The Living Water – Gospel in Life

The Living Water

Tim Keller |  January 10, 1999

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  • Discipleship and Spiritual Growth
  • Salvation
  • God's Love
John 4:4-30
RS 99-1


In this passage, we see Jesus telling the woman at the well that he is able to give her “living water.” This sermon will help us understand three things about the living water Jesus offers: 1) It’s a surprise; 2) It is ultimate satisfaction; and 3) It comes in stages.

John 4:4–30

In John 4, we find a story about Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at a place called Jacob’s well. This story shows how many people are searching for something deeper – a spiritual satisfaction that cannot be found in worldly things. Jesus refers to this satisfaction as ‘living water’. To understand what Jesus means by ‘living water’, we need to grasp four main ideas.

1. It’s a surprise

Jesus often spent time with people who weren’t accepted by society, like the Samaritan woman or Mary Magdalene. This shows us that Christianity is a religion of grace, open to everyone, no matter what mistakes they’ve made in the past. It’s not about what we do to earn God’s love, but about accepting the journey of grace He offers. This surprising, life-changing power of God’s grace is a big part of what makes Christianity unique.

2. It is ultimate satisfaction

Jesus talks about ‘living water’, which is like a symbol for the ultimate satisfaction God’s love can give us. This satisfaction goes beyond our basic need for physical water. It brings us purpose, love, peace, and beauty that cannot be shaken by what’s happening around us. It’s a joy that comes from within us, no matter what difficulties we face. It’s a surprising gift of grace that gives us true satisfaction.

3. It comes in stages

Our journey from not caring about spiritual things to finding true spiritual satisfaction doesn’t happen overnight. It often starts during tough times when we start to think, question, and seek answers. The story of the woman’s growing interest in Jesus highlights how personal and powerful meeting Jesus can be. Jesus doesn’t condemn us, but gently shows us our deep need for Him. And when we let go of false idols and worldly distractions, we can find the true spiritual satisfaction that God’s ‘living water’ offers to everyone, no matter their past.



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