“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…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.” John 4: 10, 13-14 (NIV)
“Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38 (NIV)
Water. The source of life. We cannot live more than a week without it. Sixty percent of our bodies are composed of it. We search for evidence of it on other planets as an indicator of sustaining life.
In the Old Testament, God refers to himself as the spring of living water (Jeremiah 2:13-14, 17:13). In Genesis, God creates the heavens and the earth—and water—before filling it with life (Genesis 1:1-2). By claiming to be able to give living water to us, Jesus is saying he has access to the spring of living water!
Jesus claims the water he gives is living and eternal-life giving. What does he mean?
In the passage above, Jesus offers living water to a Samaritan woman at a well. He tells her the water she draws from the well will not satisfy her thirst for long. She will need to draw from it again and again. He is not just referring to literal water. The Samaritan woman had man afer man, husband after husband, yet did not seem to find what her heart longed for in human relationships. Jesus knew her heart longed for something more. His offer of living water was an offer to satisfy the longing of her heart with a relationship with God—in spirit and in truth. (John 4)
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. John 7:37-39 (NIV)
Jesus still offers living water which leads to eternal life. He offers it to those who acknowledge their thirst and know the wells from which they seek to satisfy their longing for love, acceptance, and forgiveness are broken.
“For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’” Revelation 7:17 (NIV)
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”