Rivers of Living Water For You
Dec 18, 2017 1790
Are rivers of living water flowing from your heart? How far has the message of Jesus gotten into you? Jesus said,
Whoever believes in me, as the Scriptures said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water (John 7:38, NKJV).
This is a rather odd image, but it is a really powerful one once we understand what Jesus was talking about. When he says, “as the Scriptures said,” he is referring to Ezekiel 47. In this chapter, Ezekiel has a vision of the glorious true temple. From the altar of the temple (47:1) a trickle of water flows, that becomes a stream, and then a mighty river. Wherever the river flows, it gives life, and nothing dies.
In effect, Jesus was saying that he was the true temple, and the source of that river – the source of all life. John must have been impressed with this reference that Jesus made, because he takes up this idea of the “river of life” in Revelation 22, where he describes this river as being in heaven, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Jesus must have had some nerve to have stood up in the temple at Jerusalem on the precise day and to say what he did (John 7:37)! It was a day in which a special water ceremony was being conducted at the altar of the temple, by which the Jewish people commemorated how God had provided them with water during their journeys through the wilderness. Verse 37 says that Jesus drew attention to himself by crying out this invitation to believe in him so that living waters may flow from your innermost being. In doing so he equates himself with Jehovah God and with the temple, so venerated by the Jews, and even as the one who supplied Israel with water in the wilderness.
Jesus gives you abundant and eternal life, not a trickle of it, not a stream, not one river, but countless rivers of it – when you believe in him.
The Jews looked for the water that was outside of them. That’s why they loved to have themselves baptised, sometimes many times a day. But Jesus pointed to the water that would flow from within them.
How is it possible that we can have the river of life flowing from within us? Jesus himself tells us. It happens when we believe in him.
If the river of life is flowing within us, then we have eternal life as our present possession. It is not something to be looked for outside of us, nor is it just some future hope. It is a present reality, right here, and right now.
Jesus is the source of the water of life (John 14:4). Even more specifically, this living water flows from the alter, as Ezekiel 47 points out. In other words, it flows directly from the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary.
When you believe that Jesus did what he did on the Cross for our salvation, and you accept it, then Christ unites his life to yours. God credits the Son’s life toy our account, and as a result, living waters flow from within you as well.
The immensity of the gift of life is in the language Jesus uses. It’s not just a trickle of life; it is a river or life! It’s not just one river, but “rivers” (plural)! It’s an true super-abundance of life. It is extreme life! It’s eternal life in its truest sense! Those are the rivers of life that will flow from within you when you believe in the Son.
The key question that we must ask ourselves is, “How deep has the message of the Gospel gotten into me?” The living waters must flow from our “innermost being” (John 7:38, NASB), and when they do, they’ll bring life and healing to everyone we meet. – Eliezer Gonzalez