The River by Paul Gilbertson
In John 7: 32-49, the Pharisees sent out officers to arrest Jesus. Along with the Pharisee’s officers the people themselves were divided on who they say Jesus is. They were asking if he was a Prophet or if he was Christ. Nether the officers or the people ever laid hands on Jesus, and the officers had to go back to the Pharisees and explain themselves. However, the part of the passage that really spoke to me was John 7: 37-39. 37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
What I was drawn to was the phrase “rivers of living waters.” I love the imagery that this brought to my mind. When I read through the Bible, I see how God spoke through his people and put difficult concepts into simple language by using everyday examples. It helps me understand what God is saying. “Rivers of living waters.” These four words have so many meanings to me. Water is life giving. Nothing lives without water. Water goes everywhere. It can fill the largest canyons and flow into the smallest cracks. Rivers can be straight or they can cut through the hardest rock. They can sink or lift up the heaviest objects. Water feeds plants and washes away the dirt. All of these things are natural occurrences, but what Jesus was describing was spiritual.
The rivers of living waters that flow from our hearts only come from God. He gives us the water that we can grow by. He gives us the water to be nourished and opens our own hearts up to nourish others. He uses these waters to cleanse us so we can be an example of his light. Just as natural rivers fill up canyons or flow into cracks, let us use the living waters to go and show people the love of Christ. John 4:10, 13-14, 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 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.”
As we celebrate the most important day for the church, Easter Sunday, we can rest assure that Jesus came down to earth to be that ‘Living Water’ he talks about. Let us drink and never thirst again.