Rivers of Living Water John 7:37-39

by Dr. Olayinka O. Ojo.

Rivers of Living Water John 7:37-39

When I was reading this scripture, two questions came to my mind –

1. Why did Jesus decide to say these words at this time?

2. Why did he use the words he used – rivers and living water?

Answering Question 1-

We need to understand the history of the passage. We see that verse 37, which talks about the last day of the great feast. What feast? Why at the feast?

There are seven feasts in Isreal that were referred to the purpose of Christ here on earth:

1. Passover — Leviticus 23:4-8

2. Unleavened Bread — Leviticus 23:6

3. First Fruits — Leviticus 23:10

4. Feast of Weeks or Pentecost — Leviticus 23:16

5. Feast of Trumpets — Leviticus 23:24

6. Day of Atonement — Leviticus 16, 23:26-32

7. Feast of Tabernacles or Booths — Leviticus 23:34

– John 7:37 was talking about the Feast of Tabernacles.

-What is the Feast of Tabernacles?

Feast of Tabernacles Celebration always follows the Day of Atonement. The Feast of Tabernacles celebrates God’s provision and protection for the people of Israel during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness; for the seven days of the feast, people live in temporary structures as they did in the wilderness. The Lord himself was with the Israelites in the desert, in a tented temple called the tabernacle, so the feast also celebrates his presence as he tabernacles (dwells) with us. Israelites gather every year together to thank God for His presence during their days in the wilderness. Jesus used this opportunity to inform them about the future we are now. That something great is about to happen and only for those who really want it. There is something beyond the wilderness experience. I don’t know what your wilderness experience is; I declare that the Lord will turn them around for your good in Jesus’ name.

Christ was trying to explain to them that the wilderness experience was just the picture of the future. Christ said he that believes in me our of their belly shall flow rivers of living water. Christ didn’t mean physical rivers will flow out of those that believe in him but rather a constant flow of spiritual living water just the way a river flow without hindering. There will be a flow that can’t be stopped. We must note that God and Christ don’t just use any word carelessly or without meaning.

Answering question 2-

Christ said out of our heart and spirit shall flow rivers of living water.

Why did Christ use water and not something else? It is because he understood the great mystery and power of water.

Facts and Scriptural meaning of water

1. Water speaks of physical and spiritual birth- John 3:5. Water speaks of salvation.

2. Water speaks of the word of God – water speaks of our sanctification. Eph5:26. John 15:3, John 17:17, Heb 10:22

3. Water communicates healing powers – 2 kings5:10-14

4. Water speaks of the death and resurrection of Christ. Baptism Roman 6:3-6, Colossians 2:12-13


1. The foundation of the earth is on water Psalm 24:1-2, Psalm 104:5-6, Psalm 136:6, 2 Peter 3:5 meaning for those which have the power in them the earth and her elements must cooperate with them.

2. The voice of God moves upon the waters. Psalm 29:3. This means anyone that believes will have the capacity to hear the voice of God clearly because the element which causes God to speak resides in him.

3. God’s throne is over the waters Psalm 29:10, meaning that God will be sitting in the life of everyone that believes in him and has his spirit.

4. Water is a necessity, and it is essential for survival. Man can survive months without food but can’t survive more than a few days without water, 72% of the earth is made up of water, and 70% of the human body is made up of water. It was mentioned over 700 times from Genesis 1:2 till Rev 22:17. This means that those who believe in him will be indispensable; they will be relevant. Genesis 1:2 was physical water; Revelation 22:17 was spiritual water. All that believes in him should have both physical and spiritual relevance.

5. Of all the elements, only water can transform into three forms without losing its essential properties as solid, liquid, and gas. As solid when is it ice, liquid in its natural state, and gas when evaporated. It never loses value in any of the three forms. Meaning our value cannot be changed; it doesn’t matter any form we take. Our body(solid), our soul (the liquid), and a spirit ( the gas) will call the glory and beauty of God.

6. Water will always find its way and create its own space despite hindrances. Therefore those who believe in him cannot be stopped, hindered, or ignored. You can stop a fire, but you can’t stop the rage of water.

7. Water bring fruitfulness – Psalm 1:3,


Verse 39 made us understand that it is the Holy Spirit that Jesus was referring to here, which is the spirit of God. It is something more than gold; it is something more than gold; the spirit of God in the heart of men is something more than gold. By the Holy Spirit in us, God has made us Kings and Priest, and we are to reign. Rev 1:6, 5:10.  Greater is He that is in us than he that is the world – 1 John 4:4. A very big and great God has made us his dwell place and his temple, and what we can do is just give him praise and worship him for counting us worthy to dwell in us. The Spirit empowers us to be fruitful Isaiah 32:15,

Father, we worship you. God bless you.