Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” (John 4:26)

WE ALL GET THIRSTY. No doubt there have been times in your life when you were thirsty. Maybe it was after a long hard day of outdoor chores or an extended time of work or play. You know what it is like to be thirsty. As we read the story of Jesus’ encounter with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, we realize that Jesus was not speaking about physical thirst. He was referring to another type of thirst that everyone deals with—a thirst for love and a sense of belonging.

That thirst can be pretty powerful, and it can cause us to do some pretty serious things in our desire to quench it. Relationships, money, power, and position all fall short of satisfying that longing in our lives. Sadly, they often leave us broken, hurt, and ashamed. Some would say Jesus met the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. I say He met her at the end of her rope, where she was grasping for love and peace. She was a victim of failed relationships and full of shame as she came to the well in the middle of the day. However, Jesus did not shun her, nor did He scold her. He communicated His identity and offered the desperate woman a life of freedom. He revealed to her that He was what she had been searching for.

As people try to quench their thirst, they need to know Jesus offers us something this world cannot provide. Everything this world offers will always leave us thirsting for more. Jesus is the only one who can truly satisfy our souls. He freely gives. Have you freely received?

You do not have to look any further; Jesus offers life to the fullest.

Scott Simmons is the author of the youth discipleship series iFollow and was director of youth ministry for the Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division of The Wesleyan Church.