Posts Tagged John 7: 37 – 39

Living Water

John 7: 37 – 39

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

This verse is enlightening, and I believe it brings a certain amount of joy as well. It celebrates both Jesus and the Holy Spirit. What word jumps out at you from the passage? I am intrigued by the word “cried.”

As I read the gospels I perceive Jesus as very cool under fire. When put on the spot, he once simply knelt down and began to doodle in the dirt. This is not the person I think of “crying out.” It is no great leap to conjecture that this message was of keen importance to Jesus. Can you picture this scene? Apparently, everyone was seated because Jesus stood. They were feasting. Who was there? How many people do you reckon were gathered? In the midst of the feast Jesus stood up and cried out with a loud voice. Wow! That must have been a sight. One can certainly suppose that the message was vital for Jesus to interrupt the feast and to make such a spectacle of himself.

Interestingly enough, the message was not about salvation. It wasn’t even about sin. Why didn’t he jump up and say, “Come all you sinners. I will save your soul from eternity in hell.” That is what most of us would expect but only because we don’t know Jesus well enough. Jesus took care of the sin problem. He conquered hell. His real message is displayed in this cry. “Come to me all you who are thirsty. I will satisfy your thirst.”

How did Jesus plan to satisfy the deep and enduring thirsty within us? He already knew about the Father’s plan to send the Holy Spirit into the earth. God made the promise back in Joel 2: 28. Then John the Baptist revealed that Jesus would baptize us in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3: 11). Now, here, in the early chapters of John we discover that those who believe in Jesus were to receive the Spirit. Right before Jesus’ exit from planet earth he gathered his followers and advised them. He was passing the torch to all who would follow him. He told them not to leave Jerusalem “but to wait for what the Father had promised . . . for John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit,” (Acts 1: 4 – 5). Then Jesus was taken up in a cloud of glory. He was glorified in the earth and in heaven as his disciples watched.

So, Jesus’ essential message was come, receive the filling of the Holy Spirit so that you will never again thirst. The living water of the Holy Spirit is a river flowing in the spirit of those who ask and receive. The invitation was simple, “Come,” Jesus said. Anyone who is thirsty is invited to the well. As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well, he says also to you, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water,” (John 4: 10). Receive the living water. Be filled and satisfied.

The Promise of the Spirit

Joel 2: 28 – 29

It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

This is the leading Old Testament verse which told about the coming of the Holy Spirit. Here God promises to, not only send the Spirit, but to pour out the Spirit on all humanity, even those of no rank or position. Even the servants and those of the lowliest station are entitled to this special gift from God.

There is so much rich text and meaning in this verse that we could mine from it for a week. However, there is one word in it that I want to bring to your attention. It is the word “pour.” God has promised not a trickle, not a drip but rather a continuous pouring out of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is represented in Scripture as a river or flowing waters. John 7: 37 – 39 is a good example of this, “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” But this He spoke of the Spirit.’” The flowing river of living water is the Holy Spirit. Thus, it is apropos that God should pour out this living water upon us.”

The anointing in the Holy Spirit is reflective of the Old Testament anointing which was accompanied by oil being poured over the anointed. Again, this spiritual gifting is represented by a pouring out.
The Old Testament saints did not know the Spirit as the poured out one as New Testament believers do. They knew him as a promise. In fact, few people knew anything about him other than him being a promise from God. Interestingly, of the 248 or so scriptures about the Holy Spirit, only about 44 are from the Old Testament. However, God was speaking to His prophets about this pouring out. It may interest you to discover that there are six more Old Testament scriptures which specifically address the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (See list below).

The significance of this pouring is distinguishable from a onetime gift or offering. God doesn’t just give us the Spirit one time. He continually pours out to those who continually seek Him. Don’t forget too, that we can seek more of the Spirit just as we seek the Father because they are both God.

Every person has a measure of the Spirit of God. When God breathed life into us, a piece of His Spirit was deposited within us. We are able to receive much more than that now, however. The Spirit is no longer a promise. He has been poured out. What the Old Testament prophets foretold, we now behold. The initial pouring out is described in Acts 2: 1 – 4, “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance.” This is the fulfillment of that which was promised in Joel 2: 28 -29. Everyone who wishes can now be filled by the never ending pouring out. It can be compared to a water fall. The water continually pours over and onto anyone who chooses to stand in the flow. You can stay in that flow just as long as you wish. It is God’s delight to give you more and more. He is pouring. Are you receiving?

See Also: Isaiah 32: 15, Isaiah 44: 3, Ezekiel 36: 27, Ezekiel 39: 29, Proverb 1: 23, Zechariah 12: 10).