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Day of Pentecost - Year A Numbers 11.24–30
Acts 2.1–21
John 7.37–39

Jesus, quoting Scripture, says that rivers of living water will flow out of the believer’s heart. But no Old Testament text says exactly that. Which Scripture is he referring to, then?

Isaiah 55, of course, issues God’s invitation to all who are thirsty to come and drink. This, however, is not the part of Jesus’ saying that carries the phrase ‘as scripture says’. No: the ‘rivers of living water’ seem to evoke the great river which flows out of the restored Temple in Ezekiel 47, to make even the Dead Sea fresh. The image goes all the way back to the second chapter of Genesis; to call it up indicates the renewal of creation. And it goes all the way on to Revelation 22 – though where the river flows to there is not clear, since the sea, symbolizing the forces of chaos and evil, has been abolished altogether (21.1). Jesus takes this wide-ranging and powerful image and gives it a further twist...

Taken from Twelve Months of Sundays Year A by N T Wright

Published by SPCK



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