Our Lord Jesus was on a trip from Jerusalem to Galilee. John 4:4 tells us that to get there – He had to – He must needs pass through – Samaria. Actually, He didn’t have to do anything of the kind geographically speaking. Why? Because there were two other shorter routes from Jerusalem to Galilee!
This is sort of like saying that a Marine was on his way from Honolulu, and he lands in Los Angeles on his way to Philadelphia. But, he had to go through Miami, Florida. There are much shorter routes to Philadelphia than having to stop over in Miami, Florida. But you see, his fiancée lives there, and that is why he had to go through Miami to Philadelphia. Now then, in exactly the same way, Jesus had to go through Samaria, simply because He had His spiritual fiancée living there. If you will, Jesus knew that there were folks there that needed to be saved, and in particular, a certain woman. That is why Jesus had to pass that way through Samaria.
Hear it now:
“THIS IS JESUS CHRIST, THIS IS CHRISTIANITY, ALWAYS
REACHING OUT TO SAVE THE LOST NO MATTER
If you will:
“JESUS CHRIST LIVED AND DIED NEEDING – MUSTING – TO GO
OUT OF HIS WAY FOR OTHERS.”
It is a fact too often that most of the time, energy and money of churches is so often spent on themselves and for upholding their own programs. Rather, who we are and what we are must be designed to reach out to others in need no matter the cost. Certainly not existing simply to sustain our little group, our little security system, us four and no more!
Imagine, if you can, going on a tour of an oil refinery. The tour guide shows you the places where the petroleum is broken down into various component parts that are made into gasoline, lubricating oil, and other products. Eventually you finish the tour and you ask, “Where is the shipping department? You didn’t show us the place where you send out what you produce.” The Tour Guide then answers, “There is no shipping department.” You answer, “What do you mean that there is no shipping department. There must be some place where you export what you produce.” Says the Tour Guide:
“NO THERE ISN’T, FOR ALL THE ENERGY GENERATED IN THIS
REFINERY IS USED TO KEEP THE REFINERY GOING.”
No people, no! Hear me:
“THE ENERGY GENERATED IN THIS CHURCH MUST NEVER
BE USED JUST TO KEEP OURSELVES GOING.”
That is, to keep our little or big group contented and unbothered. That is, always traveling the same route as the shortest distance between two points to simply maintain ourselves. But rather, reaching out even if it means going to Philadelphia from Los Angeles via Miami, Florida to save the lost and help the hurting.
This must be the heartbeat of the church:
“WE MUST NEED GO THROUGH SAMARIA.”
THE HISTORICAL SETTING
Well then, Jesus came with His disciples to a little village in Samaria called Sychar. The road they were traveling ran down through a valley and up again. The village itself was up on a hill where the inhabitants found protection and a better vantage point.
Since there was no water in the village, everyday the inhabitants took about a 45 minute walk down to an age old well called JACOB’S WELL. Jesus sat down on this well to rest from His weariness, while the disciples climbed the steep path to the village to get some food for the noon meal. I love those guys, so much like myself, with their eyes set on the GOLDEN ARCH at the top of the hill.
At this moment a woman of the village was carrying her water pot with which to draw water from the well. She was surprised by Jesus for several reasons when He asked her for a drink of water. She was a woman and a stranger at that, and this wasn’t a restaurant nor was she a waitress. More than that, Jesus was a Jew and she was a Samaritan, that is, folks who as Jews had intermarried. Half Breeds! Hybrids!
We read in John 4:9 her words to Jesus,
“How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am
a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings
Furthermore, she was surprised, for no doubt, no man had spoken to her like a gentleman would for a long time. She was kind of the village tramp – harlot, and she was more accustomed to wisecracks and dirty digs. For after all, she was the abused, misused, and overused easy mark for the sexual predators of Sychar. Easy is as easy does – EASY SARAH THE SIREN OF SYCHAR.
THE LESSON TAUGHT
Instantly, Jesus said to her in John 4:10,
“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that who
says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have
asked Him, and He would have given
you living water.”
Now she is really confused, and frankly, a little bit irritated at Jesus. So she was really saying in effect in John 4:11-12,
“What do you mean that you will give me living water if I ask for it? You don’t
have a water bucket. You don’t have a water pot. How in the world are you
going to get water, for after all, I’ve got the water pot. What’s going on
here, for after all the well is deep, and how are you going to get
water from this well? Have you got some water that doesn’t
come from this well? Are you greater than our
And Jesus comes right back in John 4:13-14 and says to her,
“Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever
drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but
the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well
of water springing up to eternal life.”
