Jesus is Our Source of Life
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1: 1-5
Of the four gospel records in the Bible, the gospel of John is quite unique. Not only does it contain a considerable amount of information surrounding the events in the life of Jesus that the other gospel records do not mention, but the writing style of John is also quite different than the others. John had a more figurative style, using physical analogies to represent spiritual truths. For example, he often used “light and darkness” to represent good and evil, or spiritual awareness of truth and spiritual ignorance. In the verse quoted above, John equates light to the life that was in Jesus and was presented to men.
There are many portions of John’s gospel that are seemingly hard to understand or comprehend. Of course, he is recording the things that he had heard Jesus speak and teach, much of which the people of that time had difficulty with also. People who do not have faith or whose hearts and hopes are deeply anchored to the things of this earth, will have difficulty with the spiritual truths.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Cor. 2:12-14
In the 6th chapter of John, it is recorded that many of the disciples following Jesus had difficulty when Jesus said this:
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
“Therefore many of His disciple, when they heard this, said, ‘This is a hard saying, who can understand it?’”
Jesus knew how they felt and responded:
“’It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.’ For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, ‘Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to Him by my Father.’ From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.”
God the Father had granted us the opportunity to come to Jesus and we responded in faith. I am assuming that you would not be reading this if this were not the case. But now, to continue and mature spiritually, we must recognize that the source of our spiritual life is Jesus.
To be clear, we are not talking about our temporary physical life here on earth, we are talking about our spiritual life and our future home in heaven that is eternal and permanent. We must remember that Jesus is using physical truths to demonstrate spiritual realities. When Jesus says that He is the bread of life, He is not referring to our physical hunger being satisfied, but to our spiritual hunger. We have a strong tendency to relate our thinking about these examples back to the physical world, and this is what causes confusion. When we place our hope and trust in Jesus, and walk in this type of faith, we experience a deep satisfaction that we can rest in. The “hunger” and dissatisfaction or emptiness is then gone and replaced by this hope. This is the spiritual “life source” that we must guard and nurture.
There is a similar example of this life source in Jesus found in the 4th chapter of John when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well. After an exchange with the women about getting water from the well, Jesus talks to her about what He calls “living water”.
“Jesus answered and said to her, ‘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.’” John 4:14
We see that the spiritual source of “water” that satisfies our “thirst” then becomes a “fountain” or a continual flow of spiritual life that satisfies our spiritual “thirst” and is also transforming.
Jesus continues His conversation with this Samaritan woman and confirms that He is talking about the Spirit and about truth, and relates this to worshiping or serving God:
“But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24
I believe that the Holy Spirit then prompted the Samaritan women’s response to Jesus by saying that the Messiah would come and “tell us all things”, referring to the things of the spirit and the truth. Jesus responded that He was the Messiah, confirming that He had come to fulfill this purpose of revealing spiritual truth. (John 4:25)
The purpose of the Messiah is to deliver us from the curse of sin and the resulting judgment. He came to secure for us the hope of eternal life in heaven as part of the kingdom of God and the family of God. When we establish this truth in our lives, and walk in accordance with this truth, aligning our goals, relinquishing our worldly worries and concerns, and looking to God for purpose and guidance, we connect with this spiritual source. The result is a transformation. We gradually begin to think and act differently. We become more and more like Jesus. We begin to walk and act as He did when He was on the earth, not focused on worldly successes, or worldly accomplishments, or worldly pleasures, but rather on doing what God wants us to do, and on pleasing Him, and on focusing our hope on heaven, awaiting the return of Jesus.
And again, John uses an analogy of this connection to Jesus as the source of life in the 15th chapter of his gospel:
“I (Jesus) am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.” John 15: 1-5
Please read this entire chapter as it contains a treasure of truth pertaining to this spiritual relationship. The “fruit” that Jesus is referring to is the fruit of the spirit or our changed behavior. He uses the term “love” to describe this fruit:
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15: 10-14
Jesus is our hope. He is our example. He is our friend. We can love Him because of how He has loved us:
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9
This continual flow of spiritual life from the vine to the branches, then to the fruit, is a beautiful thing. This flow of life should be the center of our attention. We need to seek God so that we fully understand how we are to stay connected to the vine and how to allow the life to flow through us. The key to this relationship is Jesus and our faith and hope in Him. It is a good thing that God the Father will prune us to bear more fruit, although this may be painful and difficult, it will benefit us in the long run.
I encourage you now to focus your attention on this flow of life and Jesus, who is our source. Let Him lead you into the truth that you need in your life at this time. Seek His face. Study His words as recorded in the Bible by His chosen apostles and prophets. Look with the eyes of faith to see spiritual truth and don’t be confused due to a carnal, worldly perspective.
Remember that the final result of this flow of life is our eternal life. Rejoice in this! Let your joy be full. This makes all of our efforts worthwhile.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” John 1:4