Water. A chemical substance made of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, water covers 71% of the surface of our planet. In the average human adult, the body is 60% water. Water is a necessary part of life for all living things. Plants need it in order to grow. Animals need water for their bodies to function, as do people. It acts as a lubricant for joints, it regulates our body temperature, and it flushes out waste in our bodies. Under normal circumstances, the longest a person can live without water is about a week. Water is life.
As I have traveled through Israel these past few days, I have seen the necessity of water to human life illustrated in many of the sites that I have seen. In Caesarea, I saw the aqueduct that Herod built in order to ensure that there was a supply of fresh water in that city. Water was needed for the Roman bathhouses in Beit She'an for cleansing the body. I saw cisterns that were built in Qumran and Masada for the purpose of catching rainwater in areas where there was no other source of water. And in En Gedi, there was a stream that would have provided water for David as he hid in a desert cave from the wrath of Saul.
There is no doubt that water is essential to life. Ezekiel 47:9 says that wherever the river goes, every living thing will live. We all need water for our physical bodies. But just as importantly, we all need living water for our spiritual bodies, for our souls. In Samaria, Jesus met a woman who had come to a well to draw water. He asked her to give him a drink. Since she was a Samaritan and Jesus was a Jew, she responded with wonder that a Jew would be asking her, a woman and a Samaritan, for a drink. Jesus responded that if she knew who it was that was asking her for a drink, she would have asked and He would have given her living water (John 4:7-10). When the woman asked Jesus where He gets this living water, Jesus gave a response that was not just for the Samaritan woman, but for each of us.
Jesus said that everyone who drinks of natural water will eventually be thirsty again, but if anyone drinks of the living water that He was speaking of, they will never be thirsty again. And where does this living water come from? It comes from Jesus (John 4:13-14). Jesus is not just the one who gives the living water, He is the living water. Just as we need natural water for our physical bodies to survive, we need Jesus, the living water, so that our spiritual bodies can survive. Jesus, the living water, is the source of eternal life. Jesus said that whoever was thirsty should come to Him and drink. We need to come to Him and believe in Him. When we do, rivers of living water will flow not into our hearts, but will flow out of them (John 7:37-38). And when the living water that is Jesus flows out of our hearts, we can help others to receive it as well.