The woman still has her mind on earthly things. She is no doubt thinking to herself something like, “I’ve just walked downhill for 45 minutes, and it will take me an hour to walk back. Let’s see, the round trip every day when it’s all said and done takes me two hours. If I had this running water to my house, now that would be a real luxury.”
So she says to Jesus in John 4:15,
“Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty, nor come
all the way here to draw.”
You see, this really shows the heart of humanity in general – completely ignorant of spiritual realities, even as Nicodemus when Jesus told him that he had to be born again. He could only think of crawling back into his mother’s womb a second time. She saw the deepness of the well, the lack of an ample container, and her mind was on H2O. She asked almost sarcastically if Jesus was greater than Jacob who had dug the well. She did not yet understand that when Jesus talks about LIVING WATER, and about an ETERNAL WELL bubbling up inside of her, that He is not talking about H20.
Rather, Jesus, is talking about God’s eternal life entering a human being so that we can possess internally and eternally here and now by the Divine presence, artesian and effervescent springs of eternal life more wonderful than any thrill on earth can give.
Each time I see or hear sour-spirited persons at Walmart or at church, I think of sweet-spirited Jesus and what He alone could do for them with His well of loving and sweet living water springing up on the inside of them. Christianity alone is eternal-life well digging on the inside of man by the Spirit of God, and striking geysers of eternal life and love in Christ!
The best that the world can do for sourpusses is comparable to giving them a drink of Kool-Aid sugar water. Thank God that Jesus Christ is not just another Kool-Aid King, but the Lord and Savior of sinful and desperately spiritually and morally parched people, and from the inside of them He takes away the muck and sludge of murderous and hateful impulses, and powerfully flows deep inside of them with loving and life-giving impulses.
“WE CAN HAVE AN INTERNAL SPRING OF TOTALLY FULFILLING,
SATISFYING, REFRESHING, LIFE-GIVING WATER
OVERFLOWING FROM INSIDE US
TO THOSE AROUND US WHO
ARE DYING OF THIRST.”
Listen to Jesus’ words again by way of quick review. He said to the woman in so many words,
“Ask of Me, for if you only knew Who I am, you would ask of Me,
and I would give you an artesian well of living water springing
up inside you so that you would spiritually and morally
never thirst for adulterous love again –
Jesus didn’t say,
“YOU WILL GET A GOOD BUCKETFUL.”
Jesus didn’t say,
“YOU WILL FIND WHERE TO GET UNDER THE SPOUT
WHERE THE STREAM COMES OUT.”
Jesus did say,
“YOU WILL HAVE AN ARTESIAN WELL INSIDE YOU THAT
YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO PRIME OR PUMP UP. IT
WILL FLOW IN YOU AND FROM YOU ETERNALLY.”
You see, God in Christ has purposed for man that not only should we be containers of living water, but that we are so miraculously designed in Christ so that we can live His life in us and overflowing out of us to others.
And more than that, once we have discovered the incredible glory of His indwelling, we shall no longer live in dry barrenness and emptiness, but we shall enjoy the overflowing fullness of God Himself inside and outside to others. Absolutely inconceivable but totally possible.
THE AWESOME PROMISE
Notice, Jesus said in John 4:14,
“…but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a
well of water springing up to eternal life.”
Now then, without a doubt, Jesus is expressing more truth to her than the majority of Christians have grasped in their entire lifetime.
Jesus stated to her that if you drink the WATER – LIFE – SALVATION that I give to you, that is, really drink of it, and not just taste or sample but drink, then you can throw away your buckets, you can throw away your water pots spiritually speaking. No more strain, no more water pots. No more buckets being carried back and forth.
Rather, what would you think if you had the well inside? Alright then, based on the words of our Lord, I have this most simple and yet profound and revolutionary announcement:
“CHRISTIANITY IS NOTHING LESS THAN THE WELL INSIDE.”
Oh people, hear me, we’ve quoted JOHN 4:10-14 to ourselves and our children and our neighbors. And yet it is hardly phased us, even though we can read it and in many instances quote it for memory, and still never feel in our gut the awesomeness of what we are reading and quoting.
There is hope for the human race after all in the midst of what seems to be a dry, barren wilderness of hopeless mayhem and murder.
When I am in crowds of humanity, I wonder how many of them are literally containers of nitroglycerine walking through crowds of irritants who think only of themselves – “The Perfect Storm!” We have to get the nitroglycerine out of them, and Jesus-streams of living water in them. Only then will we and our children be safe at work, in the schools, in the malls, and in the churches.
