You have just turned on the TV when an advertisement pops up. In this advertisement, a man is selling a drink. Living Water. You sit up in your chair to listen.
The man begins by looking straight down the barrel of the camera. You notice his eyes are brimming with compassion. And without the aid of smoke machines or sound effects, he starts making his case. And with a voice of authority, yet unmistakable urgency, claims this drink he is selling will make you never thirst again.
Questions start to flood your mind. Is this guy serious? Could this be the solution to poverty? You turn the volume up. His assurance in this living water is incredible. He guarantees it with his word: “Everyone who tries this living water will be totally satisfied.” Not just a select group of people. Not just a select group of tastebuds.
But he doesn’t stop there. This man puts his words into action. You are left absolutely stunned when he offers the greatest discount ever. Not 20% off. Not even 50% off. This living water is totally free of charge. He finishes with his final appeal: “Come and drink!”
His words speak for themselves. You are left in a state of shock. Either this drink is the real deal, or the man selling it is a nutcase. You are left with one burning question:
Who is this man?
“Whoever drinks of the water I give them will never thirst again” – Jesus (John 4:14)
This man is Jesus.
Before televisions were a thing, Jesus ran this advertisement on the streets. On more than one occasion, Jesus advocated a kind of water that makes you never thirst again. To his friends, to his enemies, to the whole world. This was the campaign of his whole life.
That might surprise some of you. For me, it brings some questions to mind. And it probably does for you too. So we are going to tackle three main questions together:
- What is this living water?
- What does this living water offer us?
- How much does this living water cost?
Let’s go with the flow.
WHAT IS THIS LIVING WATER?
‘When he said “living water”, he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him’ (John 7:39)
I want to make this clear right from the start. Jesus isn’t selling an actual drink here. He didn’t have heaps of bottled water for sale at the local gas station in Galilee. No.
This living water he speaks of is the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, in his wisdom, is using something simple and known (water) as an analogy for us to understand something we struggle to grasp (God). So this isn’t a bottle or spring of water for sale. This is the very presence and fullness of God on offer here. Best to tune in.
So why water? I mean, of all the possible drinks Jesus could have chosen for his analogy, he picks water. Not the living coffee. Not the living hot chocolate. Not even the living soft drink. Nope, Jesus chooses living water. And he does it for an important reason.
You see, the human body is fuelled by water. In fact, we cannot survive more than 3 days without it. Same story with the environment. Everything would shrivel up and die if there was no rain. Our world and everything in it is designed to need water.
Water gives and maintains life.
So by making this comparison, Jesus is claiming to be giving us what is necessary for life. Jesus is saying that our body and soul is designed to run off God. And for those who would believe, the fullness of God is living and flowing through them.
Which leads nicely into our next point.
WHAT DOES THIS LIVING WATER OFFER US?
“Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of living water springing up to eternal life” – Jesus (John 4:14)
When Jesus campaigns his living water, he attaches an incredible promise to it. As it says in John 4:14, “the water I give him will become in him a fount of living water springing up to eternal life.”
Bingo. There’s our campaign slogan. Those who drink this living water (trust in Jesus and receive the Holy Spirit) come with a blood bought promise. A guarantee. Eternal life. Without trying to state the obvious, this is very different to any other offer.
Because nothing in this world can offer anything that lasts.
In drink advertisements, each company attach a promise to their drink. And the big pull is the idea or emotion attached to the drink. For example. Coca Cola offer us to drink happiness. And then they use fit, good looking people to run around on pristine beaches.
But you would be stupid to actually believe it all. No scientist in their right mind makes a direct link between Coca Cola and happiness. Try obesity and depression. You see, in exchange for our money, we are offered a happiness that doesn’t even last long.
Here’s my point. And I want to make this clear.
“A rational man prefers his eternal interests over his temporal ones” – Jonathan Edwards
All the world can provide us is temporary happiness.
The world will try to offer us lasting happiness. But long-term, those promises are lost as we find ourselves utterly unsatisfied. Dancing our way around death. What we thought would provide lasting happiness soon turns out to be fleeting.
In the pursuit for happiness, chasing the stuff of this world is a race you cannot win. Money. Sex. Fame. Power. Stability. Health. If your search for happiness comes primarily through these avenues, you’ll find yourself at a dead end. Literally.
That’s the beauty of the gospel. Jesus makes a way.
Where joy is found lacking, Jesus provides (John 15:11). Where hope is left wanting, Jesus comes through (Hebrews 6:19). Where help seems absent, Jesus is always present (Matthew 28:20). Where life is cut mortally short, Jesus eternally extends (John 3:16).
Jesus offers us something that nothing in this world can ever offer. Where the world can only promise temporary life and joy, Jesus promises eternal life and joy. And get this. We know for sure that Jesus is not in the business of ripping people off.
Because he offers all this for free.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS LIVING WATER COST?
“Whoever is thirsty let him come and drink” – Jesus (John 7:37).
Not whoever has money. Not whoever is worthy. Whoever is thirsty.
This is the only condition Jesus outlines. Those who are thirsty are invited to come and drink. No payment required for everyone who is thirsty. Just come and drink. How is this possible? How can Jesus dish out this living water for no cost? I’ll tell you in four words:
Jesus paid the price.
His death on the cross purchased every bottle and spring of this living water. And so the offer is there. The discount of all discounts. The greatest special ever. The Holy Spirit, the fullness of God, is readily available to everyone who is thirsty.
Come and drink (John 7:37).
My plea is simple. Don’t be sucked in by the offer of the world. As a wise man once said, it is a great tragedy to betray the fountain of living water for broken cisterns (Jeremiah 2:13). For your own good. Please. Be sucked in by the free and undeserved grace of Jesus.
Those who come to the feet of Jesus with nothing but unsatisfied cravings are worthy to take the drink he provides. And so we are invited to come before Jesus with nothing to offer. And in return he promises us everything.
GO WITH THE FLOW
Will you cough up your coins for life’s fleeting pleasures, or will you fall desperately at the feet of the giver of true and lasting life?
We started with three questions. And amongst the paragraphs, I think we have managed to find answers to them all. You be the judge. Here’s a quick summary:
- Jesus is offering us the Holy Sprit
- The Holy Sprit comes with the guarantee of eternal life
- Jesus offers us all this for no cost. Just come thirsty.
This is the offer on the table.
This is the reason Jesus entered the world. This is the campaign Jesus ran on the streets. This is the reason Jesus took on the cross. That we could have access to the fullness of God. That we could drink deeply from the giver of true and lasting life.
But there is one requirement for this living water. Come thirsty. Admit you desperately need what Jesus has to offer. Lay aside your pleasures and trust in every other fountain. And then find yourself at the feet of Jesus.
Total purity and eternal satisfaction in God is on offer. You’d be crazy to pass up that up. You’ve got nothing to lose. Only your life. And you’re going to lose that anyway. So what are you waiting for?
Come and drink!!
See it for yourself: Zechariah 14:8-9; John 4:4-15; John 7:37-44; Revelation 7:15-17; Revelation 21:6; Revelation 22:17.