The Water Of Life
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
ORDINARY WATER is the earthly life support of every living creature, and there exists no creation under the skies treading the earth that water is not the element of its life. That Christ should choose life as the characteristic of the Divine water, that pours out in a mystery over the spirit offering it eternal life, is a beautiful description enticing man, who is really thirsty for life, to strive for it making believe he is drinking through the mouth. But the water of life is not imbibed through the mouth but through the spirit, in a Divine mystery; because the water of life is the living water i.e. the water that quenches the thirsty person for the spirit of life.1
The person who is thirsty for the living water is the one who looks forward to eternal life. Eternal life is not of this age, but is the true life, the life of God which source and overflow is through the Holy Spirit. It is the essence of Divine existence which man was qualified to gain by way of faith in Jesus Christ, who poured upon us the Holy Spirit from the Father, the element of eternal life. For that reason the Lord says: “If any one thirst, let him come to Me and drink.”
Christ revealed the meaning and power of the living water he offers: “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”2 This is the wonder of the living water, i.e. the one Christ gives, it does not only quench man’s thirst for Christ and for eternal life, but also gets out of his innards rivers of living water! The living water is a Divine power of mystery that does not cease nor can it be confined but is alive. It means that it never remains still in man’s heart but pours out from God’s heart to pour out from the heart that accepts it. This only is the mystery of the continuance and permanence of eternal life that the living water contains. It is a power moving from the heart to every heart, to whoever opens up to it.
As soon as the sinner woman at the well accepted it she ran to invite the whole town to come and drink.
The living water is not only to be drunk but also for man to be cleansed in through baptism, and consequently he goes out on the spot and preaches. Paul after having accepted the faith and been baptized with water immediately began to preach about Christ from which he had been quenched. In this manner the living water moved across baptism to all the believers in the world throughout the ages and has not ceased to do so up till now.
Drinking the living water has come to express the acceptance of the living faith and the qualification to accept eternal life.
If man ceases to drink the natural water he dies, the same goes for him who stops drinking the living water because it is the basis of eternal life.
To make it easier for man to continually drink of the water of life and accept eternal life God made the word He utters the spirit and life itself. He who reads the Gospel consciously and with a revealing spirit, the words change into a spring of living water watering the soul and qualifying it for eternal life. Jesus Christ’s words are to be drunk like water and out of the person will flow rivers of living water as the Lord says.3
The living water is a new Divine mercy with which man is reborn anew: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”4 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”5
That is the source of the new man who is regarded as spirit when baptized with water, and the Holy Spirit.
Note that through the Holy Spirit’s descent on the Virgin, she bore us Christ while a virgin. The Holy Spirit’s presence in the water is a new birth for the spiritual person qualified to enter the Kingdom of Heaven above. The water of baptism through the Holy Spirit’s descent on it is equal to a virgin womb out of which is born the new person to live above and soar through the Spirit. This is like a newborn crying out as a sign that he is alive. Hence the Lord tells Nicodemus: “you must be born from above” (NRSV).6
Thus the water of eternal life has become a lasting and secure element, for the rebirth of a new man, that Christ gives to whoever asks for it: “And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.”7
1 John 7: 37
2 John 4: 13, 14
3 John 7: 38
4 John 3: 5
5 John 3: 6
6 John 3: 7
7 Rev 22: 17
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium