2009 Summer Bible Conference Second Morning Devotion Message
“Jesus, the Living Water”
13,14 “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never be thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Hello, everyone. Did you sleep well last night? Now could you have the hope of God? Yesterday we learned that God’s hope is to be treasured people by keeping God’s covenant and to follow Jesus according to his calling. This morning’s message is also about the hope of God through a love conversation between Jesus and a Samaritan woman. It was a very short talk, but it changed the woman’s life beautifully according to God’s hope. May God help us also to have a sweet conversation with Jesus through this message so that we also can drink the living water and to live according to the hope of God.
I. Will you give me a drink? (1-7)
1 “The Pharisees heard that Jesus was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John” The Pharisees were so jealous of Jesus’ ministry that they tried to accuse Jesus. Jesus wanted to avoid unnecessary conflict with them, so he left Judea for Galilee.
At that time, there were two routes from South Judea to North Galilee. One is a direct way from Judea to Galilee crossing Samaria, which took three days. Another way is that they crossed the Jordan river and went up through Berea and crossed back again to Galilee, which took at least six days. Which way a u gonna choose if you are supposed to go? Interestingly, many Jews traveled through this long detour even by paying expensive boat fee. Most Jews hated and despised the Samaritans because Jews thought that Samaritan people were mixed with other gentiles including Assyrians and had become impure and dirty. But how was Jesus’ plan for the trip to Galilee?
4 “Now he had to go through Samaria” Under this historic background, it was a burden to cross Samaria. But Jesus strongly wanted to cross Samaria on purpose. Jesus understood their pain, suffering and hatred as a historic outsider for several hundred years. Who is Jesus? Jesus is the one who has sympathy on the outsider and can solve all kinds of hatred, pain, and alienation problems and can build a new and loving relationship among us.
5,6 “So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour” It was around noon, and extremely hot when Jesus arrived in Samaria after walking three days. In this hot time, maybe people could cook even fried eggs on any stone. Jesus was so tired of the long journey under the burning sun, so he could not but sit down beside a well. Jesus is not a superman who doesn’t feel any heat or cold. His body is just like any other human’s body made of dust. He became tired, thirsty, sleepy and hungry after hard physical activities. Also Jesus has the same emotions as us, so he feels everything we feel. He feels sad for what we feel sad, he feels happy for what we feel happy. So, Jesus can more than understand all our weaknesses and emotions, such as delight, anger, sorrow and joy. So, he can help us with all our problems as his own problems. Although Jesus is the Perfect God, he is also a normal human being in this world to be with us and to help us . Praise God who came down as a human being to be like us and with us and save us to the end!
7a “When a Samaritan woman came to draw water,” Strangely, at the hottest time of the day, one Samaritan woman was approaching the Jacob’s well. The time was around noon, when nobody wanted go outside, not even the ants. It was a time when even just breathing was not easy. But, a woman was coming to the well even carrying a big jar on her head. Why did the woman come out at this hottest time to draw water? Usually a well is a very nice place for people to talk, relax and enjoy with each other. Women usually came early in the morning or in the cool evening to draw water, and talk about their daily lives. Sometimes they boasted of the all A+ grades of their children and sometimes they complained of their extremely lazy husbands, or chatted about very hot Hollywood news such as “Who killed Michael Jackson?”. The time of drawing water was one of the most free and relaxed times enjoyed by the women in the town. But why did this Samaritan woman come to the well by herself? She seemed to strongly avoid any contact with other people. She had a deep hurt in her heart so she didn’t want to be wounded by others any more. Or she had a humiliating past that everybody spoke ill of and accused. Although she didn’t want to meet people outside, still she was very thirsty, so she had to come out to the well to draw water very secretly at the strange time.
What did Jesus do to the Samaritan woman? Shall we read 7?
7 “When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” It seemed very difficult to start talking with such a cold and wounded woman. Moreover there was a big difference between Jesus and the woman. Jesus was a Jew and she was a Samaritan, so there was a national difference. Also there was a spiritual difference that Jesus was the Prince in Heaven, but she was just a sinner. Also Jesus was a man, but she was a woman. What a difference! But, there was one unique common thing between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. That was that they were very thirsty physically under the burning sun. Jesus found this reason to start talking to her. With this reason, Jesus asked, “Woman, will you give me a drink?” What a most gentle friend coming to us! Praise God who visits us and starts talking to us with a very gentle and considerate heart to save us!
