The Source Of The Jordan River
“Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God.” John 3:5 Amplified Bible
On a recent trip to Israel, my wife and I were able to walk at Tel Dan where we saw the spring that is the source of the Jordan River. The spring was a small pool of water that bubbled up from below, but that spring gave way to the Jordan River which flowed with increasing power south through the entire nation of Israel. Jesus is the spring, the source of life and from Him flows the river of the Holy Spirit. This spring of life is in contrast to the man-made wells that store water.
The verse above from John chapter 3 has Jesus talking with Nicodemus, explaining salvation and being born again. Jesus says that a man has to be born again of water. Remember that Jesus told the Samaritan woman that anyone who drank from the well (man’s efforts, the man-made well) would thirst again. But He had the water of life. Anyone who drank from His water, the spring, would never thirst again. The water Jesus was describing was the picture of the spring of Jesus that bubbles up and pools, just like the spring that is the source of the Jordan.
But even at this early moment in His ministry, Jesus speaks of the water as both the spring of salvation, but also the water of the Holy Spirit, “…is born of water and [even] the spirit…”. A man is born of the water through the salvation that comes through Jesus Christ. However, we can only know and understand this message of hope, this good news, through the insight from the Holy Spirit. That is the river which Jesus speaks of later in John 7.
As my wife and I walked in the Tel Dan Nature Preserve on the way to the spring that was the source of the Jordan River, we had to cross the Jordan several times. It was amazing how quickly the water that flowed from the spring had become a powerful current beneath us. It was stunning how fast the power of the Jordan exponentially increased in such a short time. That is how fast and powerfully the Holy Spirit builds within us as we allow Him to flow through us.
John the Baptist had just finished his ministry of baptizing people when they came to repent of their sins. It was a ministry of cleansing and purification so that mankind would be ready to receive the work of Jesus. The water had a two-part effect and purpose. It was for the purifying effect and the power of the Holy Spirit, the two elements that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about. When we drink the water of Jesus, which is the water of life, from that spring within us will rush the powerful current of the Holy Spirit through our lives. It should be our expectation.
J Todd Hostetler