The Bible Project | – Water of Life

In the beginning of the Bible, God transforms a desolate wilderness into a garden through a stream that waters the ground and brings life wherever it goes. This image gets developed throughout the biblical story as wells, cisterns, rain, and rivers all become images of God’s creative power. In this video, we’ll explore the “water of life” theme through the biblical story and see how it leads to Jesus, who presents himself as the one bringing living water to a world that is desperately thirsty.

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Comment (43)

  1. Have you ever noticed how many streams, rivers, springs, and wells are highlighted in the story of the Bible? It’s a lot! In the beginning of the Bible, God transforms a desolate wilderness into a garden through a stream that waters the ground (Genesis 2:4-6). The clay created by the water becomes the origin place of humans (Genesis 2:7), trees (Genesis 2:9), and animals (Genesis 2:19), creating the ideal heaven-on-earth place called “the garden of delight” (“eden” means “delight” in Hebrew). God provides these waters from “the deep” that he contained and ordered under the dry land in Genesis 1.
    There is a crucially important part of the Eden story in Genesis 2:10-14, which describes a river that comes out from the garden. After flowing out of Eden, it separates and flows into four regions of the land. This is an image of God’s living water that brought life to Eden, going out to bring that same life to the different parts of the dry land. God’s water of life is what supplies our world with abundance, food, and sustenance.
    After the humans foolishly rebel and find themselves exiled from the garden, and life outside the garden is not easy (Genesis 3:17-19). But throughout the biblical story, there are many key moments where people are rescued or their needs are met at places of water. People find the surprise of living of water at wells (like Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob in Genesis 21:22-33, 26:18-25, or 29:1-11), springs in the desert (like Hagar in Genesis 16:7 and 21:15-21), or oases in the wilderness (Exodus 15:22-27). All of these stories about the water of life show how God wants to gives his people the gift of his own creative power and life, but their many failures and selfish decisions keep landing them in deserted places.
    This theme is brought to a crisis point in the story of Israel’s exile, which the prophet Ezekiel depicts as a valley of dry bones that can only be saved through God’s water of life and the power of his Spirit (Ezekiel 36:22-30 and 37:1-14).
    This is the hope that is carried forward in the story of Jesus, who was himself empowered by God’s Spirit as he was immersed in the waters of the Jordan River (Mark 1:9-13). He then went about Israel offering the life of God’s Kingdom, which he often likened to an abundant garden (Matthew 13). And he even spoke of himself as the one bringing the water of God’s life into the world (John 4:7-14 and 7:37-39). This helps us to understand the fascinating scene of Jesus’ crucifixion when he is stabbed by the spear of a Roman soldier (John 19:34) and both blood and water come flowing out of Jesus. The dying body of Jesus becomes the source of life that will spread into God’s new creation that began with the resurrection of Jesus, in a garden no less! (John 19:41 and 20:11-17).
    This helps us understand why the images of the tree of life and the water of life are combined in John’s description of the renewed creation (Revelation 22:1-2). They are both images of God’s own life and love made available to his creation. And so the story of the Bible ends the way it begins, but in the new creation, the water of life is emerging “from the throne of God from the lamb” (Revelation 22:1). Jesus is the source and conduit of God’s own life, which he’s made available to a world of thirsty people.

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  2. I'm sometime curious some dislike the powerful messages from this project. Maybe before you dislike, try and state what your concerns are and I believe we will kindly help you. Because these project are unfiltered true word of God. I pray God enlighten your hearts when you watch it.

  3. In one of Tim's teachings he spoke of Tohu Vavohu (sp) [formless and void] and also mentioned that in the Hebrew culture there was a natural fear of water as it represents judgment. I thought the mention of water and land being separated in the garden was a portrayal of God bringing order out of chaos? So my sincere question (and Im not trying to be argumentative) which is it? obviously Jesus speaks of water to the woman at the well. There is even the Jewish ritual of cleansing which was the forerunner to baptism. And God's glorious vision of the river that would emerge from the temple and carry God's blessing to the nations! But on the other hand in the creation narrative, flood narrative and exodus water was synonymous with Chaos and a sign of judgment?


  5. this is exactly the jezebel spirit is such a dangerous wicked demon. more and more control only leaves others more and more and more thirsty for satisfaction, we will never ever find satisfaction in sin, but we can drink out of Jesus so then we can have life, and have it more abundantly. so brothers and sisters, let us not be impure but be cleaned by impurity to then feel the presence of the LORD, to eat holy coal like the seraphim gave Isaiah in his vision, so we can be clean and feel GOD’s Presence strongly!

  6. Wow! Your comparative views have enabled me to gain a completely new view/perspective on the water of life.
    I always wondered why the bible mentions that when Jesus was pierced in the side that "water" as well as blood poured out. I never saw the significance of the water. It always puzzled me.
    Applying your comparative perspective, in recalling other scriptures it suddenly hit me….. Moses struck the rock in the wilderness and water came out. The people drank and had life. Jesus was struck in the side and water came out. Both the blood and water being life. Then a further comparison dawned on me, that Jesus is the Rock and thus we see a comparison of rocks being struck.
    The example shown by Moses in the wilderness was actually foretelling (foreshadowing?) what would happen with Jesus.

    Moses struck the rock in the wilderness and water came out. The people drank and had life.
    The Roman struck Jesus, the Rock, in the side and water (and blood) came out. The people who drink of His blood have life. Jesus also said that He would give us a life giving water. Jesus explained the "water" to the woman at the well, saying that we would never thirst again.

    Thank you BibleProject for enabling me to see this way.
    And praise to the Lord, the Holy Spirit and Wisdom for this wisdom.

  7. This topic study gives me renewed perspective on my own thirst for other desires—entertainment, knowledge, etcetera—when God is jealous for my time, attention and relationship that builds intimacy with God through the person of Jesus.

  8. Yes! Giving me Holy Spirit so that i may Prepare for your Kingdom of Heaven were my Soul once was ! Amen! I cant wait till this earth is devastated and we get to enter Christ Rest to go back home as Angelic Beings.WE DONT HAVE TO REMAIN HUMAN BEINNGS AMEN

  9. The split rock at Horeb(the Rock God brought water out of) was a shadow of Christ. So when Jesus was thrusted with the spear and water and blood came out, it is a parallel to that rock. Jesus is the Rock of our salvation.

  10. but what is in the new creation something rooms it like it did with the one having and then like it did with Adam and Eve and then Noah something always ruins something. Must be in the New World there's no free will to destroy things. As soon as people joined things its room quickly

  11. I love this and I love that your clips convey such complex ideas in captivating ways. Although I can't help but think this is only part of the significance of water. The Genesis 1 story shows water to be pre-existing (the only thing God didn't speak it into existence). Water is part of the chaos that God is able to control and save us from being consumed by it (e.g. Noah's ark, Moses' ark, parting of the Red Sea and the Jordan)… I know water has the power to both save and destroy. I guess this is like God too. We could be destroyed by His presence, yet our very existence is dependent upon it. He is the one we have to trust in providing an 'ark' for us to dwell with Him. I'd love to see these ideas developed in conjunction with an exploration of mikvah and baptism. Then I think there's also contrasting imagery in Revelation that I don't know how to tie together (for example the contrasts of Rev 12, 13, 17 and Rev 22). Thanks SO much for enriching my studies and drawing me closer to God. Thanks for fulfilling Matt 5:16 <3