When I was in high school, I failed in the entrance exam for a college, so I had to try again. But due to my severe burden from the preparation, I became physically weak and got sick mentally. I couldn’t eat well nor sleep, my hair fell out and my weight also dropped to less than 120 pounds. So I had to consult with a psychiatrist in the hospital. But, when I met my shepherdess who was a nurse at the hospital, she never stopped praising me. “Oh, I was really surprised that you look very handsome when I first saw you.” The next day she said. “Oh, you look more handsome than you are yesterday.” The next day she said. “Oh, Today, you look the most handsome I’ve ever seen.” She praised me every time although I was in a bad-looking condition, like a skinny skeleton due to severe anxiety and fear for my future. Yet since I was never bored of being praised, I could continue to study Bible and could meet Jesus as my Savior. Although I was a sinner, sick with distorted self-respect, Jesus admitted that, and even started talking to me with that until I was saved. Who is Jesus? Jesus is our friend who wants to start talking anytime no matter how far we are from him with the soft and gentle heart. “Will you give me a drink?” Shall we respond to his soft request by giving him a drink?
II. Living water welling up to eternal life (8-15)
Then, how was the reaction of the Samaritan woman? 9 “The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” Her heart was too cold and closed even to accept just one gentle request. Her rejection might blow the tiny possibility for the precious talk.
Then how was Jesus’ reaction? Shall we read 10? 10 “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” To continue the talk, Jesus changed the topic. Now Jesus talked about gifts. What is a gift? A gift is the thing we give to whom we love. When we get a gift, we feel so good and loved by the one who gives it. The Samaritan woman was often touched by many gifts from her boyfriends. One romantic guy had given exactly 99 red roses to her on her birthday, and confessed, “The missing one flower from the 99 roses you have is you”. Another guy rented a beautiful theater and decorated it with flowers, balloons and perfume and sang a romantic song. “You are so beautiful… to me~” Some other rich guy proposed to her by showing his several buildings in Manhattan and saying, “Will you bear my baby?” So, she decided to marry.
But all the men had their own shortcomings. The romantic guy who gave her roses was so lazy that he didn’t move even one finger at home. The other guy who sang a song was found that he had also been singing the same song to another woman. The rich guy focused on his work, and he never remembered her birthday. Every man she married had his own flaws, for which she couldn’t be happy any more. During that process, she married and divorced 5 times. Now she just lived with a boyfriend without any official marriage process due to the fear of divorce. Still, she was thirsty. What did Jesus say to her? “If you knew the gift of God and who is it that asks you for a drink...” Jesus understood why she could not avoid such a miserable and thirsty life. It was not because she was like a foxy girl, but because she didn’t know about the gift of God and the living water. If she had known it, she could have stopped such a thirsty life and have started a new life with the gift of God.
Now she became curious of the God’s gift and the water. Are you also curious of God’s gift?
11 ““Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?” 12 “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?” The Jacob’s well was 100 feet deep and supplied fresh water everyday for a few thousand years without limitation, which surprised the Samaritan woman whenever she drank fresh water. So, when she heard about the living water, she thought it would be water coming from well similar to Jacob’s well.
How was Jesus’ answer? Shall we read 13,14?
13 “Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,” 14 “but whoever drinks the water I give him will never be thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” Water is very important in our life? Do you agree? So, people are seeking so many waters in this world for their health. There are nice natural waters like underground water, spring water, medicinal water, mineral water and fountain, mountain water. Even there pop up even scientific waters such as organic water, hexagonal water or even ionized water, and blah, blah…. In a Korean drama, one cook in the imperial palace climbed up to a 6000 feet high mountain to get pure water to feed and save a dying king. U know why? Fresh water quenches all our thirst, and cleanses all the internal dust, making us healthy and satisfied. Likewise people are so interested and crazy for some water that will quench all their life thirst and satisfy their soul. We pursue deep and decent knowledge. Also pursue deep art which seems to be grotesque to normal people like me. People seek not only descent water, but also indulge in shallow worldly cultures such as Video games, never-ending TV drama series like folwers, movies and rock music. Some people are crazy for human love, great fame and sweet human recognition. Some indulge even in drugs or sexual immorality. But are these sufficient to satisfy our soul? Sometimes it seems to quench our thirst, but soon we became thirsty again and want to drink it again but we again become thirsty. We need more and more pleasure and in the end and it destroys all our life and fails to satisfy our soul. Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again”
Shall we read 14a? 14a “but whoever drinks the water drinks the water I give him will never thirst”
Jesus promised that his water will never let us be thirsty again by just one drink. Never! “What a convenience!” Why does his water make us never be thirsty again? Because Jesus’ water is the water to cleanse out all our dirty sins which blocked our souls and to restore the broken relationship between God and us. This water is the Holy Spirit that God grants us when we repent and accept Jesus in our heart. Only this water makes us never thirst and not desire other worldly water. This water comes through our heart when we accept Jesus, and goes through our mind and soul and eventually changes our life. Moreover it makes us newer and purer day by day. The worldly water cannot solve our sin problem, so it makes us more and more thirsty and finally miserable by making us pursue it endlessly. But, Jesus’ water quenches all our thirst once for all when we accept Jesus and it makes all our life cleaner and more powerful day by day. This living water is the God’s free gift, the Holy Spirit, which is open to everyone!
