Read John 4:1-26
I once heard a story about a little boy who visited Niagra Falls. His family had been telling him how cool it was. They described the falls and told him about how much water went over the falls. The boy had never seen anything like it so he had no reference for what it would be like.
Now, anyone who has been to Niagra Falls, on the U.S. side, knows that you have to park and walk quite a ways away to get to the overlook. You can’t actually see the falls from your car. Regardless, as soon as the boy got out of the car he exclaimed, “Oh wow! It’s amazing!”
The boy had no idea he wasn’t looking at the falls. He was looking at a parking lot. He didn’t realize that what he was looking at paled in comparison to what was coming up next. If his family had left without going to the overlook the boy wouldn’t have known the difference. He would have gotten a parking lot instead of a waterfall.
In John chapter 4, Jesus is hanging out at a well when a Samaritan woman comes along, and Jesus asking her for a drink.
There is a lot going on in this request. A man isn’t supposed to talk to a woman in public. A Jew shouldn’t be talking with a Samaritan. But there was Jesus, a Jewish man talking to a Samaritan woman.
You can hear the woman’s surprise in her response, “How can you ask me for a drink?”
Jesus responds to her in a very odd way. Instead of explaining Himself, Jesus launches into a cryptic discussion about water, “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.”
The exchange between Jesus and the woman at the well is very interesting because the woman is focused on the actual well while Jesus is speaking about something entirely different.
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
When we encounter Jesus, he has this way of completely redefining the conversation. When Jesus meets Peter and Andrew they are simple fisherman. Jesus offers them the opportunity to become fishers of men. The Samaritan woman thinks their conversation is about literal water, yet Jesus is offering so much more.
Our ideas about how Jesus operates in our lives are very narrow in comparison to what He is really offering. We just don’t always see it.
It is as if we are standing in the parking lot and Jesus is inviting us to go all the way to the waterfall.
We say, “Wow Jesus! This is amazing!”
And Jesus responds, “That’s just the parking lot. What I have for you is so much better.”
- Where are you in your relationship with Jesus?
- Are you settling for a parking lot?
Pray that He would show you something more this week.
Pray for a waterfall.
Day 3 of 8 from the 2016 Mission Discovery Devotional