Bible Study series No.13 from The Gospel of John "River of Living Water"

Bible Study series No.13 from The Gospel of John "River of Living Water"



Gospel of John 7:37-53(NIV)
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still, others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus.


Today, I've decided to skip the commentary on verses 1 to 36 of chapter 7, because the story can be understood by simply reading through it. Please take the time to read them on your own.


Jesus' group came to Jerusalem secretly to go to the Feast of Tabernacles. In chapter 5, I mentioned that the Jewish scribes were against Jesus because Jesus performed the miracle at the Pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath. They must have been aware of the rumors about Jesus' later ministry. They were scared of their destruction if they did not suppress His popularity.


On the other hand, what were the opinions of Jesus among the Jewish people? They said, "Jesus is a good man. He is a prophet or He is the Christ. If Jesus were not the Christ, where are all these signs coming from ?"


But others said, "No, Jesus is just a man who is deceiving the crowds.

There is no way the Savior can come from Galilee. For this opinion, " the Bible says that Christ will come from the descendants of David and from the village of Bethlehem where David lived. There was controversy among the people.



Bethlehem is a small town located about 10 km south of Jerusalem. The New Testament says that Mary gave birth to Jesus in this town. Joseph was born in Nazareth, a descendant of the 42nd generation of the House of David. The ancestry of his mother, Mary, is unknown.

Today's main theme is "What is a river of living water?"

"The River of Living Water" means "the Holy Spirit".


Jesus says it is in the Bible, so I looked it up and found the following two verses.


    Bible Verses
    Genesis 1: 1-2

    ”In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

    Ezekiel 47: 9-12

    Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish because this water flows there and makes the saltwater fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. 10 Fishermen will stand along the shore; from En Gedi to En Eglaim there will be places for spreading nets. The fish will be of many kinds—like the fish of the Mediterranean Sea. 11 But the swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt. 12 Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”


    It has to do with the theory of the Trinity, which is an important doctrine of Christianity. Christians believe in one God. And the essence of this God is the Father but also the Son of God and the Holy Spirit.


    This term does not appear in the Bible. However, the Christian church has long used "Trinity" (Trinitas in Latin). However, I think the concept of spirit is somewhat elusive. I would like to discuss the concept by using palliative care as a metaphor.


    Palliative medicine, or palliative care, is defined not only for cancer, not only for the terminal stage but also to improve the quality of life. The concept of "holistic suffering," which consists of the multifaceted elements of physical, psychological, social, and spiritual, is the basis of palliative medicine, and the four types of suffering should be understood as affecting each other.


    Palliative care, which began with hospice, is now considered to be "indicated from the early stage of the disease," and hospice care can be regarded as a form of terminal palliative care. In Japan, palliative care for cancer has become widespread as a result of government policies, but palliative care from the time of diagnosis, improvement of the quality of palliative care, and palliative care for diseases other than cancer are still issues to be addressed.


    It expresses that a person is a physical, mental, social, and spiritual being. It means that a well-balanced arrangement of these four elements leads to human happiness and higher quality of life. What should not be misunderstood here is that the "spiritual" in palliative medicine is not directly related to any religious belief. For example, "Why was I born? What is the goal of life? What does it mean to love others? " These are the eternal questions that we seek to answer. Spiritual wellbeing addresses the deepest and most fundamental element that forms human beings.


    By the way, deep in our hearts, we have a desire to do something meaningful. I think it is rooted in the thirst for the living God.


    People may try to fill this thirst with material things, emotional, intellectual, academic, or philosophies. Others try to quench their thirst with stimulating pursuits. These may work to some extent, but they do not quench the underlying thirst. Jesus tells us that a very deep part of our inner-being is satisfied by seeking Christ.


    I would like to talk again about the work of the Holy Spirit in the second half of John's Gospel.


    The second and third messages will be sent later for personal reasons. Michio and I are currently preparing to become certified "disaster prevention specialists" and will be taking a lecture and exam in Osaka on the weekend of December 18 and 19. Both of us would like to serve our community by volunteering for disaster prevention.

    Please pray for our challenge!