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."
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
[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
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
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
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]