John 7:37, 38 - Living Water.

John 7:37, 38 - Living Water.

John 7:37b,38 (KJV)  If any man thirst, let him come unto me, 
and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out 
of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  

[If any man thirst] Spiritually. If any man feels his need of 
salvation. (Barnes' Notes) 

His offer, Come to Me and drink, was an offer of salvation. 
[Bible Knowledge Commentary] 

Here is a gospel invitation to come to Christ, and a gospel 
promise of comfort and happiness in him. (Matthew Henry's Commentary) 

"Come to me and accept me; and I will put into you through my 
Spirit a new life which will give you purity and satisfaction, and give 
you the kind of life you have always longed for and never had." 
[Barclay Commentary] 

The word "belly" is often put for the midst of a thing, the 
center, and the heart, (Barnes' Notes) 

Jesus used the term 'living water' in 4:10 to indicate eternal 
life. Here he uses the term to refer to the Holy Spirit. The two go 
together: wherever the Holy Spirit is accepted, he brings eternal life. 
[Life Application SB] 

The "living water" (v. 38) was the coming gift of the Holy 
Spirit. The Spirit within a believer satisfies his need of God, and 
provides him with regeneration, guidance, and empowerment. [Bible 
Knowledge Commentary] 

[Living water.] As a true spring is ever supplied with water 
from the great deep, with which it has communication, so shall the 
soul of the genuine believer be supplied with light, life, love, and 
liberty, and all the other graces of the indwelling Spirit, from the 
indwelling Christ. (Adam Clarke Commentary) 

Living water, running water, which the Hebrew language calls 
living, because still in motion. The graces and comforts of the Spirit 
are compared to living (meaning running) water, because they are the 
active quickening principles of spiritual life, and the earnests and 
beginnings of eternal life. Rivers of living water, denoting both plenty 
and constancy. (Matthew Henry's Commentary) 

If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink (justification). 
 He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, Out of his 
heart shall flow rivers of living water (sanctification) 
[Joh.7:37,38].  Only as we constantly drink the living water can our behavior 
be an outflow of love and blessing to others.  [SS Lesson 

When we put our faith in him and ask for a drink, he gives us 
his Spirit.  The Holy Spirit becomes an inexhaustible river of 
living water, welling up in us and flowing through us.  The indwelling 
and eternal Holy Spirit goes with us wherever we go and can quench 
even our strongest spiritual thirst.  Having this water "on tap" is 
the key to resisting the temptation to escape through alcohol, food, 
sex, work, codependent relationships, and other compulsions.  [Life 
Recovery SB] 

A great power can exist for years and even centuries without men 
being able to tap it. To take a very relevant example there has always 
been atomic power in this world; men did not invent it. But only in 
our own time have men tapped and used it. The Holy Spirit has always 
existed; but men never really enjoyed his full power until after 
Pentecost. As it has been finely said, "There could be no Pentecost without 
Calvary." It was only when men had known Jesus that they really knew the 
Spirit. Before that the Spirit had been a power, but now he is a person, 
for he has become to us nothing other than the presence of the Risen 
Christ always with us. In this apparently startling sentence John is 
not saying that the Spirit did not exist; but that it took the life 
and death of Jesus Christ to open the floodgates for the Spirit to 
become real and powerful to all men. [Barclay Commentary] 

One of the terrible tragedies of human behavior is for people to 
turn to other human beings in an effort to find sustenance for their 
spirits.  They are always deluded, ever disappointed.  Our spirits can 
only find life in the Living Spirit of the Living Lord.  Our eternal 
quest for life-giving water can only be quenched by the eternal life 
of God Himself coming to us through the hidden springs of His own 
person who indwells those who are open channels for His life. W. 
Phillip Keller [Time with God SB] 

He who seeks to quench his thirst at the fountains of this world 
will drink only to thirst again.  Everywhere men are unsatisfied. 
They long for something to supply the need of the soul.  Only One can 
meet that want.  The need of the world, "The Desire of all nations," 
is Christ.  The divine grace which He alone can impart, is as 
living water, purifying, refreshing, and invigorating the soul.  Jesus 
did not convey the idea that merely one draft of the water of life 
would suffice the receiver.  He who tastes of the love of Christ will 
continually long for more; but he seeks for nothing else.  The riches, 
honors, and pleasures of the world do not attract him.  The constant cry 
of his heart is, More of Thee. DA187 

The heart that receives the word of God is not as a pool that 
evaporates, not like a broken cistern that loses its treasure. It is like 
the mountain stream, fed by unfailing springs, whose cool, sparkling 
waters leap from rock to rock, refreshing the weary, the thirsty, the 
heavy-laden. It is like a river constantly flowing and, as it advances, 
becoming deeper and wider, until its life-giving waters are spread over 
all the earth. The stream that goes singing on its way leaves behind 
its gift of verdure and fruitfulness. The grass on its banks is a 
fresher green, the trees have a richer verdure, the flowers are more 
abundant. When the earth lies bare and brown under the summer's scorching 
heat, a line of verdure marks the river's course. So it is with the 
true child of God. The religion of Christ reveals itself as a 
vitalizing, pervading principle, a living, working, spiritual energy. When 
the heart is opened to the heavenly influence of truth and love, 
these principles will flow forth again like streams in the desert, 
causing fruitfulness to appear where now are barrenness and dearth. 

