Genesis 1:6-7 (ESV) And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so.
Today is the second lesson in the series: Different Waters.
In Deuteronomy 11:10-11, God explains there are 2 kinds of water that give life to the land.
(1) In Egypt, they irrigated the land with their foot (foot touches the ground below). People’s foot watered the land, human methods to water the land in Egypt, drawing from River Nile, to have abundance and prosperity in Egypt. This is the water from below.
(2) Canaan has a different water, it drinks from the water from heaven, you cannot use your foot, your strength, your knowledge to water the lands of Canaan. You have to depend on God to water Canaan, that is the different water from above.
Deuteronomy 32:2 tells us this water from above that comes down from heaven is God’s teaching. This foreshadows Jesus who is the Word and true water of life, coming down from heaven to us.
Let us think of waters in relation to Jesus in the gospel of John:
Part One: The blessings of the heavenly waters:
1. Jesus’ baptism
After Jesus’ baptism He comes out of the water, and comes over the surface of the water, and the spirit of God comes as a dove above the water, and God’s voice was heard. This reminds us of Genesis 1 – the spirit of God hovering over the surface of the water and God said: “Let there be light.” Likewise, Jesus comes out of the water and God’s Word was heard.
John introduces Jesus as the Word that is given to us, the light of this world. This is the beginning of Jesus’ recreation work.
2. First miracle at Cana, Jesus turns water to wine
In John 2:7-9 Jesus tells the servants to fill 6 pots of water, and then He turns it to wine. This miracle shows us that Jesus came into this world to change the plain water of this earth into heavenly water. Jesus turned the waters below (water) into waters above (wine). Isaiah 25:6 describes the well-aged wine which the LORD of hosts will make for all His people in the end. Many scholars agree that this work of turning water to wine, signifies Jesus’ work of re-creating, giving life again to the faith of the Jews. It is the work of giving life to the dead water.
After this incident, Mary’s perception of Jesus changed. Jesus called her “Woman” reminding her of who He really is, He was beginning His public ministry as God, the second Person of the trinity. Now Mary’s understanding of Jesus is not her boy or son, but as the Creator. That is why she said “Do whatever this Man says.” Meaning obey Him. Her faith changes. There was a separation before and after. May we also have this clear separation in our own effort, before and after Jesus shone the light on us, before and after the Word.
3. Water for rebirth – Nicodemus (John 3:4-5)
In the ancient near eastern times, water was closely related to life and birth. Before we were born, we were in our mother’s womb of water. Jesus says to Nicodemus through a different water, you need to be born again to enter the kingdom of God. That water refers to the cleansing water of heaven and the Holy Spirit.
Part Two: Jesus distinguishes the waters below and waters above more clearly.
4. Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob (John 4:13-14)
The Samaritan woman was thirsty in her life. She kept coming back to this well to draw from the well, the waters below. The well of Jacob represents the tradition of the Jews, the teachings and doctrines of their forefathers. It provided understanding, physical needs, quenched thirst for the moment temporarily.
When we drink from the water from above that Jesus gives us, we can fill the long and deep gap we used to have in our hearts and lives, the thirst, the love that we never received. People get into addictions to fill that emptiness in our hearts. Our heart is never satisfied, may we be filled by Jesus’ Word so all those things and bad habits will go away.
After receiving the water Jesus gave, (i) her past was cleansed. (ii) She came to believe that Jesus is Messiah. Jesus revealed it to her. (iii) She became a true worshipper.
5. The water that heals (John 5:3-5)
At the pool of Bethesda, the people needed to touch the water in the pool to be healed, but now Jesus did not ask the man to touch that water. Instead Jesus spoke to him, to get up and pick up his pallet. What is Jesus saying? Jesus is the actual water from heaven! May you become that blessing by receiving that blessing, and share that blessing out to your family members.
Jesus walks on water (John 6:18-19)
Winds and waves represent turmoil, suffering, tests, tribulations and difficulties in our journey of faith. Sea represents people, multitudes, nations and tongues. Tongues refer to the different teachings, gossips, thinking. These things cause turmoil and waves, making us feel that we are going to sink, we are going to be overcome. That is when Jesus comes walking on water. These troubles and temptations do not have the power to swallow Him up. He is ABOVE all that.
Peter asks Jesus: Jesus let me walk on water! Let’s ask Jesus right now, help me to walk over my troubles, difficulties, temptations! We walk on water by coming to Jesus Christ, look to Him and live with Him.
7. Rivers of living waters flowing from innermost being (John 7:37-39)
This is during the Feast of Tabernacles. In the Hebrew understanding, living water = flowing water. Dead water = sick water. If this flowing water takes place in our bodies, minds/hearts and spirit, we will be well, fruitful and attached to the throne of God.
The waters below need to turn into waters above. But conversely, if the waters above turn into waters below, judgment happens.
Out of the 6 days of creation, God saw, and it was good. God created light, God saw, and it was good. But on the second day, God doesn’t say it was good. On the third day, God said it was good – twice. Day 2 is a foreshadow of the time of Noah, judgment by flood happened, because the sons of God married daughters of man – it was not good in the eyes of God. Sons of God is referring to the children of God, those with the seed of God. Daughters of men are those born according to the will of mankind, without the seed or spirit of God.
Luke 8:11 (ESV) Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
God sees the sons of God, people who have His Word. The daughters of men have nothing to do with God’s Word, they are the waters below. The waters below attracted the waters above, and the waters above came down and got corrupted. When that happened, God’s judgment came.
Jesus came to turn us who are born into waters below, into waters above. I pray we may remember in year 2023, that we belong above. We are citizens of heaven. We are children of God. We are waters above. We are proud of that! It is not by our works but by Jesus who came down to change us into heavenly water, heavenly beings.