My friend recently told me about his near death experience, and it allowed me to make a connection between the account of the Israelites at the waters of Marah in Exodus 15, with the story of the Samaritan Woman in John 4. I want to share this with you today, and more importantly the lesson that I learnt from it.
A Near Death Experience
So as my friend was sitting in his back yard with his son he felt a terrible oppressive darkness descend upon him. This feeling was so oppressive that he said to his son that he felt like he wanted to die.
Now the sudden onset of this dark mood alarmed my friend’s son, even more so when my friend passed out and his heart stopped beating.
My friend’s son had trained as a lifeguard and so commenced administering CPR. Despite his best efforts my friend continued to lapse in and out of consciousness.
Now administering CPR is hard work, and towards the end of the ordeal my friend’s son’s energy was spent. He thought he had lost his dad.
It was at this point, at that interface between life and death, that my friend’s son heard the voice of the Lord instruct him to serve his father communion, which he did, and from that moment my friend started to recover.
Now when my friend told me about his experience I happened to be reading in my bible about an event that occurred in Marah, after the Israelites had crossed the Red Sea, an event that is recorded in Exodus 15.
Bitter Waters Made Sweet
To summarise what happened at Marah:
After the nation of Israel had been delivered from Egypt by crossing the Red Sea they walked for three days before reaching Marah. By then they had run out of fresh water and were desperate to replenish their supplies and water their stock. But there was a problem. The water at Marah was not fit to drink… it was bitter.
You can imagine that Moses had a riot on his hands, and he cried out to the Lord to show him what to do.
The Lord told Moses to throw a tree into the bitter waters, and as a result the waters of Marah became sweet.
It was here at Marah that God identified Himself to the nation of Israel as their healer.
Now it is a common interpretation that the tree Moses threw into the water is symbolic of the cross of our Saviour.
Just as the turning point in my friend’s near death experience occurred when he was served communion, so the waters of Marah were made sweet when Moses threw in the tree.
Our bodies are 60% water – so here I see a connection between our bodies and the waters of Marah.
Our Bodies Resonate
Now according to Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto water is structured and forms beautiful crystalline arrangements. His research found that through the expression of love, gratitude and appreciation, water responds by structuring itself into crystalline patterns of complex beauty. On the other hand, when water is exposed to negative impulses the resulting crystalline patterns lose their magnificence, and take on grotesque forms.
The idea that there is a connection between our thoughts, emotions and water is also reflected in the Dutch saying “ik voel het aan mijn water”, which translates to “I feel it in my water”, and means something along the lines of “I feel it instinctively”.
So you could say that the dark thoughts that entered into my friend’s mind impacted his body. One could say that the water in his body became bitter through the power of darkness. His restoration came through the act of communion – the tree thrown into the water. So just as God declared to the Israelites at Marah “I am the Lord, your healer” after the waters at Marah had been made sweet, we can see that He remains our Healer today through the power of the risen Christ.
The Samaritan Woman
So how does this connect to the Samaritan Woman in John 4? I
want to focus on verses 13 and 14 where Jesus says to the woman: “
Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
In verse 15 the woman says to Jesus:
“Sir, give me this water…”
Now one may ask what did Jesus do? Did he give the woman a cup of water, or did he give her something else? The answer to this question is found in verse 26, where Jesus says to the woman:
“I who speak to you am he.”
Here Jesus reveals to the woman who He is… Namely the Messiah. It is at this point that the transformation occurs.
In light of what we now know about our bodies and the structure of water, could it be that the transformation which occurred, when the Samaritan woman received the “water” from Jesus, was in effect the transfer of His whole presence to her? His whole Being, His Word and Love, completely resonating in her body, in her water, completely in synchronicity with Christ?
The Samaritan Woman’s interaction with Jesus at the Well transformed her very being… the bitter water of her body having been made sweet…. Which was so completely satisfying.
The woman leaves behind her water pot when she returns to Sychar. This is interesting. She leaves behind her old self, her old identity represented by the empty water pot. She has no more need of it.
She goes back to the town and testifies of the Messiah.
But she doesn’t just testify of Him in a purely academic or knowledge based sense. By having experienced a transformational change through her encounter, she literally presents Him to the people, not her idea of him, and because of this many believed.
Being Rather Than Doing
Here we see where the power comes from – it is not in the doing, it is in the being.
The rivers of living waters that will flow out of the bellies of the believers may just be that… Jesus’ complete Love and Presence emanating from our very being.
In all three accounts – the healing of my friend, the restoring of the waters of Marah, and the Samaritan Woman being fully satisfied we see that it is God who is our healer… the power of the Cross, of the risen Christ and of our communion with Him – enabling His identity to be expressed through us.
This is a gift, and is not reliant on anything that we ‘do’… rather it is reliant on who we become when we lay aside our ‘selves’ and come into union with Him… herein lies the key to the ultimate healing for our own brokenness.