16. Are You a Leaky Christian?

Water is life. One may be able to fast for long periods but one must drink or die of dehydration.

Can you recall when you desperately needed water to quench your thirst?

Pexels – Photo by MART PRODUCTION

The story of the nameless woman at Jacob’s well, who lived in the little village of Sychar in Samaria, is only found in John’s gospel.

Read her story in John 4:1-30,39


In Jesus’ day, Palestine comprised Galilee in the North and Judea in the South. Between the two was the territory of Samaria. From Judea to Galilee,  normally took about 3 days if you walked. However, there was enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans so Jews normally skirted around Samaria taking approximately 6 days.

In 722 BC the King of Assyria captured the northern kingdom of Israel which included Samaria. He took some of the Israelites living there captive to Assyria & brought people from Babylon to live in Samaria. Intermarriage with the Israelites resulted in the orthodox Jews regarding them as an unclean hybrid race.

When the Israelites were released from captivity, the Samaritans offered to help them rebuild their cities and their temple. However, no way would they allow this despised mixed breed race to assist. Instead, the Jews encouraged them to build a temple for themselves on a mountain, Mt Gerizim.


In biblical times there were no large dams, their main water supply came from deep underground springs referred to as living water.

Jesus opted on this occasion to take the shorter route to Galilee. He and his disciples stopped at Jacob’s well on the outskirts of the village of Sychar. Jesus sat at the well but sent the disciples to buy food. At about noon a woman arrived.

Generally, the women came to draw water either in the early morning or evening. Having been married to five husbands, this woman was regarded as an adulterous, loose-living woman. But…

  • Perhaps her husbands had all died! The death rate of men was high, due to disease, crime, and war.
  • Maybe, they had divorced her. Divorce was extremely easy for men. A wife could be divorced for going outside with her hair unbound! Or perhaps speaking to any man other than her husband.
  • How often don’t you and I jump to the wrong conclusion because we don’t know all the facts?

Whatever, she was currently living with a man with whom she was not married, so maybe things weren’t all that simple!

The real issue is that this woman felt rejected, thirsty, and lonely and she came across someone  who cared—Jesus.


Jews and Samaritans tended to steer clear of one another. Yet this Jewish Rabbi asked her, a Samaritan woman for a drink. “Sir, You are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?”

Jesus effectively said to her, “If you knew who I am, you wouldn’t want to talk politics! I can give you Living water.”

She thought Jesus was talking about the fresh water at the very bottom of the well, but Jesus had the water of the Spirit in mind.

Jesus added, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  (John 4:13b, 14) Jesus’ offer sounded great. It would save her having to make those tiresome daily trips to fetch water.

Note that Jesus didn’t condemn her wrong thinking. Instead, he gave her an instruction – ‘Go and fetch your husband.

“Well umm err… I don’t have a husband.”

“You’re right. You’ve had five husbands . . .”


“Sir . . . I can see you’re a prophet!” (Let’s get away from lifestyle, let’s rather talk about worship.)

According to Jews, true worship could only take place at the temple in Jerusalem. However, the Samaritans were not permitted to worship there. Mount Gerizim, was their sacred mountain.  “Rabbi, Tell me which is the correct place to worship God. Jerusalem or Mt Gerizim?”

Jesus responded, You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:22-24)

The woman tried to give the impression that she was religious by speaking about the promised Messiah who would come. Jesus responded, “I who speaks to you am He!”

Woah! That must have rocked the woman back on her heels!


The disciples returned, and the woman couldn’t wait to tell others. She rushed off to the village, leaving her water jar behind. “Come and see this man who told me everything I ever did! … Could this be the Christ?”

This despised woman was transformed with a glow on her face. Folk who usually gossiped about her accepted her invitation to meet Jesus and, “Many believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony.” Yet all she did was run back to the village and share what Jesus had done for her.

When Jesus and the disciples departed two days later, the townsfolk told the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said: … now we know that this man is really the Saviour of the World.”


The Samaritan woman belonged to a despised race—She may have been a loose-living woman—she certainly was not popular. But she met the Saviour and she was completely transformed. Those who despised her came to accept her testimony.

  1. Has your spiritual cup ever been filled? Or have you perhaps never really established contact with the source of living water—Jesus?
  2. Were you once a fresh bubbling believer but your life today lacks that sparkle?  You’re no longer enjoying your walk with the Lord.
  3. Are you perhaps judgmental like the people of Sychar? Your cup is full of the “right way” to do things. You disapprove of so much that is happening in the church these days.
  4. Or are you faithfully walking with the Lord. You love Him yet you long to be more effective.

Wherever you find yourself today, the same Jesus who offered that woman living water desires to fill you so that you need never thirst again.

The greatest need of the church, and the thing which, above all others, believers ought to seek for with one mind and with their whole heart, is to be filled with the Spirit of God. Andrew Murray Share on X


No matter how great our experiences with Jesus have been, if we don’t stop to top up, we will eventually run dry.

The late Dwight L Moody was once asked why he urged Christians to be filled constantly with the Holy Spirit. “Well,” he said, “I need a continual infilling because I leak!”

We are going to end this session with the words of a song Fill my cup Lord, which you may know. Please make it the prayer of your heart.

If you haven’t yet read the Introduction to Encounters with Jesus, please do. It will benefit you throughout this series of studies.

1. A Family Heirloom

If you haven’t yet read the Introduction to Encounters with Jesus, please do. It will benefit you throughout this series of studies.


Many families have an heirloom that has been passed on down the generations.

