could take verse thirteen as the banner statement to write above every earthly pursuit. Think about it. Every earthly pursuit, short of Christ, you could write over that pursuit, "Drink of this water and you'll thirst again." Well if I only, if I only had that person, I could marry her or him. Drink of this water and you will thirst again. Oh, if, if only I made that much money. Drink of this water and you'll thirst again. Oh, if I could only live in that neighborhood. Drink of this water and you'll thirst again. Whatever it is, that's the banner statement for that experience. You'll just get thirsty again. The attempt to quench spiritual thirst with worldly things is like what happens to those ill-fated sailors when they're out at sea and they run out of food and water. You've heard the stories. They get so desperate you know what they drink? Ocean water. It's the last desperate measure to get water into their system. But it's salty water, as you know, and it makes their condition worse and worse and worse and worse and more desperate and it can kill them.
Now this whole search begins when we're quite young. It's part of the human condition. That's why I began with a statement: satisfaction doesn't come naturally. It comes supernaturally. When we're kids, you remember back, you were a kid and you were part of the if-only syndrome that followed you through life. If only. So you were a kid and you go, if only I were a teenager, life would be good! Then you get there. It's not enough. Now you're a teenager and you say, if only I had a car. And though, you get there, you get a car. You're a teenager, you got a car, but you also got parents. So now you're saying, if only I was out of the house, on my own, in college. And so you get there. It's still not enough. Because now you're thinking, if only I could get married. So you get there, you get married. So now it's, if only I had children, I'd be happy. And so you get there. And then it's like, if only my children would grow up and get out of the house, I could have some peace and quiet called retirement. And on and on and on it goes. It's rather like eating Chinese food for dinner. Doesn't matter how much you have, a couple hours later you're hungry again. Drink of this water and you'll thirst again. But Jesus is capable of fulfilling the promise. Not only to give you refreshment, but did you notice what He said? It's permanent refreshment. He says, "You're not just gonna be refreshed; it's permanent." Because He says, look at the end of verse 14, "The water that I will give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." That's a perpetual spring. It's not like a well, standing, stagnant water, like in a cistern. This is the living water, the stream of water that bubbles up continually. And it's within you. That's because when Christ is within you, when you receive Christ in you, that's the source of it all, that's where the living water comes from. So if it's within you, you don't have to keep looking without you, on the outside. That search is over. It's a spring of water.
I recently got a new puppy at home. Um, it's a little Welsh terrier, he's about six, seven months old now. His name is Mack. And Mack is the happiest creature on planet earth. You know how dogs are. I marvel at how happy he is, that little tail goes wagging. You know, when I come home, if I've been gone all day and I come home, it's like I hung the moon, because, "You came home! Y-you came home!" And the tail, it's like, wow! Right? It's like, you feel great, so much. And I was watching him this week wagging that little tail, just getting so happy at nothing. And it reminded me of a story of a little boy who was promised a puppy and he was taken into the pet store. His dad said, "You can have any puppy you want." And looked around and he saw this once dog wagging its tail and he said, "Daddy! I want the one with the happy ending!" And you know what? If we could take every human being into the store of life and say, what life do you want? they would inevitably say, I want the life with the happy ending. You can have it. In fact, it doesn't just have to be a happy ending, it can be a refreshed, satisfied middle, as well. Please understand, I'm not promising you a Sears catalog or five hundred of your greatest needs met. I'm talking about an inward, spiritual refreshment that comes from having Christ within. Oh, you'll have the happy ending, that'll come with it. But you'll have the happy, satisfied, refreshed middle to go along with it.
I can just hear Jesus saying to some of us what He said to this woman, "If you only knew." If you only knew the gift. And some of us are still listening, going, phoom! Oh, if you only knew. That's what He promises. But I do have a concern. Um, because some of you are believers and you're thinking, yeah, I hear what you're saying, but you know what? I, I'm a Christian, Skip, and I haven't been really, I haven't been satisfied, I haven't been refreshed. I'm not gonna try to analyze you all, but I will say this. If it were just a well, you could cover it up. If it's a spring, you can't cover that up. If it's a well, you can put dirt in it and nobody sees it. But if it's a spring and you cover it up with dirt, eventually it's going to reveal itself, right? It's gonna, water's gonna keep coming up. And sometimes believers try to cover up the spring and all you do when you put dirt over a spring is make a muddy mess. When all the while you should be drinking deeply from that spring, get back to that spring, go back to Him, drink deeply from Him and taste that satisfied life again. And it could be that some of you have just made a mess of your lives and you need to get back to Him. Let's pray for that as we close.
Our Father in heaven, You are the source of living water. You said that to Jeremiah. You said Your people had dug out wells, cisterns. They've looked for refreshment in other places, but they're empty, they're cracked, they don't hold water. They don't hold the satisfaction necessary to warm the heart. You, on the other hand, promise not a well, not a cistern, not a cup, not a bucket, but a fountain, something that bubbles up, it's continual, it's perpetual. I pray that we as Your people would tap into that, not trying to get fulfilled from any other place. And I pray for those who may not know You personally, who've never really gotten this whole idea of satisfied living on earth. And some of them, like this woman, are a bit hardened to that. Would You do a work in their hearts like You did in this woman's heart? In Jesus' name, amen.