Meditations from John 4 & 7
Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, ‘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'” (John 7:37-38).
Once again we observe the unique characteristics of the speech of the perfect Man, the Son of God. The offered blessing comes with a guarantee that extends to all eternity. There is no possibility that some may approach to drink only to be told that their case is too difficult or their past too sinful for them to receive the living draught. Much less is there any admission that some may drink only to find that the living water does not rise to expectations. With admiration we recognize in that blessed Man, Who sat humbly on the well, One Who spake as never man spake.
In John 3:6 the Lord Jesus said “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” In the unforgettable moment in which the reader believed on the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit begot eternal life within him. According to the Lord’s words, this new life, begotten by the Spirit is a spring or fountain (Newberry) of water that springs up and will continue to spring up to all eternity. Eventual transportation to heaven can only intensify the resulting satisfaction:
The streams on earth I’ve tasted.
More deep I’ll drink above;
There to an ocean’s fullness
His mercy doth expand;
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Immanuel’s land.
(Anne Ross Cousin 1824-1906)
The comments of the erudite William Kelly (1820-1906) illuminate these verses: “Christ gives the Holy Spirit to the believer to be in him a fresh fountain of divine enjoyment, not only eternal life from the Father in the Person of the Son, but the communion of the Holy Spirit; and hence the power of worship, as we shall see later in this very conversation. Thus it is not only deliverance from hankering after pleasure, vanity, and sin, but a living spring of exhaustless and divine joy in God through our Lord Jesus, and this in the power of the Spirit. It supposes the possession of life eternal in the Son, but also the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who was given to us.”
Perhaps it may be good to pause at this point. The reader may feel that these comments are a little unreal as far as the day-to-day experience of many is concerned. But the guarantee of the Lord Jesus in John 4:14 cannot fail. It is undeniable that all who are saved have the “spring of life” within. We have been born of the Spirit and He dwells in us, but if we grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30) we will hinder His operation within us. If we neglect the Word inspired by Him, we will not hear His voice. According to this verse we have all that is needed to know joy and satisfaction at the highest level; there is no need to content ourselves with a minimal portion. Perhaps, even worse, the failure to enjoy the unfailing spring gives way to the tendency to try some of the “harmless” things of the world. The question arises, will carelessness of this kind diminish the ability of the child of God to enter into the joy of His Lord when at last he reaches heaven? There the “living fountains of water” tell of an eternity of infinite joy, of delight in God and in His blessed Son according to the power of the Holy Spirit, where the scene will be one of fragrant worship, forever. “The Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev 7:17: It is recognized that many apply this passage to the millennium. With all deference to this view, the words would seem to at least bear an application to heaven).
The same clear voice was heard in different circumstances in John 7:37-38. The call to the thirsty, heard by the lone woman in John 4, is now heard by the crowds in the last and great day of the feast. There might have been much that appealed to human nature in the feast, but there was nothing for thirsty souls. Was there not something better than the passing excitement of a religious feast? The powerful voice gave the answer. The second part of His message brought a new dimension to the subject: “He that believeth on Me … out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” These words carry the assurance that those who believe in Him will become a source of blessing to those around. This goes far beyond kindness and goodwill toward others, which is always highly commendable. The believer will radiate the knowledge of Christ as the sole fountain of the water of life. Observe the words “shall flow.” The word, used only here in the NT, signifies the spontaneous testimony to a living Savior. When a believer is presenting the message of the gospel it is apparent that he is not merely defending a religious concept, but rather presenting His Savior from the depths of his heart.
Let us give such place to the Holy Spirit in our lives as will enable Him to so operate within us that the deep satisfaction of the “living water” will be ours in abundant measure and the resulting power in testimony be effectual to those with whom we come in contact.
“Never man spake like this Man!”