You know what we’re really thirsty for? Life in his name.
NOVEMBER 4, 2021
Matt Heard: You know what we’re really thirsty for? Is life in his name. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. If you’ve been trying to earn God’s approval, we invite you to hang out with us. Steve invited our friend, Matt Heard to teach us all this week. Matt is a speaker, teacher, writer, pastor, coach, and the author of Life with a Capital L.
Matt Heard: Thank you Matthew. Can you believe the week is almost done and we’re going to be wrapping up this segment on a great story, but it’s even more than a great story. It’s life changing truth, free life giving truth. We’ve been journeying with a woman from Samaria on a conversation that she was having with Jesus, where he was doing some surgery. She was trying to satisfy her thirst with some things that were not nearly going to do the trick. We talked a little bit yesterday about the way that we take our eternal thirst. It’s from that eternity that’s in our heart and we try to satisfy those deep longings with temporary stuff. Sometimes it’s fine. Other times it’s downright sinful. But the bottom line is those pursuits are not enough to address what we ultimately need. And John chapter four is the passage that we’ve been going through. And if you’ve got a Bible, take it out and let’s look at it one more time, verse 10.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
In verse 13, he said.
“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.
Jesus is not being poetic there, he is describing what we are ultimately thirsty for and it’s eternal life. We’ve already talked about how we can confuse eternal life with heaven, the two do go together, but they’re not synonymous. We talked about being an adjective and a noun, the adjective eternal and the noun is life. And we’ve got to embrace both of those. You see, the adjective has to do with the quantity, but the noun life has to do with the quality. And when you talk about what we’re thirsty for, we have a qualitative and a quantitative thirst. It’s quantity eternal, but it’s also quality life. And so often, when we think about eternal life, we’re just going down that path of, it’s a forever thing. And it’s for the future. No, A it’s for now. And B it’s something that’s way more than the length of time. I was backpacking one time up in the upper peninsula of Michigan. You folks who live up there are proudly known as Yoopers. And I had spent about three days, out in the wilderness. I came back really hungry and I asked for direction, somebody pointed out a diner that was on the highway and it looked like it had come right out of Back to the Future. It was this metallic trailer looking place. And I went in and there’s burgundy, vinyl booths that you sit in, and they’re so dirty, you can’t really slide. They just grab you, you grab the menu and you let go. It doesn’t let go of you. There’s a jukebox plan. I felt like I had stepped back in time. And the waitress came up and she had a dirty apron on, she had a pad of paper and a pencil, no kidding. She’s chewing gum. And she says, what do you have? And I was trying to relax her a little bit. And I said, you know what? I’ve been backpacking for a couple of days. I’m not interested in quality. I’m interested in quantity. And she didn’t miss a beat. She just kept chewing her gum and says, well, you’ve come to the right place. And in the food game, she’d been telling the truth. There was a lot of food, but it was gross. And it’s not just the quantity, that’s important, it’s the quality. And so, a lot of times I’ll hear people say eternal life, I’m not sure I grasp that. In fact, I’ve had some people say, I don’t want this life to go on forever because they’re only focusing on the adjective and not the noun. And Jesus is saying, both are important. And when we trust him, when we come into a personal relationship with him, at that moment, we get eternal life, John 5:24, he says.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged; but has at that moment crossed over from death to life.”
