John 7:37 - 38
NKJV - 37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
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This is a beautiful passage, where Jesus manages to summarize a number of different points by using the analogy of water. Namely, that He is the Messiah; that we must come to Him and 'drink' - that is, believe in Him; that this water is free; and that those who believe will have living water flow from their hearts (receive the Spirit.) John 7:25-43 shows that the big question going around was, 'is this man the Messiah?' Jesus responds "Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.” Jn 7:28 As the Messiah, Jesus would bring the water of salvation. Jesus' reference to drink and to living water are based in prophecies that the crowd would have been familiar with. "With joy you will draw water from the springs of salvation." Isa 12:3 This salvation was what the crowd was longing for, although many of them at the time thought the Messiah would first usher in political salvation from Rome. By referring to this water, Jesus was offering another claim that He was the Messiah. (Jesus' very name, Yehoshua, means "Yahweh brings salvation.") Not only was He the Messiah who would bring salvation, but this salvation was free! "Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost." Isa 55:1 "Jesus answered, "If you knew the gift of God and who is asking you for a drink, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." Jn 4:10 Jesus, in His speech, says that all they need do to avail themselves of the water (salvation) is come to Him and drink (have faith in Him.) There's an idiom that goes, "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make Him drink.' It's not a perfect fit, since God could make us drink in theory based on His omnipotence alone, but God in His wisdom has revealed the water (salvation in Christ) to us, but left us to choose to drink or not/to come or not. Jesus would die on the cross shortly after this speech, and rise again a few days later after that, as the atoning sacrifice for sin. Coming and drinking the water in Jn 7:37 is linked with believing in Jesus in vs. 38. We believe in Jesus not just by acknowledging that He lived, but believing that He is the Messiah (Coming to Him) and personally receiving Him as our Savior (drinking the water of salvation in faith.) Then, God gives us the right to become children of God (Jn 1:12.) Yet that isn't the end. Jesus continues, explaining that the one who believes will then have 'rivers of flowing water' flowing from his heart. Drinking Christ's water (salvation by faith) leads to more 'water' flowing from our own hearts as we receive the Spirit indwelling us. We don't go thirsty because the water satisfied us once, rather we do not go thirsty because we now have the source of endless water living inside us! ""And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail." Isa 58:11 "But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life." Jn 4:14 The impact of Jesus' speech was even greater as this was the last day of the feast of Tabernacles. For the week prior, the priests daily carried water from the Pool of Siloam to the Temple in a golden vase. The Talmud describes the symbolism as, "Therefore is its name called the house of drawing, because from thence is drawn the Holy Spirit,” as it is said, “with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” This symbolism would have been in the mind of the crowd, hence Jesus was declaring Himself the way of Salvation and giver of the Holy Spirit.
Let us go back to Numbers 20:10-12, where we see Moses being frustrated by the assembly and striking the rock twice, thus provoking the LORD. The Rock is a picture of Christ and the life-giving waters that flowed out is a picture of God's provision Go forward now to 1 Corinthians 10:3-4 where Paul explains.the picture carried over to the New Covenant in Christ. Jesus quoted Isaiah 12:1-4, and was also alluding to John 4:14, where the woman at the well was introduced to the life-giving supplier of the spiritual water that never leaves one thirsting. Physical water is essential to human and animal life, spiritual water through the Holy Spirit is essential to the born-again human life. On earth, we walk through dry deserts of a hard life but in Jesus, we have a source of thirst quenching spiritual water for our soul. This being the last day of Tabernacles, no water was taken from the Pool of Siloam and poured out symbolically. Jesus fulfilled every aspect of the festivals, He was the Messiah but many were to blind to see, the everlasting source of life stood in their midst and they observed the Festival and missed the Fulfiller.
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