Bible Study: What Does “Living Water” Mean in the Bible?
Written by Jenn Arman | February 7, 2013
It’s raining in my small part of the world right now. I love the rain because it makes me feel peaceful, but today it also has me wondering–just how important is water?
We have decent access to water in most places these days, but in the time the Bible talks about, fresh drinking water wasn’t so easy to come by. Think about some of the charities that work so hard to bring clean water to places where it isn’t available like charity: water or Water Wells for Africa, and you get a better idea of what it might’ve been like for the people in the Bible.
Much of the Bible takes place in desert nations where water is a precious resource. Cities and towns were built up around water wells. You couldn’t just turn on the kitchen faucet and pour a glass of water. For women, part of their daily work was to draw water from the well. We aren’t talking about a little bit of water for a drink–we’re talking about all the water your family, including animals, was going to need to get through the day.
Our planet isn’t the only thing in need of water to survive. Our own bodies are more than 60% water and our blood is 92% water, not to mention our brains, muscles and bones, all of which are partly made up of water. A common statement of comparison is that a human being can survive for about a month without food, but we could only survive about a week without water.
The Bible calls Jesus “living water.” I love this description because to me, it’s so clear that without Jesus, we can’t survive. Sure, we might do all right without Jesus for a while, but without water, all that is waiting for us is death.
In the story of Jesus and the woman at the well (John 4:7-42), Jesus tells the woman that everyone who drinks the well water will be thirsty again. Then Jesus tells her that anyone who drinks the water that He offers will never thirst again, but in fact, that water will become like a well springing up inside them.
As living water, Jesus provides us with life both now and in eternity. Jesus offers a full life without thirst as we spend time with Him. Though God has created our physical bodies to require fresh water to survive, the survival of our lives requires Jesus Christ, the giver of living water.
What do you think, girls? What image does “living water” conjure up for you?
Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life’ (John 4:13-14).