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Cup of Cold Water Matthew 10

Posted by adventbiblestudy on October 2, 2010

KJV Matthew 10:42

42. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Was Jesus implying there is an easy way into Heaven? Based on this parable, some may think that.

Give a child a cup of cold water.

To understand this parable on a spiritual level the key words must be studied on an individual basis. When this is completed, the Bible will reveal the spiritual interpretation.

It is also helpful to write a belief explanation of the physical aspects. This will help keep the parable within the proper context.

Jesus called His disciples together and gave them power to cast out unclean spirits, and to heal all manner of sickness, and disease. This parable is given at the end of His instructions. His disciples are told to,go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

At the end of His instructions Jesus presents the simplicity of the gospel. The act of giving a cold cup of water will ensure the reward of a disciple. It could not get any easier. How much effort does it take to pour a cup of water and hand it to a person?

There are at least two key words to interpret in the parable, water and cold. Water is the first word to interpret.


Isaiah 11:9 KJV They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Habakkuk 2:14 KJV For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 12:2-3 KJV Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. (3) Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

John 4:13-14 KJV Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: (14) But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Isaiah 44:3 KJV For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

The Bible shows us, water can represent a number of things, knowledge of God’s word, salvation, and the Spirit. These three center on salvation and eternal life. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 3:15 KJV)

Can salvation be achieved without knowledge of God’s word and the Spirit? To find the answer, a study of the word salvation should be conducted. Following is a list of a few of the verses.

Acts 4:10-12 KJV Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. (11) This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. (12) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

This is one point all Christians should agree on. Only Christ can save by offering us His salvation. One text does not constitute a thorough study of a subject. We find additional information by comparing additional texts using the word salvation.

Isaiah 33:6 KJV And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

Luke 1:77 KJV To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins

Psalms 13:5 KJV But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.

Psalms 40:16 KJV Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: let such as love thy salvation say continually, The LORD be magnified.

Habakkuk 3:18 KJV Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

With wisdom and knowledge you have stability. In other words, when trials occur you will have less of a tendency to fall away from your faith. John the Baptist was sent to share the knowledge of salvation. Special instructions were given to his parents to guarantee his success. The above texts tells us we are to have joy and love for the salvation offered. How can you love salvation if you do not know it? You love a person after developing a relationship. The same is true for salvation and Jesus, the only person who can offer salvation. How can you share this joy, love, and knowledge of salvation if you have not developed a personal relationship with your Savior?

The answer would be, yes, there is more to salvation than hearing about it. Salvation comes from a relationship with Christ. The devils knows about Jesus, is this enough to save them? Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19 KJV)

Water symbolizes knowledge, salvation, and the Spirit.

The next key word to compare with scripture is the word cold. Because the majority of key words are nouns, this word is often overlooked. It is one of the many descriptive words used in the Bible which also carries a much deeper spiritual meaning.

A general rule to finding key words is to look at the context of the passage. If anything seems unusual, it most likely will contain a spiritual meaning. In this case cold water would be unusual. It is often warm in the region Jesus spoke this parable. Water may be cold if it is drawn from a deep well. Because of the weather, water is usually drawn in the early morning and evening. Because of this, cold water would be unusual, but not impossible. This is just enough of a hint to raise the readers attention, and alert them to a deeper meaning. The Bible is full of such little hints. The Spirit is working over time to connect the casual reader of the Bible with the spiritual meaning of the texts.

By using the word cold, Jesus was implying a refreshing effect. He may have also been implying, we need to go out of our way to secure our reward. Also notice, Jesus used the word reward and not salvation, which is some times referred to as a gift.


Proverbs 25:13 KJV As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.

Proverbs 25:25 KJV As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.

Jeremiah 18:14 KJV Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?

A few verses show us the key word cold represents a refreshing feeling.   Not only a physical refreshing, but a spiritual refreshing of the soul.  Although this may have been a consideration before

Cold spiritually represents refreshing new, the good news

comparing scripture, this is an example showing what can be revealed when conducting a quick word study. After studying a number of key words it would not seem unusual for Solomon to compare the words good news with cold waters. When we apply this to the parable of the cup of cold water we see Jesus was not only implying the simple act of supply a cup of cold water, but the good news of the gospel. We have to remember, Jesus possessed a far greater knowledge of the scriptures than we could ever hope to achieve. In all His parables Jesus refereed to scripture. To understand the full meaning of everything Jesus was teaching in His parables, we need to locate the texts Jesus was most likely referring to.  In this case, Jesus was pointing the listener, and reader to a number of Old Testament texts.

These texts reveal the spiritual interpretation of water, which represents knowledge and salvation. In just a few words, Jesus placed a message within the pages of the Bible to encourage and educate us.

When studying key words, we will never cease to be amazed.


2 Responses to “Cup of Cold Water Matthew 10”

  1. I am going to be using this for prayer meeting tonight an awesome study indeed! I was thinking about this the other day with a friend and we couldnt really get to the bottom of this so thanks alot!!



  2. adventbiblestudy said

    Thanks David. When I hear this it always reminds me of the person that taught me how to study. Every time he came to a meeting, he was so excited and exclaimed, “you’ll never guess what I learned today.” That was real. It showed me, a dysfunctional ex- (don’t want to offend) that God was for real. This should always be our first message to the world. GOD IS REAL AND I CAN SHOW YOU! After that, the rest is easy. But everything should be new, and exciting.


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