H2O – Streams of Living Water

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Jesus made a very loud and public invitation, “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.” (John 7:37-38). The following verse gives clarity that Jesus is talking about the gift of the Holy Spirit, who after Christ’s resurrection and ascension to heaven was made available to all who believe in Jesus (v39).

There is some discussion amongst bible scholars about the “locus” of the rivers of living water that Christ talked about. Is it from within Jesus, or from within the believer? The construction of the Greek text allows for either! But the plurality of ‘rivers’ should probably suggest that Jesus is saying the Spirit will flow like a river from every believer. There is certainly precedence for this elsewhere in Scripture (e.g. John 4:14). But the purpose in John 7 gives a picture of an outward flow – something beyond the individual.

No one has been able to identify a specific Old Testament scripture that Jesus was quoting, but there is certainly a theme of rivers and transformation that permeates the prophetic message of the Old Testament.