And note, the Lord doesn’t say, “Just a few, select, super-spirituals can have the springs of living water inside.” Rather, the Lord Jesus says in John 4:14.
“WHOSOEVER, WHOSOEVER – NO MATTER HOW ADULTEROUS,
PERVERTED, OR PATHETIC.”
NO LONGER ALWAYS OVER THERE
But, really, most church people have put it completely out of their minds that they can have the well inside. The trouble is that the well for them is ALWAYS OVER THERE. Once in awhile they get a touch from God, once in a while. But they don’t know much about the well inside, because God is always over there.
So, they try this meeting, that meeting – the wells of religion. You see, they come with their buckets to the wells saying, “Preacher, filler up! I’m so hungry, so thirsty, so dry, I need something, filler up please.” They spend their whole life doing that, as they have to go to the wells of religion. You know what we mean, “I‘ve got to have a touch from God, I’ve got to have enough to carry me through till Wednesday.”
But hear this now:
“AS LONG AS I AM CONSCIOUS THAT GOD IS UP THERE, AND
THAT I AM DOWN HERE, THE WELL WILL ALWAYS
BE OVER THERE.”
So I’ve got to go to the well, and cry, “Lord, please be with us, me, tonight in the meeting.” You know, that the Christianity that we are familiar with has become so far from normal Christianity, so far from what Jesus says to us, that we don’t even realize the great difference there is.
Show me Christians who have the well inside, and who know it, and you will not find them talking about their NEED as the dominant theme! I don’t mean that they are not weak, nor that they have no problems, because surely they have as we all do in this imperfect and fallen world! So we read in Galatians 6:2,
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill
the law of Christ.”
But, they know the well is on the inside, and they do not go to meetings to get needs met as the reason for the meeting, or their coming to the meeting. So instead of coming and going with the consciousness that they need God, their coming and going is with the consciousness that they are filled with God. Instead of crying for God in emptiness, they praise God from fullness, because Jesus tells us and them John 4:4,
“THE WELLS ARE ON THE INSIDE, AND THEY ARE NEVER
DRY, THIRSTY, AGAIN.”
That’s Christianity, that’s what God designed us for, and that’s why Jesus died and rose for us, that:
“WE MAY LIVE THE OVERFLOWING LIFE.”
Most meetings in typical religious circles are conducted with a basic consciousness that we need God. Hardly any are conducted with the consciousness that we are filled with God. The leader says,
“I hope you folks came to get a blessing today.”
So often, in such environments, all prayer rotates around this center:
“My need, our need, his need, her need.”
We have come to the place where we ever feel this:
“THAT THE PERSON WHO IS THE MOST SPIRITUAL, IS THE
PERSON WHO IS THE MOST CONSCIOUS OF NEEDS.”
FIRST OF ALL, that is the opposite of what Jesus Christ says! SECOND, that is a very depressing and damaging environment to always be in! THIRD, that is an expression of an empty hole, not of the well on the inside! If you will:
“THAT IS AN EXPRESSION OF ADAM’S POVERTY, NOT OF THE
LAST ADAM’S RICHES! THAT IS AN EXPRESSION OF THE
FIRST ADAM’S OLD CREATION, AND NOT OF THE LAST
ADAM’S NEW CREATION.”
And by the way, in this regard:
“CONSTANT NEED-EXPRESSION IS NOT AN EVIDENCE OF
SPIRITUALLY, BUT OF THE WELL OVER THERE.”
Have you ever run up against somebody with the well inside, but all you can think about is your terrible problems, burdens, difficulties. Oh my, there are just mountains before you, but you meet someone who is always enjoying the Lord, enjoying life! They have the well inside, like the shipwrecked, beaten, imprisoned, and hated Paul who says in Philippians 4:11-12,
“Not that I speak from want; for I have learned to
be content in whatever circumstance I am.”
“I know how to get along with humble means, and
I also know how to live in prosperity; in any
and every circumstance I have learned the
secret of being filled and going hungry,
both of having abundance and
CAPPING AND UNCAPPING THE WELL
And we are tempted to ask of Paul, “What secret have you got man, aren’t you at all human?” There are two secrets to all this:
FIRST, the reason the one who has the well of peace and joy flowing, and to whom all of life is a special occasion is because he is the person who has denied himself. He has said no to self and yes to Christ. Over & over again, we read what we read in Matthew 16:24,
“Deny yourself, take up cross, and follow me.”