Dear Child, I watch you laboring and fretting and anxiously 
striving to achieve things for me and my kingdom.  Hear me.  Your work is 
not my primary concern.  Your work is now, has always been, and 
always will be secondary to your relationship with me. What you do will 
flow out of your relationship with me as irrigation streams flow out 
of a deep, clear, powerful river.  The river (the relationship) 
will set your motives and supply your strength.  Then your work will 
flow forth to honor me.  Any time you allow your work to come ahead 
of your relationship with me, you risk working against me and my 
purposes. Draw near to me and rest.  Seek my will at every small turn.  
Listen for my voice.  Be filled with my Spirit.  Then work with joy and 
abandon! The Source of your power, God [PostCards from Heaven by Claire 

A river touches places of which its source knows nothing, and 
Jesus says if we have received of His fulness, however small the 
visible measure of our lives, out of us will flow the rivers that will 
bless to the uttermost parts of the earth. We have nothing to do with 
the outflow--"This is the work of God that ye believe. . . ." God 
rarely allows a soul to see how great a blessing he is. 
A river is victoriously persistent, it overcomes all barriers. 
For a while it goes steadily on its course, then it comes to an 
obstacle and for a while it is baulked, but it soon makes a pathway round 
the obstacle. Or a river will drop out of sight for miles, and 
presently emerge again broader and grander than ever. You can see God 
using some lives, but into your life an obstacle has come and you do 
not seem to be of any use. Keep paying attention to the Source, and 
God will either take you round the obstacle or remove it. The river 
of the Spirit of God overcomes all obstacles. Never get your eyes 
on the obstacle or on the difficulty. The obstacle is a matter of 
indifference to the river which will flow steadily through you if you 
remember to keep right at the Source. Never allow anything to come 
between yourself and Jesus Christ, no emotion, or experience; nothing 
must keep you from the one great sovereign Source. 
Think of the healing and far-flung rivers nursing themselves in 
our souls! God has been opening up marvellous truths to our minds, 
and every point He has opened up is an indication of the wider power 
of the river He will flow through us. If you believe in Jesus, you 
will find that God has nourished in you mighty torrents of blessing 
for others. [My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers] 

It means here that those who are Christians shall diffuse large, 
and liberal, and constant blessings on their fellow-men; or, as 
Jesus immediately explains it, that they shall be the instruments by 
which the Holy Spirit shall be poured down on the world. (Barnes' 

No sooner does one come to Christ than there is born in his 
heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has 
found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in 
his heart. If we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and 
are filled with the joy of His indwelling Spirit, we shall not be 
able to hold our peace. If we have tasted and seen that the Lord is 
good we shall have something to tell. SC78 

Every true Christian is a living fountain, ever receiving of the 
unfailing streams of grace, ever refreshed and ever refreshing those that 
are around him. Those who are coworkers with God manifest a 
missionary spirit; for they are ever receiving, that they may ever be 
giving to others the light and blessing of heaven. CSW66 

Johan is young, tall, blond, and Dutch.  I got to know him 
through my cousin, who attended the same Bible school in England.  
Gifted and handsome, Johan could have carved out a comfortable youth 
ministry in his native Netherlands - or most anywhere in the world, for 
that matter. 
Comfort, however, isn't one of Johan's major goals.  He chose to 
take the gospel of Christ to the Bedouins and nomads near Israel's 
desolate Sinai desert.  A forgotten people in one of the most desolate 
corners of the world. 
Johan works by an oasis near the sea, attracting travelers and 
Bedouins by offering hot meals, clothing, and first aid.... 
From the Bedouins, Johan learned it is considered worse than 
murder if you know of a water source and yet neglect to tell your 
fellow man. 
Few of us will ever live in a wilderness like the one where 
young Johan has pitched his tent.  Not many among us will ever 
proclaim salvation to desert nomads.  But all around us, no matter where 
we reside or work, there are thirsty men and women.  The neighbor 
down the street, the man at the service station, the boy who carries 
our groceries, the secretary who types and files, or even the 
distant aunt who occasionally comes by for visits. 
If these people don't know Christ, they're going to die of 
Do you know the Source of living water?  If you do please don't 
withhold a drink from somebody who is thirsty. 
It's not just a matter of hospitality.  It's a matter of life 
and death. Joni Eareckson Tada [Time with God SB]