Jan 22, 2018 869
This is a rather odd image, but a really powerful one, once we understand what Jesus was saying. He is referring to Ezekiel 47, where Ezekiel describes a vision of the glorious true temple. From the altar, a trickle of water flows. It becomes a stream, and then a mighty river that gives life wherever it flows.
In effect, Jesus was saying that he was the true temple, the source of that river and of all life. John again takes up the theme 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 stand up in the temple on that precise day and say this (John 7:37)! This was the day when the Jewish people commemorated how God provided them with water during their wilderness journeys. Jesus invites them to believe in him, so living waters might flow from their innermost being. He is equating himself with Jehovah God and the temple, so venerated by the Jews, and even as the one who supplied Israel with water in the wilderness.
How is it possible that we can have the river of life flowing from within us? Jesus 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 altar (Ezekiel 47). In other words, it flows directly from the sacrifice of Christ at Calvary.
When you believe that Jesus died on the Cross for our salvation, and you accept it, then Christ unites his life to yours. God credits the Son’s life to your 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 of life! It’s not just one river, but “rivers” (plural)! It’s a true super-abundance of life. It is extreme life — eternal life in its truest sense!
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