The Bible - the word of God

Bible Study – January 2020

The Living Water – refresh yourself in the Lord

It’s January and most likely it’s very dry outside at the moment. The sun’s scorching heat has turned the grass brown and burns your skin when you spend too much time in it unprotected. Christmas, and with it a very busy time of the year, has come to an end and you probably feel quite weary! The whole country feels the same way, as most things slow down in January, don’t they? Well, you’ve come to the right place! As you read through John’s Gospel chapter 4, and some other passages, let the Lord refresh you with the Living Water only he can give. It comes from a spring that doesn’t even dry up in the most intense summer heat. What do you think this spring could be?

Read John 4:4–7

A woman is going about her daily chores. Then Jesus meets her at one of the places she often goes, the well. Is there a place that is part of your daily routine where you meet with Jesus? The clothesline? Driving your car? On your walk? Do you ever talk with Jesus there? Jesus is asking the woman at the well for a drink but never ends up receiving it. Rather, he used this gentle opening to engage the woman in a long conversation. What can we learn from Jesus’ approach as we share the Good News with others?

Read John 4:10,11,13,14

What is this living water Jesus is talking about? After discussing this question, read Isaiah 55:1,3. Through this prophet, God uses similar language of a water that satisfies our needs completely. He asks you to “listen, that you may live” (v3). What is it that comes from God that we can listen to? We can listen to his voice guiding us as we read and internalise what the Scriptures are saying. And God’s Spirit also speaks to us as we draw into conversation with God in prayer. The Word of God is the Living Water. Now read John 1:1,14. Who is the embodiment of the Word? What does this tell you about who Jesus is pointing to when he talks about the Living Water? Thus, where do you need to look for life-giving refreshment that always sustains you? Read Revelation 21:6 to find the answers.

Read John 4:25,26

Let’s explore the significance of this passage. It is an excerpt of the interaction between the woman at the well and Jesus. What does Jesus reveal to the woman about who he is? This woman is the first person to be told by Jesus himself that he is the Messiah (Hebrew), the Christ (Greek), which means the ‘Anointed One’ God has sent. She hears this from him before the disciples or others ever do. Jesus engages in long conversations about God’s kingdom with women and men alike in a time when women had a much lower standing in society than today. Even his disciples don’t understand (read John 4:27). When do you get challenged by the way Jesus shows us God’s way?

We have established that Jesus gives anyone who comes to him the Living Water. This is the Word of God as revealed to us in the Scriptures and as the Holy Spirit points us to Christ. Jesus himself is the Living Water made flesh on earth to give himself completely as a living sacrifice to win salvation for you and me and all people who come to him. Is that the end of the story? Read John 4:14 again. What happens to us who drink of the Living Water? What does Jesus mean when he says that the water becomes a spring inside of us?

Read John 4:28–30, 39–41

What was the woman’s response to her encounter with Jesus? That she was excited about meeting him would be an understatement! This woman runs and tells everyone she meets about him, and as she freely shares the life-changing words she has received, many people of the town come out to Jesus and start believing in him. The Living Water she has received from Jesus has become in her a spring that bubbles up and overflows from her as she can’t help but share it with others. The Good News of Jesus is too good to contain within ourselves. How do you respond when you receive the Living Water? How does this manifest in your own life and in the assurance you have in Christ? How does it affect other people through you?

When you feel weary and dry and when you feel energetic and excited, and all those times in between, come to God for refreshment. Let him rejuvenate and nourish you as you spend time with him in conversational prayer and as you delve into his Word daily – just as you do right now in Bible study! The more you allow God to come to you like this, the more the living water will become a spring inside of you that will flow and overflow.

Let us pray: Dear loving God, thank you for giving us your Son, Jesus, so we can live in your grace and walk in your way. We want your Living Water to quench our thirst forever. Only you can truly satisfy. As you nourish us through your Word, kindle in us the excitement and willingness to tell others about you that we see in the woman at the well. We need your constant guidance and help to hear your voice and respond to the calls and directions you give us on life’s journey with you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

About the Author

Maria Rudolph

After encountering Jesus and getting baptised while I travelled around Australia as a German backpacker, I completed a Bachelor of Theology at Australian Lutheran College in Adelaide and am currently studying towards a Bachelor of Ministry there. Together with my pastor husband Michael, we have lived and served in congregations in Newcastle, NSW and now in Perth, WA while also bringing up three lively children.

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