So, anybody who’s trusted Jesus, we’re equally alive, but the difference is going to be, we’re not equally experiencing that life of the Gospel, that eternal life. But that’s what will address our deepest longings. Now, when Jesus uses the word life there, it’s a word that John brings up over 70 times in his Gospel, in his Epistles and Revelation. And out of those 71 or 72 times, when we see life, only about 15 or referring to heart beating, lung breathing life, the rest are referring to a totally different life altogether. There are three primary Greek words there. If you want your Greek lesson today, there’s bios and psuche, those are the type of life that everyone has, wherever they are in their relationship with Jesus. The bios is the heart beating, the psuche is that consciousness. But, there’s the Zoe, if any of you have the name Zoe, know I like your name. It is a powerful, powerful name in Scripture. It’s a word that means the eternal life of God. And that’s what was unique about Jesus. You know, it wasn’t his morality or his ideology, even those were impeccable. John says at the beginning of his gospel, when he’s introducing Jesus to us, he says, in Jesus was was Zoe. And that’s what would unique about him and that Zoe was the light of all mankind. In him was life, and that life is the light of all mankind. And that’s what Jesus was referring to in John 10:10. It’s a verse that we trivialize, we super spiritualize, but it comes right down to what we are most thirsty for, he says.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I mean, that’s a direct reference to the garden, where the enemy lied to us and said, you don’t need God to quench your thirst. Jesus says, I’ve come that they might have life that they might have Zoe and have it to the full, this people that have been banished from the garden because of their rebellion, when we listen to the enemy and say, we can know life without God, we can experience life without God. We’re opting for his lie. And Jesus says, I’ve come to restore you to what you ultimately are thirsty for. And John, when he finishes his gospel, he says in verse 31 of chapter 20, he says.
These things are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the son of God, and that by believing you may have zoe in his name.
You know, every human being has bios and psuche life. We’re all lung breathing, heart beating people. But when we come to Jesus, we’re made alive. And we are made alive by believing in Jesus as Messiah, you know, in that verse, he says I’ve written my gospel for two reasons. Number one is that, I’ll call it part A ,that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, I refer to that as orthodox. So, we all need right belief, but he says there’s a second, equally important purpose. The gospel is also a part, but there’s a part B to it, it’s vibrancy, it’s life in his name and true orthodoxy, leads us to vibrancy, dead orthodoxy leads us to a suffocating religiosity, but John says, zoe makes us alive. Zoe is what that woman by the well was thirsty for. Zoe is what you and I wake up every morning and we’re saying, this is what we yearn for. There are a lot of folks that think, okay, I don’t want to bring my ultimate thirst to God. I mean, my thirst is way too much for any of this Jesus business and CS Lewis, in an essay called The Weight of Glory said, you know what.
If we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday by the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
I want to encourage you, don’t be too easily pleased. Evaluate your thirst and then bring it to Jesus. Go deep with your longings, but also go deep with the Gospel. In fact, you know, the one-time Jesus defines eternal life is in John 17:3, he is in the garden the night before he gives his life for us, and he says.
Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.
He says eternal life is it’s not a place. It’s a reality of relating with God in the midst of our vocations and our relationships and our recreation. Relating with him in an intimate enough way that that intimacy spills over into all of our lives. What eternal life is about, is for me to lovingly and submissively and vibrantly relate with God, not just on Sunday mornings, but Monday mornings, Thursday afternoons, Friday nights, and to relate with them in such a way that it awakens my heart and it addresses my longings and deepens my relationships and permeates my work, enhances my recreation and triggers my laughter, authenticates my tears, unleashes my generosity and fuels my compassion and expands my creativity and directs my journey. I want to encourage you to let him not only bring you to life, if you’re a follower of Jesus, that’s already there, but once you’re alive to experience the life, the living honor that only Jesus can give us. I’ve loved journeying with you this week. And I hope you thrive today.
Thank you so much Matt. That was pastor and author. Matt Heard wrapping up a powerful week of teaching based on the story of the woman at the well, if you missed any of those episodes, remember you can listen to those for free right now at Keylife.org. Steve, will be back tomorrow for Friday Q&A. Tomorrow, he and Pete will tangle with this question. Do Christians still have a sinful nature? Sounds like a good one. Don’t miss that. So, just a moment ago, you heard teaching from Matt Heard. And over the course of the week, I expect you got to know and like Matt, just like we have. That’s why I think he’ll be interested in hearing more from Matt. We recently spoke with him on our talk radio show, Steve Brown Etc, about some of the same themes he touched on this week about living life to the fullest. It’s a really encouraging show that I know you’ll be blessed by. Would you let us send it to you for free? Just call 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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