We’ve made it to the chorus of the song, “The Well” by Casting Crowns. The first line is the logical place to start when you’re talking about a well, and particularly about the Scripture that inspired this song.
In the Scripture, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that He would like her to give Him a drink. He’s thirsty.
One of the things I think is so cool about the Bible and peeling back the layers of the story is how each layer means more if you aren’t just looking at it as a story but as a story that means more than just what it’s saying.
See, I have this theory about life (and writing, but I’ll spare you that part for this time). I think all of life is a multi-layer puzzle. There are four layers–physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. What happens in one layer illuminates what’s happening in the other layers.
For example, Jesus is thirsty. Physical layer. Understandable. He’s been walking, and now He’s at this well with no bucket to get a drink. So asking this woman for a drink when she has the bucket makes perfect sense in the physical realm.
Except… Jewish men did not talk to Samaritan women. Jewish men did not talk to Samaritan MEN! Samaritans to the Jews were of a lower class. We’re talking turn up your nose and walk away–and vice versa. They didn’t like each other or trust each other at all. The woman says to the effect, “You, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan, for a drink?”
A drink. It sounds so very simple, so incredibly inconsequential really.
“Hey, can you grab me some water when you come back?” “Since you’re up, can you get me a glass of water?”
How many times have we said that? And yet, isn’t there something deeper going on here? One person asking for a necessary part of life, and another taking time out of their day to bring a basic necessity to another.
Water is so basic to our lives. In fact, it’s so basic, most of us never think about it for a second. We need water, we go get water. We stop at a convenience store and buy a bottle of it. We get a glass and get some out of the tap or the fridge. We hardly ever even think about it.
That’s why I was genuinely stunned a few months ago. My son was studying water, and he had a little article about it. Did you know that 97% of the water on the planet is unusable by humans? 97%!
The kind that Jesus so innocently asks for to start this whole conversation about thirst.
See thirst is the physical layer, but that seemingly mundane topic brings up a whole raft of issues. Class issues, gender issues, shame and guilt issues, theological issues.
Peel it back, but it all starts with someone being thirsty in the physical realm while someone else is thirsty in the spiritual realm.
What do you thirst for?
As the song says, “And all who thirst will thirst no more.” When you come to the well of Jesus and His living water, you will find that 3% of fresh water. Yes, the other available 97% is literally undrinkable. In fact, if you drink that 97%, you will get MORE thirsty! You can literally drink yourself to death with that water. It will kill you.
But if you know that the fresh 3% water of Jesus and life is waiting for you at His well, why would you ever go anywhere else?