Posted by Dr. Wade Smith on March 18, 2016
In the event that you missed the headlines of recent weeks, you will be surprised to learn that “The Most Interesting Man in the World” has been retired. In fact, he has been exiled to Mars. You know of who I speak, the man who is so suave and so distinguished that “when in Rome, they do as he does.” He is so interesting that “he has won two lifetime achievement awards.” Isn’t it interesting that the most interesting man in the world is no longer interesting?
I wonder if the same can be said of Jesus? It appears that many have lost interest in Him. How can this be? Perhaps we are turned off by those who claim to be His followers but talk and act in ways that Jesus never would. Perhaps we have never really studied or read about Jesus and have drawn our conclusions from His skeptics and enemies. Or maybe, we simply have no interest in someone who leads by serving, loves His enemies, and invites the last to be first.
Maybe it is time to read or reread the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) of the New Testament and determine for ourselves. You may be surprised to learn that Jesus came to redeem, not to condemn the world.
One of the most interesting stories about Jesus comes from John 4. In this life changing encounter, Jesus met an outcast Samaritan woman at a well. Jesus was alone, weary from His travels. The woman was alone, coming to the well in the heat of the day to avoid the other women. Jesus asked her for a drink.
This encounter is interesting on two accounts. First, men did not speak to women in public and second, Jews and Samaritans despised each other. Yet, here is Jesus breaking down barriers.
As the conversation continued, Jesus reminded the woman that all who drink from the well will thirst again. Then, He told her of “Living Water,” a new kind of water that springs forth from within, “welling up to eternal life.” Those who drink this water will never thirst again. She asked for this “Living Water” in hopes that she would never have to return to the well.
Still not understanding of the spiritual water that Jesus spoke, He invited her to go and get her husband. At this point, Jesus exposed the deepest thirst of her life. We learn this woman had had five husbands and was living with one who was not her husband. Jesus’ invitation was not to judge and condemn the woman, but rather to offer refreshing, living water to the driest, thirstiest part of her soul. The “Living Water” of Jesus quenched her real thirst, bringing healing and new life.
So, it is interesting that in John 19, Jesus, the “Living Water,” cries out from the cross that He is thirsty. How can “Living Water” thirst? The mystery of the cross is that Jesus, who knew no sin, bore our sin. And in that moment, His soul dried up, because sin dries up our soul. He became thirsty, so that our deepest thirsts can be quenched. The empty tomb proclaims that the well of Living Water springs forth again. Now, we too can taste the refreshing, life-giving “Living Water” of Jesus.
Are you thirsty? Have the “five husbands” of your past dried up your soul? Is the “one you are living with” creating a desert of thirst in your life? The most interesting One who has ever lived, knows what makes you thirsty. Yet, He does not condemn, He simply invites you to drink His “Living Water.”