Here you are, born-again. Your sins are forgiven and you have peace with God through Jesus Christ. But are you satisfied? Are you experiencing a full life? Or are you living with an obvious, yet hard to figure out, deficit that makes Christian living more of a duty and nowhere near what could be considered a pleasure?
What if I told you that even Jesus, who was sinless, always at peace with God, and who lived a perfect life, needed more as well?! What if I proved my point in such a way that you not only didn’t think I have become a heretic but would also have solved your dilemma?
Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well is a story that we all know. She is intrigued with His offer of “living water” and ends up receiving what every soul thirsts for—peace with God. She then runs into the city to tell others about her encounter with the Messiah. This brief episode is in the middle act when the author, John the Beloved, gives us the reason this story is included in his Gospel. It is here that my point is proven.
The disciples, remember, had gone into town to buy lunch while Jesus waited for them by the well, they arrive just as the woman is leaving. When they offer Jesus some of the food that they had been sent for, He refuses by stating, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Jesus is telling them that a greater hunger within himself, bigger than physical appetite, has been satisfied.
Did you get that? Jesus was more fulfilled after the encounter with the woman than before He had engaged her in conversation. There was a marked difference in Jesus’ soul that is evidenced by His own testimony. “No falafel for me for my soul is so satisfied that the elements of everydayness have lost their appeal,” might serve as a respectful paraphrase.
While the disciples wondered aloud that someone else might have brought Jesus food while they had been gone, Jesus stresses his otherworldly contentment by explaining His principal motivation in life, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me.”
Jesus then tells the disciples that this motivation has been passed on to them:
Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors” (John 4:35-38).
The delight and gratification that Jesus experienced in declaring the gospel is not only available to all of us but, now that we are Christians, there is no true satisfaction unless we are so engaged.
The woman Jesus met at the well needed the gospel message for salvation. She also needs the gospel applied to spiritually heal her dysfunctional life—five failed marriages and now a live-in boyfriend! She is going to need the gospel to grow as a believer into spiritual maturity.
This is going to take some work on the part of a group of Christians. It’s tough work. It will take a lot out of you but it will, ironically (a God thing), put more in you, more than you had before. More than you can get anywhere else. You were born-again for this.