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 had also made this promise earlier to the Samaritan woman at the well.
It's a really impressive statement...but what does he mean by it? I'm grateful that John looks back at this story through the lens of inspiration and explains that Jesus was talking about the Spirit. But as I was studying this passage this week, it made even more sense when considering the context.13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - John 4:13-14
Commentators point out that the "last and greatest day of the festival" would have included a ceremony in which the priests would carry water from the Pool of Siloam to pour out on the altar after walking around the altar seven times. After that pouring there would have been great rejoicing. And it was either immediately after that moment, or it was the day after which would have been the first day for 8 days without a similar water-pouring ceremony that Jesus proclaimed in a loud voice that anyone who was thirsty should come to him. John's placement of the story is interesting in itself. In chapter 6 Jesus fed the 5,000 and then proclaimed that he was the bread of life. And then in chapter 7, he claims that he is the living water. Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah in no uncertain terms! The people believed that the Messiah would provide for people in a similar manner that Moses (or rather God, through Moses) had with the Manna and the water from the rock.
So what difference does this make in your life today now that you understand it?
Do you feel capable of making a difference in someone's life? Do you feel content with the work God has given you? Do you feel energized as you go through life because you believe you are making a difference?
Listen to the promise!!!
Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them...Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
Not only will you never thirst, but the water that keeps you from thirsting will also flow out of you to quench the thirst of those around you! You will become yourself a "spring of water welling up to eternal life!" The "rivers of living water will flow" from within you!
So hear this and hear it plainly...if you have put your trust in Jesus...if you have believed in Him and therefore obeyed him...if you have come to Him to drink, then you have something incredible and eternal to offer! There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it! If you are in the fountain, then you have become part of the fountain! You have the Spirit of the living God living inside you to fill you up and to fill the lives up of those you let Him flow to!
So don't stifle that flow with self-doubt and timidity. Don't quench the Spirit inside you by holding back a word because you are scared of "messing up." Don't close the spigot because you don't want to make other people uncomfortable by pouring the living water on them! THEY ARE DYING OF THIRST AND THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW IT! Give them the water that you have been given!
Last week at EU, Craig Evans presented a lesson on Friday night. He stated very simply: Jesus loves you. Do you believe it? And is it enough?
Do you believe it? Do you believe His words here about the living water in you if you have already believed that Jesus loves you? And is that enough? What will you do with it this week?