Family heirlooms come in different shapes and sizes. It may be a piece of jewellery that is passed down to the eldest daughter of the family. It could be a family bible. A silver tea set or even a special commemorative mug like the one in the photo.

What makes an heirloom unique is that it has been handed down from one generation to the next. Because it has crossed numerous generations, family heirlooms may be valuable antiques. However, to an heir, it is of more sentimental value than its financial value.

commemorative mug

Image by Gabriele Alonso Rodriguez from Pixabay


As Christians, and members of the family of God we have received an heirloom – a priceless gift from God. This gift is only passed down to God’s family members.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”(John 14:16,17)

Our Lord Jesus himself received this priceless gift at his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. The Holy Spirit came down upon Him in the form of a dove. From the moment of His baptism by John and His receiving of the Holy Spirit, everything that Jesus did was empowered by the Spirit. (Matthew. 4:1; Luke.4: 1,14)


Then on the night of the Last Supper Jesus promised his faithful apostles they would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper…the Spirit... The world cannot receive Him, because it cannot see him or know him.” (John 14:16,17 GNB)

Jesus needed the help of the Holy Spirit in order to fulfil the Father’s will. So, too His disciples would need the Holy Spirit’s help to accomplish the tasks that He had in store for them.


Jesus chose those first disciples so, “that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach...” (Mark 3:14)

Jesus has these same two goals for His present-day disciples, you and me. We are to spend time with Him. And go out and share the Good News about Him.

i)  Called to be disciples    

The word ‘disciple’ means ‘pupil’ or ‘learner’. Jesus has called all Christians without exception to be His disciples, daily learning from Him through the Word.

We will never cease to be God’s children, but when we cease learning and being teachable, we are no longer disciples. (When godly people do ungodly things – Beth Moore) Share on X

To be true disciples of Jesus, we need to be in constant contact with Him, receiving His instructions daily. At times those instructions may not be easy to accept. For they are aimed at correcting us, moulding us, perfecting us to become more like the Master.

ii)  Called to be witnesses

Not only does Jesus require His disciples to spend time with Him, learning from Him. But in effect to become his apostles. An apostle is one who is ‘sent’. In His parting words to His disciples, Jesus said, “You are witnesses of these things...(Luke. 24:48 GNB)“Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples…teach them to obey everything I have commanded you...” (Matt. 28:19,20 GNB)

  • What things were they witnesses to?

They were witnesses of all that they had seen and heard during the time Jesus was with them.

Today those who believe in Jesus are called “Christians”.  Yet our Lord never gave His disciples that title. He called them “witnesses” – You are called to share your personal experience of how you opened your life to Christ. And what the Lord is doing daily in your life is a powerful witness for Jesus.

iii)  Called to be Spirit-empowered

Before Jesus’ disciples could carry out their mission to be His witnesses and make disciples they had to fulfil another important instruction:

Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift I told you about, the gift my Father promised…in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4,5 GNB)

“When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power; and you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:7,8 GNB)

Jesus’ disciples of all ages need the empowering of the Holy Spirit to help them accomplish the tasks that He has set for them.


Ten days after Jesus’ ascension, on the Jewish feast day of Pentecost, in obedience to Jesus’ command, His followers were prayerfully awaiting the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2: 2-4 describes how God poured out His Spirit upon Jesus’ followers in the form of wind and fire – signs of power and purification.

That frightened group of followers was empowered to become Christ’s witnesses. Through God’s precious gift of the Holy Spirit working through them, they were able to fulfil their calling to be Christ’s witnesses and to make disciples.

Witnessing to others about Jesus Christ and teaching them to be His disciples remains our task as Christians.

  • Did you realise that when you opened your life to Christ you received this wonderful inheritance?
  • What difference is the Holy Spirit making in your life?


In west Texas, there is a famous oil field known as Yates pool. During the depression, this field was a sheep ranch owned by a man named Yates. Mr Yates was not able to earn enough money on his ranch to pay the principal and interest on his mortgage, so he was in danger of losing his ranch. With little money for clothes and food, his family, like many others, had to live off a government subsidy.

One day a seismographic crew from an oil company came into the area and told Mr Yates that there might be oil on his land. They asked permission to drill a well and he signed a lease. They struck a huge oil reserve giving 80,000 barrels a day.

Thirty years after this discovery, a government test of one of those wells revealed that it still could provide 125,000 barrels of oil a day. And Mr Yates owned it all!

The day that he had purchased the land he had received the oil and mineral rights. Yet, he was having to receive a subsidy from the government because he did not know that it was there. He owned the oil but he did not possess it until that well was drilled. (Dr. Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ – ‘How to be filled with the Spirit’)


When we opened our lives to Jesus Christ all the resources of the oil of the Holy Spirit were made available to us, but often through ignorance, like Mr Yates, we are not aware that it is there.

Everything that you need to be a fruitful Christian, who is leading others to Jesus and helping them to become Jesus’ disciples, is available to you.

In Ephesians 5:18 we are encouraged to: “Be filled with the Spirit.”  The word “filled” in the original Greek is in the present continuous tense.

Rev Andrew Murray wrote, ”I have learned to place myself before God every day as a vessel to be filled with His Holy Spirit. He has filled me with the blessed assurance that He, as the everlasting God, has guaranteed His own work in me.”

When you entrusted yourself to Jesus as your Saviour and Lord, you received the precious heirloom of the Holy Spirit. How about following this link, and spending a few minutes in worship, praying for the Holy Spirit’s power in your life? He will help make your encounters with Jesus all the more real.

Come, Holy Spirit—I need You.