An empty water pot
Apple Court Garden, Hampshire

Here at the well is a water pot, it stands unattended. Today’s equivalent would be a loaded trolley, full of good things, left at the checkout in the supermarket! Whoever had  left it had taken considerable effort to come and fetch water from this local well, a twice or perhaps three times daily chore. Today, in our Western world, it would be the weekly chore of returning to the hassle of the crowded supermarket yet again to replenish the emptying fridge and freezer. Clearly something had made this person leave in a hurry.

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”

John’s Gospel chapter 4 verses 13-14    ‘The Message’ Bible

Later a group of excited people appear from the local village. At their head was an eager woman – obviously the owner of the pot. This woman had come earlier for water bringing far more than her pot. She had also brought with her a deep dissatisfaction with life and a questionable life style of which she was ashamed. Behind her were a whole string of broken relationships. She came looking for water but returned with the water of eternal life welling up in her heart and in the hearts of many of her fellow villagers.

Sutton_October_2016_0020 (2)
Tribal women at the well in Sindh Province, Pakistan.

I listen to these lovely words from the past:

“If you seek Jesus, forsake the broken cisterns, for Christ did not sit by a pool, but by a well. There that Samaritan woman found Him, she who believed, she who wished to draw water. Although you ought to have come in early morning, nevertheless if you come later, even at the sixth hour, you will find Jesus wearied with His journey. He is weary, but it is through you, because He has long sought you, your unbelief has long wearied Him. Yet He is not offended if you only come, He asks to drink Who is about to give.”

Words of St Ambrose


I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water, thirsty one,
stoop down and drink and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

This is my story, as it has been for millions of others.

Jesus told the woman she would not need to come back again to draw water. Once tasted, the Water of Life lasts for ever. That’s true, yet in one sense I need to keep coming back to drink again of Christ afresh. I need daily supplies of grace from this ever flowing Well.

Next Page – The Gentle Servant

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