January 10, 2007 - I Thirst


‘I thirst’
By John Fischer

“Please give me a drink.” (John 4:7)

We worship a God who became a vulnerable human being. Superman took kryptonite. Samson let his hair be cut. Jack Frost relinquished his wintry powers to become the town tailor. Jesus got thirsty. It’s a story that is played out not only in history, but in fantasy, legend, and mythology – someone with supernatural powers gives up those powers to become human and it is always done for one reason: love. That was God’s reason. “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (Romans 5:8)

And yet Jesus did more than just come to die. He also came to live as a human being. And that’s how it came to be that the God who made the heavens and the earth, including the clouds that bring water to a thirsty land, wound up at the well of Jacob asking a Samaritan woman for a drink. She had something he needed. He gave her worth by asking her for it. Due to tradition and culture, he should have had nothing to do with this woman. As it turned out, he ended up revealing to her his identity as the Messiah –something he did not do that directly to anyone for the rest of his ministry on earth.

Love always makes you vulnerable. There’s no way you can love and not expose yourself in some way or give something up. Love and need go together. God’s love compelled him to do what he did because that very love created in him a need for us. By creating us he also created in himself a place for us, and that need was reflected many times through the life of Christ.

Jesus Christ didn’t die for us because it made for good theology, he died for us because he loved us, lost us to sin, and gave himself up to buy us back. By doing this, he had to become vulnerable to the very system he created, that we might see how true love behaves. There is a death in love, and that death is the death of self. Jesus died to love us; we die as well in order to love and serve others. And part of that is in being vulnerable.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for someone is ask for help. Jesus asked the woman for a drink and three years later, he was asking for the same thing from the cross –symbolic of the vulnerability he placed himself into for the whole human race. Being vulnerable to those you love is a big part of love itself.

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