October 29, 2020 – Thursday
John 7:37-39 NIV
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.
Jesus’ brothers, who did not believe (yet) had tried to convince Him to go to the Feast of the Tabernacles ahead of them, but He refused. He left later in secret as the Jewish leaders wanted Him caught and killed. He appeared halfway though the festival going into the temple and teaching. It was then (v15) The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?” They had their first real inkling of what they were dealing with, but with no real understanding.
While still teaching in the temple courts (v30-31) they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?” As a result (v32), the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.
Pett provides the following context for of our verses today ‘On the last day, the great day.’ The feast came to its climax with a special Sabbath, which was the eighth day. And it was probably on this day, so that the people would take the message home with them still fresh from hearing it, that Jesus proclaimed these momentous words ‘with a loud voice’, that is as a proclamation. Guzik provides further context and detail with the following, The Feast of Tabernacles lasted eight days. All through the first seven days water from the Pool of Siloam was carried in a golden pitcher and poured out at the altar to remind everyone of the water God miraculously provided for a thirsty Israel in the wilderness. It seems that on the eighth day there was no pouring of water – only prayers for water – to remind them that they came into the Promised Land. And further, “But the eighth day was not properly one of the feast days; the people ceased to dwell in the tabernacles on the seventh day. Philo says of it that it was the solemn conclusion, not of that feast alone, but of all the feasts in the year.” (Alford)
It is within this context Jesus boldly declared Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. While Jesus was addressing those within the temple, His words said anyone who is thirsty! It was an invitation to those on the outermost parts of the temple for the Gentiles as well as for the Jews. The invitation was for anyone and everyone! However, to acknowledge their thirst one would have to see the need for living water, the lack of it in their life. Thirst like darkness is not something in and of itself, but an absence of something. Darkness is an absence of light while thirst (spiritual thirst) is an absence of water (spiritual living water).
Those who came to believe did indeed have rivers of living water will flow from within them to such an extent that they had to share His message with others. The living water could not be contained. Paul put it this way in 1 Corinthians 9:16, For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! This is as it should be for each and everyone of us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Help each of us to share the wonderful, good news of salvation offered though your Son, our Lord and Savior. Give us the strength and courage to do so even when we are filled with fear and need Your help to stand firm of the clear truth of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection three days later. Thank you for your mercy and incredible kindness. Amen.