Yes, Holy Water is real, and it is required for a Holy Spirit-led life. I am not talking about the water used in a liturgical church (that has been designated or sanctified) to have special power. At best, that water is symbolic of the real Holy Water. The real Holy Water is essential. To understand its significance we look at the life and teachings of Jesus. John chapter four tells the story of the meeting between the Samaritan woman and Jesus at Jacob’s well. Jesus and His disciples were traveling through Samaria and arrived at the city of Sychar. There were three main routes to get from Judea to the region of the Galilee; the Via Maris (The way of the Mediterranean Sea), The Kings Hwy (alongside the Jordan river), and the mountain pass (in the middle of the country that led through the heartland of Samaria). Jesus was headed for Cana of Galilee and not to the Lake of Galilee. This was the most direct route from where He began. Jacob’s well was about half a mile from the city and it was the hot afternoon when he arrived. Jesus was tired and He stopped to rest. He sent His disciples into town to get food and He was all alone when a Samaritan woman came to draw water at the hottest part of the day.
Give Me Some Water
As the Samaritan woman approached the well she saw Jesus and obviously planned on having no interaction with Him. Jesus, however, planned on having a conversation with her because He is the Savior of the world and He loves people. He spoke up and asked her for some water. She said, “How is it that you being a Jew are asking me, a Samaritan women for a drink?”
This woman, like many others, was dealing with rejection and was caught off guard when Jesus spoke with her. The Samaritans were Jews but they married Assyrians. Seven hundred years earlier, when the Assyrians from Nineveh attacked and occupied the region, some embraced the Jewish culture. After years passed, many of them converted to Judaism. Then Jewish priests and other men married some of these coverts and the Samaritan people became a mixture of Jews and Assyrians. The rest of Israel rejected them so the woman was surprised when Jesus talked to her.
Upon seeing Jesus, the woman identified Him as a Jew. The tell-tale signs of His large beard and tzitzit prayer tassels made His identity obvious. No doubt He was a Jew, but there was another problem; it was forbidden for a man and woman to have a private conversation in a secluded place. Nevertheless, it was Jesus who initiated the conversation. This was strange enough, but there was more. She was coming to the well at a time when the other women would not come because she was a social outcast. Surely this man knew that she had been shunned for infidelity.
Jesus overlooked all of these issues. He spoke up and in essence said, ‘If you knew who I am, you would ask me for a drink and I would give you Holy Water. When you drink it you will never thirst again. Instantly, it will become a well of living water within you.’
The woman asked for this living water, but Jesus told her to go bring her husband. Then He told her that she had had five husbands and was now living with a man who was not her husband. The woman’s life was a mess, but she was a spiritual woman and Jesus saw past her problems.
A Well Within Us
Jesus told the Samaritan woman about Holy Water. The Holy Spirit is that water. When we drink the water that Jesus gives us, the Holy Spirit comes and lives within us. The Holy Spirit continues to bubble up within us like a spring of water. He leads, teaches, comforts and empowers us, and the more we drink, the more rises in us.
Even though this woman had a messy life, she was a believer in the God of Abraham. The scriptures reveal that she honored Jacob the father of the Jewish nation. She honored the patriarchs and recognized that Jesus was a prophet. She anticipated the coming of the Messiah and wanted more of God.
Jesus looks beyond our failures. He sees our heart and knows what we need. He leads us to a great future if we will drink and allow the spring of living water to well up within us.
Worship and the Well
A further proof of this woman’s spirituality is seen in her next question. We will explore that question but first let me give you some history to help us understand. The Samaritans worshipped in Samaria, where Jacob’s well was. Many years before, Jacob (Israel) lived there. He worshipped and sacrificed unto the Lord in that place.
Jacob worshipped there before he and his family moved to Egypt. That was four hundred years before Moses led the Israelites through the desert. Jacob worshipped on that mountain before there was a tabernacle in the wilderness or a temple in Jerusalem. The Samaritan woman asked the question that was often raised with Jews. In essence she asked, ‘Our fathers worshipped on this mountain but you Jews worship in Jerusalem. Which is right?’
Then, amazingly, Jesus gave this unsanctified woman the greatest teaching on worship in the Gospels. He said that worship would happen everywhere and God was looking for those who would worship in Spirit and in truth. God is Spirit and people must worship Him as the Holy Spirit leads and it must be sincere, honest and genuine.
Jesus was telling her that drinking this Holy Water would fill her with the Holy Spirit and then she would know how to worship. The woman answered by saying that the Christ (the Messiah) would come and teach these things. Then Jesus said something to her that was even more amazing. It was something He had only said to a few other people. He said that He was the Messiah. Jesus looks at a person’s heart and embraces those who are rejected.
At that moment the disciples returned from town. They were noticeably awkward. They did not ask the woman what she wanted, nor did they ask Jesus why He was talking with a Samaritan woman when no one else was around. Immediately, the woman left her water pot and ran back to town to tell her friends about Jesus.
The disciples offered Jesus some food but Jesus shifted the subject back toward the woman. He told them that His food was to do the will of His Father and that was to reach the lost. The harvest is great and it is ripe and ready to be brought in. The life of this woman was more important than the physical food they brought Him.
Soon, the woman was back, only now she had brought a crowd of people. Her friends were no doubt the undesirable people of the community. Jesus was happy to be with them. He stayed with them for two full days, teaching them about the kingdom of God. Many believed that He was the Messiah and that day, revival broke out in Samaria.
The Holy Water Mandate
Jesus taught about Holy Water and He gave it to those who were thirsty. It became a well, springing up inside.
Soon the water welled up and overflowed to others. Like the Samaritan woman, all who drink become witnesses of what they have experienced.
The mission of the Holy Water has flowed out from the tiny nation of Israel to satisfy the whole world. This same cleansing stream is still refreshing the world today. It is the only source of eternal life and only discovered when someone has a spiritual interaction with Jesus. Then, for those who drink it, it becomes a well that springs up and blesses the lives of others. So drink the living water and let it overflow.