What does the phrase "living water" signify?
Now we might think of living water in connection with Jesus conversation with the Samaritan woman; living water than is the gift of the Holy Spirit, perhaps, leading to eternal life as was described in his conversation with Nicodemus.
In this study that I am working through there was this as the first question for chapter 4: "4:10. What two levels of meaning does the expression "living water" have? Look up Is 12:3, Ezek 47:1-12, and Zech 14:8. How do those passages use the idea of living water?"
Well, another meaning of living water could be flowing water; think of the woman's first response to Jesus (basically "where's your bucket? and where is that water you're going to get?") but I went on to read the scriptures and the passage from Ezekiel really took my attention. It is beautiful.
Ezekiel is being lead around the temple, but there is water coming out "from under the threshold of the house eastward: ..., and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar."
and similarly the water is coming out of the north side. They start measuring the width of this water, and the water goes up to his ankles at first. As they keep measuring, though, the water gets deeper and deeper.
"and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen,"
They "return to the brink of the river."
7 Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other.
8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.
9 And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh.
10 And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.
11 But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt.
12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.
Every thing that lives, which moves, wherever the rivers shall come, shall live:
I got to thinking about those trees and the work of the Holy Spirit and how WE are called to bear good fruit, and WE are called to live in the Holy Spirit.
back to Jesus--"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water I shall give him will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Let us echo, but with understanding and confidence, "Sir, give me this water."