We’re all looking for it. Not simply the state of being alive but the quality that makes life worth living. Real, satisfying, meaningful life that lasts.
Have you found it? And if you have, can you be confident it will last?
We’re thirsty for something, but we don’t know what.
Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again.” (John 4:13)
They’re words that equally apply to our search for satisfaction. Whatever we look to to quench our thirst, and however refreshing it is, in the moment, we soon find ourselves thirsty again.
John, the author of John’s Gospel, an account of Jesus’ life, records Jesus standing in the temple courts and saying in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as Scripture has said rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37 – 38). In other words, Jesus stood up in the equivalent of a cathedral on Easter Day and said: Don’t do the religious stuff. Don’t rely on tradition. If you’re thirsty, come to me. If you want real water, real life and lasting satisfaction, you’ll find it in me.
When you think about it, it’s an outrageous claim.
But if it’s true, then we’ve found the solution to our soul-thirst; we’ve found the secret to satisfaction. Forever.
“Let anyone who is thirsty…” (John 7:37)
Jesus’s offer is for anyone who’s thirsty, on one condition: that they’re honest enough to admit it.
There’ll be people who will never acknowledge the thirst because they don’t want to go anywhere near God. They’re determined to live their own way enjoying God’s gift but ignoring him. They’re satisfied with that. And if they do ever feel the dissatisfaction of life lived without the life-giver, they shrug their shoulders and conclude that nothing can be done.
Some of us, though, are prevented from admitting our thirst because of fear. Lots of people today may acknowledge their thirst, but they’re afraid of what their family, friends, or the culture around them would think if they got interested in Jesus. They say, ‘It may be true, but I’m not going near it. I’m not risking it. What will people think?’
As a society, we have more opportunities and resources than any generation before us. But we seem less content and more anxious. The algorithms are designed to keep our attention clip after clip, and yet the scrolling doesn’t satisfy. It’s a diversion. We’re told so often that pleasure and possessions will satisfy us that we forget to look around and ask, ‘but do they?’
If you’re ready to wake up and accept that you’re thirsty – if your soul is seeking something more – then Jesus has good news.
“Come to me and drink…” (John 7:37)
There are plenty of people who claim to be able to help the dissatisfied find their way out. There’s the guru, the self-help author, the counsellor, the drug-dealer, but Jesus is different because he’s not offering us a pill, a technique or a program. Instead, he offers himself.
He says, “Come to me and drink.”
He’s claiming that he is, himself, the answer to the spiritual drought in a person’s soul.
Along with air, water is the most basic necessity of life. A human can survive without food for weeks. But without water, you’ve only got days.
And Jesus says, I am someone your soul needs every bit as much as your body needs water. Your soul needs me.
Jesus welcomes you to come to him.
And what better time to investigate more about Jesus’ call than Easter, the time that Christians globally rejoice in the good news that Jesus died and rose again.
Why not look for an Easter service near you this weekend?
Rico Tice is the Senior Minister, Evangelism at All Souls Church, Langham Place, the birthplace of Christianity Explored which he co-founded. He continues to equip believers to share their faith in Jesus, as well as develop new material through this active ministry. He lives in London with his family.