“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink….”
Hunger and thirst. Food and water. The two basic things needed for life. Let’s start with some numbers.
Even though there is enough food on the planet to properly nourish everyone – people still go to bed hungry. People are dying because of hunger.
An estimated 842 million people don’t have enough food. As a result, this year 2.6 million children will die from hunger-related causes. Every 4 seconds someone will die as a result of not having enough food.
The majority of those in the West can simply turn on a faucet and out comes – fairly safe and clean water. This is not so in a large part of our world.
Over 1 billion people do not have access to safe and clean drinking water. 1 in 8 people worldwide do not have access to clean water. 443 million school days are lost each year due to lack of water related issues. 1 out of every 5deaths of children under the age of five is due to a water related disease.
We could go on and on but frankly, it is just too depressing.
Food and water. Something everyone needs.
There is another kind of being hungry. Another kind of thirsting.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5)
You see, there are those who hunger and thirst in a physical way. There are also those who are hungry and thirsty for life to be made right. To have a life of meaning and purpose.
The Apostle John tells a story in which Jesus talks with a woman at a well. Jesus tells the woman that anyone who drinks from that well (the physical one containing H2O) will thirst again. But then he starts talking about a different kind of water.
“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.” (John 4)
Jesus wants to give people “eternal life”. This isn’t some kind of life after death, this is for the here and now. It’s filled with peace, joy, fulfillment, purpose, wholeness. This is life you can have forever, regardless of your circumstances. He wants to show people that their life is not the same thing as the things that happen in their lives.
Food and water. Hunger and thirst.
Will we feed the hungry? Give water to the thirsty?
Do we have this other kind of life Jesus talks about? Will we help others find it?