Water and Blood
This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 1 John 5:6-8
This might be a confusing passage to you. What did “coming by water and blood” mean to John? Even Bible experts disagree about what exactly John is talking about.
This is an opportunity to “test the spirits,” as John instructed us earlier. As you think about these verses, remember that it must agree with what we believe about Jesus Christ—that He was truly God and truly man and that He came in the flesh to save sinners.
Here’s one well-accepted interpretation for you to consider. When John writes that the Spirit, the water, and the blood testify to (give evidence about) Jesus, he’s referencing Jesus’ miraculous physical birth, in which Mary became pregnant through the work of the Spirit; then Jesus was baptized in water and God the Father announced publicly that Jesus was His Son; and His death, which Jesus described as having His blood poured out for salvation. Similarly, Christians are born again through the Spirit and show their obedience by being baptized in water and taking communion, a sign of Jesus’ death in his body and blood. John says these things testify—they tell the truth about Jesus and what He came for and are especially powerful because they reinforce one another.
Questions for reflection and discussion
1. Does anything about this interpretation of Spirit, blood, and water contradict what you know from other places in the Bible?
2. Why are there confusing things in the Bible?
Dear God, give us the ability and desire to study Your Word with accuracy. Help us follow the guidance the Spirit and of the things we are sure about in Scripture. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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