Today we have a continuation of Jesus at the Feast of Booths. The Feast of Booths or Feast of Tabernacles occurred after the Days of Atonement and Yom Kippur. It was a really joyous celebration of God’s provision and fellowship. It was a weeklong party. The Feast of Booths is the most joyous of all the Jewish celebrations. There is so much a Christian can learn about Jesus by learning about this feast also called Sukkot or The Festival of Tabernacles. I encourage you to study about it.
Every morning of the feast the priests would draw water from the pool of Siloam, return to the temple, parade around it singing Psalms, and then the pour the water out as a sacrifice. It was not a quiet or solemn event. On the final day, the celebration was at a peak and the priests marched around the temple seven times before pouring out the water. It is at this point that Verse 37 picks up the narrative. Verses 37-39 read,
“On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
- In John, water has been connected with Jesus in several ways. In chapter 2 Jesus had power over the water as He turned it into wine. In chapter 3 verse 5 Jesus told Nicodemus, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.” In chapter 4 as Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman, He referred to Himself as the source of living water. In chapter 5 it was Jesus who healed the lame man instead of the healing waters of Bethesda. And in chapter 6 Jesus walked on the water. In chapter 7, He is not only the source of living water but He shares it with us.
In verse 37 Jesus offered the same invitation He gave the Samaritan woman, to drink from Him. His promise in this chapter is extended. He told the woman at the well that if she drank the living water, she would never thirst again. His promise in verse 38 says, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
First, it is for those who thirst. You have to know you have the need. If you have all you need and like the Pharisees didn’t think you needed Salvation, then you have no need of Jesus and the invitation does you no good. Second you have to believe. You have to know in your heart that Jesus is Christ and therefore Lord of your life.
Those who believe not only have the unending living water within them but it is an everlasting flow from them. The Spirit fills us and flows out of us, so that we, along with Jesus can offer the joy and truth of eternal life.
The Holy Spirit is not meant to be confined to us and allow us to live happy little private lives for Jesus. He is great, powerful, and jubilant. He makes it possible for us to share Jesus with the world and love them the way Jesus loved. Jesus didn’t love by passing out miniature Torah scrolls, or by writing a check once a year. He loved in tangible ways. He fed the hungry. He comforted the sad and tired. He healed the sick. He spoke truth and forgave sins. And He paid the price for our sins so that we could live. The Holy Spirit in us allows us to love people like that and share that life with everyone around us.
He is not meant to drip or trickle out of us. He is a flowing, running, and flooding stream without exhaustion.
Zechariah 14:8 reads,
“On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter.”
That day is now. Jesus came. He lived perfectly. He died. And He lives. He ascended and the Spirit was given to us. The Spirit flows out from each of to give His life to anyone who thirsts and believes. Do rivers of living water flow out of you? Do streams trickle out of you? Do you feel empty? You are not. Jesus promised you would never thirst again if you drank from Him. If you believe, the living water is in there waiting to burst through the dam. Have you quenched the Spirit and built a wall that obstruct Him?