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The Water Taster!


I’m sure you’ve heard of these people who can taste wine, and can tell you the year it was bottled, what kind of grape was used, what vineyard it came from, what corner of the vineyard, and the name of the man who trampled it with his bare feet!

Well, I can do that with water. Well, ok, maybe not just in such detail! Let me explain. A couple of years ago, I pestered a church leadership to fit a water purifying filter in the manse kitchen. It was because the tap water in the manse tasted dreadful, but with the new filter, there was a total change. Water actually tasted drinkable!

There’s just one little drawback. The filter slowed down the flow of water so much, that it took about five minutes to fill the kettle. No problem for me, you understand, I’ve got all the time in world. But for the long-suffering wife, it was just too slow. After all, she had grass to cut, cars to wash, cleaning to do, and all that to be done before she goes out to work!

She decided that if I wasn’t told that occasionally she used unfiltered tap water, I would never notice! But I did! Only, being so much in love, I never thought that she would ever do such a thing! I blamed the filter, and reported to the church authorities that it wasn’t working, and demanded that it be fixed! Only when I had created a fuss about the non-functioning filter, did the loving spouse realise the extent of my hydro-discernment, and confess that the water problems were not down to the filter, but down to her! Her defence, of course, was that it was my fault anyway, for I’m just far too fussy! “If you were really thirsty,” she said, “the taste of the water wouldn’t matter, just so long as you had a drink.”

In John’s Gospel, chapter 7, a story is told of Jesus at a feast. It was the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, and it had been going on for a week. In this feast, a kind of harvest festival, water was really important, and the people, throughout the feast, were led to give thanks to the Lord God, for the gift of water, without which the land would grow barren, the crops would never grow, and the people would not only perish with thirst, but would die of hunger. The last day of the feast was especially important, as the priests and people paraded to and from the pool of Siloam, carrying huge pitchers of water, to be poured out on the altar before the Lord. In the middle of that great crowd of people, focused on God’s gift of water, burning up in the sweltering heat of Palestine, Jesus cried out, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.”

Jesus saw that the people were spiritually thirsty, and spiritual thirst would lead to spiritual and eternal death. They needed that thirst quenched, and only He could offer them the spiritual water which would quench that thirst. He invited these people, – religious people, spiritually thirsty people, dying people, to come to Him, and He would give them living water! This water would well up within them, and they would never thirst again! He was inviting his hearers to be converted, for John explains Christ’s offer when he says, But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive.

Jesus still offers us the water of life. He still invites sinners to come to him, people who are spiritually parched and receive the indwelling Holy Spirit, who will cause us to repent of our sin, and confess it and be forgiven! In fact he tells us that whoever comes to him, he will never turn them away! Fanny Crosbie, the hymn writer summed this up, when in one of her lesser-know hymns,

Jesus the water of life will give, freely, freely! Jesus the water of life will give, Freely to those who love Him. Come to that fountain, oh drink, and live! Flowing for those that love Him.

So, why do we not simply respond to the gracious invitation that Jesus gives us, and come to Him! There’s no water on this earth that can do what Christ can do for the soul.

From → Evangelism

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