"We want to be encircled in the arms of our Heavenly Father’s love and guidance, and so we put His will first and with a broken heart plead that Christ will pour streams of cleansing water into our pitcher. At first it may come drop by drop, but as we seek, ask, and obey, it will come abundantly. This living water will begin to fill us, and brimming with His love, we can tip the pitcher of our soul and share its contents with others who thirst for healing, hope, and belonging. As our inner pitcher becomes clean, our earthly relationships begin to heal.”
(Neill F. Marriott, “Abiding in God and Repairing the Breach,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2017)
“He Sent His Son,” Children’s Songbook, no. 34
“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Bring to family scripture study a pitcher of water and a drinking cup for each family member. Hold up the pitcher of water and ask your family to name some uses of water. Remind your family that the body is made up largely of water and that though people can go weeks without eating, they can only last a few days without water. Invite a family member to describe a time when they were really thirsty. Ask them what they would have given for a drink of water at that time. Ask someone to read John 4:5–9 and ask:
What area did Jesus travel to? (Samaria.)
What time of the day did Jesus arrive at Jacob’s well? (The “sixth hour” is noon.)
What words in verse 6 indicate how Jesus felt following this journey?
Why was the Samaritan woman surprised when Jesus asked her for a drink? (See Bible Dictionary, “Samaritans,” 768.)
Pour a glass of water for each family member except for one. In that person’s empty glass, place a piece of paper with John 4:10–14 written on it. Tell your family to drink the water and have the person with the empty glass read the verses. Ask your family:
What did the woman think Jesus was offering her?
What was He really offering her? (“Living water” represents the love God extends to his children through Jesus Christ; see also 1 Nephi 11:25)
In what way is the living water Jesus offers more desirable than what you just drank?
How can someone obtain this living water?
Explain to your family that after Jesus taught the Samaritan woman about living water, He revealed His prophetic power. Take turns reading John 4:16–26. Discuss the following questions:
What things did Jesus say to the woman that convinced her He was a prophet?
How did Jesus teach the woman to worship God? (Verse 24)
How does the Joseph Smith Translation help us better understand what Jesus taught the woman about worshiping God? (See verse 24a)
What did Jesus reveal to the woman that told her He was more than a prophet? (Verses 25–26)
Invite your family to silently read John 4:28–42 and look for how this Samaritan woman felt about Jesus’ message and what she did about it. Ask:
What came of this woman’s excitement about the gospel message declared by Jesus?
Who did she testify that He really was?
What can we learn from her about our family’s responsibility toward our friends and neighbors who are not of our faith?
Tell your family that water is life, especially in dry climates like Palestine. Testify that this is also true in a spiritual sense; people can die spiritually from the loss of “living water.” Discuss ways your family can help quench the spiritual thirst of people you associate with.
(Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Families: The New Testament, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2006])
In the Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis taught a hard saying. In these children's stories, the great lion, Aslan, is a symbolic representation of the Savior, and they should be read with that truth in mind. In the quotation below, Jill, a new visitor to the land of Narnia, Aslan's kingdom, is wandering in a wood. She is thirsty and hears the sound of a stream in the distance. She heads in the direction of the stream, her thirst increasing. When she finds it, however, she stops, for there next to its bank sits a great lion.
“Are you not thirsty?” said the Lion.
“I am dying of thirst,” said Jill.
“Then drink,” said the Lion….
“Will you promise not to—do anything to me, if I do come?” said Jill.
“I make no promise,” said the Lion.
Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer.
“I daren't come and drink,” said Jill.
“Then you will die of thirst,” said the Lion.
“Oh dear!” said Jill, coming another step nearer. “I suppose I must go and look for another stream then.”
“There is no other stream,” said the Lion. (The Silver Chair [New York: Collier Books, 1970], pp. 16–17.)
There is no other stream. We must drink or die. We must walk his path or be forever lost. We must feast on his bread or starve. We must see by his light or wander hopelessly in the darkness. We must build on his rock or forever feel the shifting sands beneath our feet. This is the one truth about the path that Satan desperately wants to hide.
(S. Michael Wilcox, Don’t Leap with the Sheep: And Other Scriptural Strategies for Avoiding Satan’s Snares, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001])
What can we learn from this excerpt about the living water Christ offers us?