That is, say no to self, to selfish ideas, to self-motivated rebellion, to selfish feelings and simply ditch self! Then, when you are rid of self, there will be room for the well of Jesus to start flowing. Otherwise the well of Christ is damned up by the rubble of self!
SECONDLY, with that resolved, with that done, the rivers – the wells will spring up inside, for the only way to keep the well of Christ’s overflowing life from flowing is to cap it! You don’t have to pump it, prime it, it just flows, springs up everlastingly. But the way to cap it is to keep crying out:
“I NEED, I NEED, I NEED.”
“THE WAY TO CAP THE WELL ON THE INSIDE, IS TO BE NEED
ORIENTED, RATHER THAN CHRIST ORIENTED!”
No! No! No! Rather, take the way Paul did who said in Philippians. 4:11,
“I have learned peace and contentment always.”
It is the same Paul who says in Philippians 4:13,
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Hear it is:
“WE ARE TO EXPRESS THE FULLNESS OF CHRIST WITHIN,
AND NOT THE POVERTY AND NEED OF ADAM.”
Someone might say that when all the circumstances are right, then I will enjoy life, then I will enjoy God! When all of the circumstances are right, then I will have the well inside. No, Jesus said in John 4:14 –
“NEVER THIRST AGAIN, NEVER EMPTY, DRY, WEAK, EMACIATED.”
Paul said in Philippians. 4:4,
“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice!”
You see, it does not depend on circumstances! All the circumstances can be wrong, and the well still bubbles within you! Everything outwardly can be against you, your body wracked with pain! And there can be every kind of problem – family, domestic, material, social, and you still can and will have an inner peace, composure, love, joy, within you!
You are not looking for it, you are not chasing after it, and you are not travailing for it! It’s the well inside, for this is what Jesus is getting at, this is the Gospel, this is what Jesus gives to every self-denying believer.
Let me humbly share a testimony with you, and I trust and pray that it will become your own. I have lost consciousness, for the most part, of the well being out or over there, and constantly going to church to have my needs met! Rather, I excitedly go to church to worship and praise the Lord from the overflow, and to receive the marching orders from His Word for the week ahead.
The well is on the inside! It is the most amazing thing, as Paul said it in Colossians 1:27,
“Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
I don’t know where I was for so many years. I feel like I wandered in the dark for decades. I’ve now come to realize the well inside. So Lord, it’s not a question of – I have this need, and Lord, you must meet me there. Rather, when we sense a need, a frailty, an inability for something, I can confess to Him, “I know, Lord, that you are more than able for this. You are in me, and so I ask YOU to meet it through me or inspite of me or without me!”
You know, don’t you, that makes worry wrong. You can’t possibly worry when the well is in you to flow to meet every situation. Yes, so, if I face a situation with the spoken or unspoken confession, “Poor me, I can’t handle it,” then worry and anxiety will take over! But God is in me and in you, and He is more than equal to every circumstance, contention, conflict, and He is going to meet it in me, and He is going to meet it through me! Then worry and fear have to bow to Him!
Therefore we read in Philippians 4:5-7,
“…The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your
requests be made known unto God, and the peace of
God, which surpasses all understanding, shall
guard your hearts and minds through
I don’t mean to bowl you over, but I do want to startle you with the truth! The Bible says in John 8:32,
“And ye shall know the truth and the truth
shall make you free.”
Your attitude about life, can be, should be, must be, utterly transformed. The “Rivers of Christ’s Living Waters” flow from WITHIN and not from WITHOUT. You and I as followers of Christ do not have to go over there, wherever there is, to get the rivers of living water. Rather, just open up, and express your fullness to God and to one another! Let your whole life of praising, praying, witnessing, and sharing be an expression of Christ in you.
You and I are no different than anyone else, for remember John 1:16,
“And of his fullness have we all received, and
grace upon grace.”
If all we are in church and in fellowship groups is to be aware of our great needs, what then do we really have to give? Just an empty hole that always says, “Fill her up.” And from “my empty hole” I try to fill up somebody else’s dry well. That is not the expression of the church, rather, that is the expression of the empty world.
Share the well, share the rivers, share the springs, share the overflow, share the love, share the peace, share the power, share the victory, share the goodness of the Lord! That will bless and teach people about LIVING THE OVERFLOWING LIFE. They may think that you are superhuman and super-spiritual for a while. But they will find out you are weak too, and then your needs can then be shared in true Gospel perspective – the well is still on the inside.
