John 7:38 – Living Water and Jesus’ Thirst

Amongst the arguments that Jesus has two “natures”, that he is fully God and also fully man, is the claim that Jesus was the living water, and yet that he was thirsty. (John 19:28) Evidently, the thought is that Jesus, while he was in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), was the living water, and that his being the living water means that Jesus was fully God, and that his being thirsty means that he was fully man, and thus Jesus was at two levels of sentiency at once, one as that of the Most High Jehovah (Yahweh), and another sentiency of a man, a little lower than the angels.

However, no scripture says that Jesus was or is living water. Such is often assumed on certain scritpures (John 4:10,11; 7:38), but if one reads those scriptures closely, Jesus is never called “living water.” In Revelation 7:17, we find that the Lamb, symbolizing Jesus as sacrifice for sin, leads people to living springs of water, but the Lamb is not said to be those living springs.

Nevertheless, many have pointed to John 7:38 as a basis for saying that Jesus is fountain of life, and then that scripture is often crossed with other scriptures that speak of Jehovah (Yahweh) as the spring of living waters, and thereby it is claimed that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh).

John 7:37 Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!
John 7:38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.”
John 7:39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.

Here Jesus was not claiming to be the fountain of water, but he associates this water with the holy spirit, the power from God, that Jesus receives from Jehovah (Yahweh), his God and Father, which, dwelling in the believer, is a source of wisdom and knowledge concerning God and his Son. — Luke 24:49; John 14:16,26; 15:26; Acts 1:4; 2:33; Ephesians 1:17.

In Jeremiah 2:12; 1713, Yahweh is the “spring of living water.” Yahweh is the source of that which gives life. Jesus himself now lives because of the life that he has received from Yahweh, his God and Father. — 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 1:3.

The holy spirit was to guide, especially the apostles, into all the truth revealed for the gathering of the church. (John 14:26; 16:4-13; Galatians 1:12; Ephesian 3:5; 2 Timothy 2:2) The truths revealed to the apostles and made available to us are recorded in the Bible itself. (Ephesians 3:3-12; Colossians 1:25,26; 1 John 4:6) Of course, without the holy spirit, these things that are recorded will still be a mystery to us. — Mark 4:11; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10.

Speaking to the Samaritan woman, Jesus said of the water from the well, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again.” (John 4:13) Then Jesus points to higher kind of “water” as he continues: “but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) The Lord was referring to the holy spirit here, as in the parallel passage in John 7:37, where it is explained “But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive.” (John 7:39) Water is thus a symbol of the “Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30) as well as of the truth and power that comes from the only Most High.

In Isaiah 44:3 we read: “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit on your seed, and my blessing on your offspring.” Again in Isaiah 32:15: “Until the Spirit be poured on us from on high, and the wilderness become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest.” We have in these two instances the Holy Spirit symbolized by the water that is poured forth.

So how is that Jesus, and not Yahweh, pours forth the holy spirit? Paul gives us the answer: “Being therefore exalted by the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured forth this, which you now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33) Yahweh has given all authority and power through the holy spirit to his Son, Jesus, thus it is by means of his Son that Yahweh accomplishes his purposes.

In none of this do we find any reason to think that Jesus is Jehovah (Yahweh), nor that Jesus had dual natures of existence, one above the angels and another below the angels. — Isaiah 11:1-4; 42:1; John 5:22-30; Acts 17:31.

Of course, Jesus, while in the days of his flesh, was fulfilling the suffering of a man as though he were under bondage of corruption, in likeness of sinful flesh, was indeed thirsty while he was in the days of his flesh.  (Romans 8:3,20,21; Philippians 2:7) Jesus, however, is now no longer that suffering servant who was, while in the days of his flesh, a little lower than the angels, and he suffers no more, having paid the price for sin, he is now now longer a human being a little lower than the angels, but is exalted above the angels. — Acts 2:33; Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Philippians 2:9; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; Hebrews 1:4; 2:9; 1 Peter 3:18,22.

“Oh give thanks to Yahweh; for he is good; For his lovingkindness endures forever.” (1 Chronicles 16:34) “Thanks be to God [the God of Jesus – Ephesians  1:3), who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” — 1 Corinthians 15:57.

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