Commentary on the Gospel of
Lent is certainly the time to hone our focus on Jesus and the magnitude of His love and amazing grace. Today’s readings clearly point us to the power of the living water that we can only find through our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.
Ezekiel found himself in the unpleasant throws of Babylonian captivity. It that setting God spoke clearly through Ezekiel about what was to come. That message resonated with those sharing in his captivity as well as with us in our various forms of “captivity” today. God showed him a detailed vision of water flowing out from God’s temple – or perhaps better defined as flowing out from God himself. That flow begins as nothing more than a trickle, but supernaturally steadily increased until it became a mighty river as it continued to flow out into the world. Ezekiel adds one more interesting detail – when the water touches the sea, it cleanses everything it touches, as the salt water becomes fresh.
This is such an incredibly powerful story for us today – the story of God’s living water and how - flowing through us – God’s love grows and expands to a much greater impact than we could ever have imagined. I too often fail to take advantage of God’s living water available to me. I fail to notice and then act upon the opportunities I am giving each day to point people to Jesus. It is like I think it all depends upon my abilities, my little story, my weak trickle of faith when in reality there is no limit to what God can do through His living water flowing through each of us.
Water certainly is a basic requirement of physical life, a concept that we can easily grasp. So it is no wonder that throughout the Psalms, God used the power of water to help us understand the power of His cleansing message – to understand what can be accomplished when we allow God’s agape love to flow through us.
The apostle John further reinforces the power of holy living water in the encounter Jesus had with the man at the pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem. The people believed this specific pool had healing power whenever it was stirred up, but the man Jesus met was unable to get to the pool quick enough to take advantage of that “healing”. Among the unmistakable messages that Jesus was conveying in this incident was the fact that Jesus is the true source of healing/living water.
What then do all these water stories really have to do with our lives today? If God truly is our “refuse and strength, an ever-present help …” could it be that we are called to courageously be the conduit for His amazing, live cleansing, supernatural living water flowing through us? Do we really doubt that God’s power is not available to us in that endeavor? As Jesus demonstrated at the pool of Bethesda, shouldn’t we care about those in need – in need of the knowledge of God’s amazing love and salvation? Isn’t that the incredible message from Ezekiel, that as God’s mercy and grace flows through each of us, it becomes a mighty river, a might force – opening hearts, cleansing lives and introducing everyone it touches to the life-giving water that can only be found through Jesus.
Lord, open my heart to you. Help me to boldly seek your Holy Living Water. Allow me to be a faithful conduit for your love flowing through me each and every day. The truth of your agape love is so amazing and overwhelming that how could I possibly not want to share that amazing gift with everyone. Create in me a clean heart, willing to courageously follow God’s plan for my life. A life pointing others to our amazing Savior.