Jesus is the Living Water for Souls

Water is the source of life. There are many reasons why we should not see water as mere liquid. For one thing, water circulates in the body to maintain blood pressure and other essential physical functions such as transportation of nutrients to cells and excretion of waste and toxins. In addition, water helps regulate the body temperature, delivers oxygen to the lungs, impedes the skin’s aging process, and increases immunity. While it is possible to go without food for 2-3 weeks, it becomes extremely difficult to go without water for 4 days. The total length of veins and arteries in the human body is over 100,000 km and blood which runs in them consists of over 80% water. Also, brain consists of over 90% water, skin of over 70% water, and bone of over 20% water. It is for these reasons that even 3% deficiency in water causes irregular heartbeat and breathing and 10% deficiency in water can cause death. Water is essential to good health.

As the body needs water, the soul needs water too: the spiritual, living water. The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ is our living water. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman who lived for many years in spiritual thirst, “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14; John 7:37-38). It is a grievous sin to reject Jesus Christ, our living water and source of eternal life (Jeremiah 2:13; 17:13). The absence of Christ is synonymous with hell. The most notable characteristic of hell is that there is no water in it. Thus, people there are said to experience enormous thirst as if they were in the desert. This is God’s judgment against those who satisfied their spiritual thirst with physical pleasure. In hell, there is no river or lake. Instead, there are tree stumps and toxins.

The 47th chapter of Ezekiel records the vision in which God’s living water flows from underneath the temple, reaches Ezekiel’s feet, knees, waist, chest, and head, and forms the river through which everything revives. If Jeremiah was the prophet of tears and Amos of righteousness, Ezekiel was the prophet of hope. The 47th chapter of Ezekiel presents the message of hope and revival for sinful humanity. As Ezekiel moved forward to the temple measuring 1,000 cubits (1/3 mile) each time, the water reached his ankle, knees, waist, and chest and later formed a river (Ezekiel 47:3-5). This symbolizes the grace of God manifested through the salvific work of Jesus Christ (Zechariah 14:8).

If there is additional spiritual significance to this story, it is that the faithful must go deeper into the river of grace through Christ. Some Christians stop when the water reaches their feet. Of course, they are in the grace but they can run away to the world anytime. Some stop when the water reaches their knees. It becomes more difficult to move the feet and there arise both physical and spiritual desires. If they kneel down and pray at this stage, they can receive abundant grace and blessings. Some stop when the water comes up to their waist. They are half way into the water and moved to tears through praise and prayers. In spite of their deeper spirituality, they are not fully immersed in the water. Lastly, there are those believers who are completely immersed in the water. At this stage, all their words, thoughts, and deeds are fully controlled by God. We must proceed deeper into the river of grace.

The water from underneath the temple heals the foul water of the Dead Sea and causes trees to bear fruit (Ezekiel 47: 9-12). Where this water flows everything lives. This is a sober reminder that the river of grace given us by God is to reach throughout dying souls and the corrupt world. Christian spirituality is not a solitary but collective pursuit. The river of grace must flow to others through us. Those who have tasted the living water of Christ never thirst. The 4th verse of the hymn entitled Come, Ye Disconsolate is as follows: “All who draw nigh and take here of God’s bounty shall know a spring of life, still to increase, water of life shall flow up from within them, ending all thirsting, and never to cease.” May all of you draw near to Christ, our fountain of life, and bear abundant fruit of eternal life and blessings.

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