That is a healthy group, that is a healthy church, and that is God’s desire. That is the true gospel! That is Christianity! Listen:
THE WELL AND MARRIAGE
The woman said to Jesus in John 4:15,
“Sir, give me this water, so I will not be thirsty, nor
come all the way here to draw.”
Jesus suddenly says to her in John 4:16,
“Go, call your husband, and come here.”
She responded in John 4:17,
“I have no husband.”
Jesus said to her in John 4:17-18,
“You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five
husbands, and the one whom you now have is not
your husband; this you have well said.”
You see, this woman with her many men, like so many before and after her, sought fulfillment in hell’s corrupt and dry wells of lust. These wells, to be frank about it, were and are humanity’s WISHING WELLS. Each time, her wishes never came true though they held such promise. You see, this is the great art of the devil, and that is to make Hell’s wells look like Heaven. In her case, Satan pulled the same trick on her five times plus one. The SIX TIME TRICKSTER, for:
“LUST CANNOT BE LOVE EVEN THOUGH THE DEVIL
MASKS IT AS SUCH.”
I wonder how she would have rated her first five husbands. If she were in modern times, she would have been the constant, big loser in THE MANLY HUSBAND SWEEPSTAKES. For today manliness is defined by drinking beer, smoking cigars, playing poker, watching football, and telling dirty jokes. Of course in her case, the jokes outlived their funniness by the second husband. This pathetic gal lived in the BERMUDA TRIANGLE of failed marriages. And as for the five plus one:
“HOBOS HOP ON FREIGHT TRAINS, WHORE-MONGERS HOP
For her by the time she met Jesus, sex must have been something she endured while she thought of something else.
I don’t even dare to let myself think about the “happy, healthy, normal, smart, and well adjusted children” of this ongoing marital circus.
I didn’t see this for years, but you know something, the marriage relationship is to be something of a mutual flow, a mutual sharing, a mutual overflowing! The husband is to give from his Jesus’ well to his wife, and the wife is to give from her Jesus’ well to her husband. I am not talking about a physical well, but rather, a mutual flow of the spirit!
But when your relationship becomes one of getting (eros) – my satisfaction – my pleasure – my need – then the marriage relationship has practically no meaning at all! You have nothing to give to one another, and you in fact drain each other dry. Jesus knows the dry wells in this precious woman’s life, and in her home He knows exactly what’s going on. All she was left with was the flotsam that had collected in the dry wells of five broken cisterns.
Let’s find out whether this is working in your home. See what He is getting at in your marriage. Something that is very uncanny. When the well flows at home, the whole spiritual outlook is different! But when it doesn’t, you get the SERIAL ADULTERY of the Samaritan woman’s years, you get the SEXUAL POLITICS of the Clinton years, and the endorsement of PERVERTED SEX in the Obama years. (Oh how dry those White House Wells must have been and are today.)
People say, “When you get your spiritual condition corrected, the home life will be healthy.” Others say, “When you get your home life corrected, the personal life will be healthy.” The fact is that the two are so close, so dependent upon each other, so interrelated! You can’t go too far along one line, until the other one comes along too!
So Jesus says in John 4:16,
“Go call thy husband and bring him here.”
She says, “I have no husband“. Jesus says in effect,
“You’re right. You have had 5 dry wells, and you have had 5 dry
relationships. And the one now isn’t even your husband.
From each and all of them, and from you, there has
never been spiritual satisfaction given. You don’t
know what it is to be related with an individual
between whom the well flows and overflows.”
We have all been going, or still are going, to all the springs of the earth, and we drank deep. But we have always thirsted again, because we have drilled a dry hole! Some have drilled a dry hole at the well of riches. Some have drilled dry holes at the wells of fame, honor, pleasure. Some have sought satisfaction at the wells of sex, lust, parties, drugs, booze. Some have sought satisfaction at the mysterious wells of the occult and cults. Some have drunk the exciting waters of crime, gambling, and sports!
Drinking from the dry and polluted wells of Hollywood these days is like eating a bowl of badly burnt hot chili, and afterwards having to drink a gallon of water heavily spiked with Alka Seltzer.
But no man has ever been satisfied with the products of earth’s illusionary streams! But what a promise from our Savior! The believer, he who asks Christ into his heart, shall have new life! This new life shall be a continuing spring that shall never run dry! John 4:13-14,
“Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; but whoever
drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but
the water that I shall give him shall become in him
a well of water springing to eternal life.”
Ask Jesus right now to be your Savior from sin and the Lord of your life. You will find within a well of joy and peace never known before! You will move into that place of overflowing with Jesus – not your great lack, but His great fullness. Amen!