When I was young, I was so pure that my dream was to become a philosopher like Kant or a great scientist like Einstein. But my home was poor and my dad was aggressive to my mom, so they were always fighting and many dishes and bowls were flying in our home. I didn’t greet my dad when he came home. My home was poor and not peaceful, so, I became desperate to get peoples sweet recognitions. When I studied hard, everybody recognized and welcomed me sweetly. “You are a genius” But, that was not enough. Even I wanted to get love by a girl friend, so I waited for one of my woman colleague in front of her house for several hours on a coldest day in a winter on purpose, and gave her flowers and confessed with trembling lips “Because of u, I am not cold” I didn’t wanna be called just an exemplary student, in a school festival, I danced a hip-hop dance before many colleagues. Before the college exam, I dared to try to be the top of the country so I may be broadcasted all over the country. But, my human power was not sufficient. So I cut off a big human-size mirror from my mom’s dressing room and put it before my bed, and did self-suggestion everynight. “I am the top of the world!” But, due to too much self-suggestion, I failed in the exam with the lowest score I’d gotten so far. I had to go through another horrible year to prepare the exam. But whenever I studied by myself, I felt deep sorrow and loneliness because nobody was around me and recognized me. I read many philosophical books to know “What is life”, but no books answered clearly about it and “what is my purpose”. Finally I lost all my dreams and everyday just I enjoyed dirty sex videos and couldn’t study any more with filthy and dirty thought in my head. I couldn’t eat nor sleep everyday and just screamed to my family all night “Why did you give birth to me!” Finally, my family sent me to a hospital for me to consult with a psychiatrist. But, even the psychiatrist was scared and didn’t understand me, and pushed me to have a blood test. The result of seeking human love and recognition was miserable. The only hope that remained for me was to have my blood taken by a very beautiful nurse, so I approached one smiling, beautiful nurse. But after she took my blood, she asked me, “Do you want to study the Bible?” For the first time in my life, I accepted the gentle request of the gospel preacher. At the first Bible study in the hospital God asked me (Jn5:6) “Do you want to get well?” It hurt my high pride because Jesus looked at me as a horrible patient. But, at the first summer Bible conference in 1997, I heard Jesus shouting on the cross (Mt27:46) “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachtani, My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” I realized that Jesus indeed crucified and died for all my dirty sins of seeking dirty and temporary worldly love, fame and recognition and of being selfish and full of hatred. Also I could accept God’s absolute love for me. (Gen1:31) “God saw all that he made, and it was very good.” I realized that God already loved me absolutely regardless of my grades, property, house condition or appearance because he created me. By his absolute love for me, I escaped from drinking dirty worldly water and could stop begging for other people’s temporary recognition. Finally I could drink the living water, Jesus, and it quenched once for all all my thirst in my life.
More over, Jesus promised, 14b “Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” Amazingly Jesus gives not only water, but also a spring itself to each person. Because he gives us the whole spring, we can drink anytime anywhere the living water, the Holy spirit. This is like a portable and free vending machine! It never stops giving us pure and living water for God’s endless love and hope. It will flow in our soul welling up to eternal life. It will soak all our heart, mind and soul in God’s grace and love and flow to other people around us.
Now what is God’s hope? God’s hope is our happiness and perfect satisfaction by drinking his living water welling up to eternal life. May God help us to drink the living water, Jesus, through this conference so we may live a life full of happiness, hope and satisfaction welling up to eternal life.
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never be thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life”
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