A Reflection on Hunger and Thirst

When your stomach is empty or your mouth is parched, it’s hard to think of anything but food or water.  In John 4, Jesus and his disciples have been traveling for hours.  Around the noon hour they come to a well near Sychar in Samaria.  As you can imagine, they are all thirsty and hungry.  Therefore, Jesus sends his disciples to get some food.  While waiting, a Samaritan woman approaches to get some water from the well.  Naturally, Jesus asks for a drink of water.  Thus, the story begins with Jesus being thirsty and hungry. 

What’s intriguing in the story is that John never tells us that Jesus drank and ate in Sychar.  It’s not because He didn’t; it’s because John focuses on another appetite, which eclipses physical appetites.  Jesus was more concerned that the Samaritan woman would yearn for the water of eternal life than for a physical fountain of youth.  Unlike His disciples, Jesus was more concerned with obeying His Father’s will than with eating bread.  He models for the characters in the story the priority of spiritual necessities over physical necessities.  In our own lives, our physical needs are crucial.  However, our greatest needs are spiritual.  Above all, may we thirst to know Him and hunger to do His will in furthering His gospel in the world.   Along the way, remember the promise of Jesus, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”

About Doug Finkbeiner
I am a Professor of New Testament and Pastoral Theology at Calvary Baptist Seminary in Lansdale, PA.

One Response to A Reflection on Hunger and Thirst

  1. Jonathan Bach says:

    Thanks Doug! – I’m praying for ya’ll this week at the conference. auf Wiedersehen.

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