John 7:37-39 (NIV) 37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” 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.
On verses 37-39: Jesus, who often sat when he taught, stands for emphasis and makes the invitation for all who are thirsty to come to him and drink. The promise Jesus publicly gives here is the same promise Jesus privately gave to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:13-14: that those who believe in him will have flowing from within them streams of living water. Streams of living water are a reference to the Holy Spirit.
Today that same promise is available to us too: when we believe in Jesus, miraculously God allows His Holy Spirit to dwell within us, to be like streams of living water that flow from within us.
Jesus’ invitation is so significant. That is because prior to the Holy Spirit being given in Acts 2 (which is “the time” that verse 39 is referring to), the Holy Spirit was made available to only certain individuals — mostly prophets, priests and kings. So what an incredible, game-changing offer Jesus makes when he says in verse 37, “let ANYONE who is thirsty come to me and drink…streams of living water will flow from within them”. Jesus was now making the Holy Spirit available to ANYONE who would believe in Him. So in response to Jesus’ big offer, let’s give Him a big acceptance. May you access that God-given stream every day, bending down and refreshing yourself in the living water that is the Holy Spirit, so that, in you and through you, life would flow.
Let’s come to Jesus thirsty for more of Him, for more of His Holy Spirit to fill us. Every morning let your first words be “Good morning Holy Spirit! Please fill me today.” Since Jesus is offering, let’s receive as much of the Holy Spirit as we can, that streams of living water will flow from within us.
John 7:40-42 (NIV) 40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “He is the Christ.” Still others asked, “How can the Christ come from Galilee? 42 Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David’s family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?”
On verses 40-42: Here is possibly another classic case of people not doing their homework – or doing it only partially – and thus reaching wrong conclusions. They knew that the Scriptures talk about the Messiah coming from Bethlehem. Then they thought, “Jesus is not from Bethlehem, but from Galilee (Nazareth in particular), so Jesus can’t be the Messiah” (see v41b-42). Little did they know that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and moved to Galilee later in life.
John 7:43-44 (NIV) 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.
On verses 43-44: Jesus, the only blameless, perfect human being who ever lived, was the subject of much criticism, with people having very different opinions about him. Some wanted to follow him, some wanted to kill him. What can we learn from this? When you set out to change the world, or just a small part of it, be prepared that people will have very differing opinions about you, no matter how blamelessly or righteously you try to live. If it happened to Jesus, it will happen to you too. But don’t let the fact that people have differing opinions about you stop you from doing what God has called you to do. Live for the approval of God, not the approval of people.
John 7:45-52 (NIV) 45 Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?” 46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards declared. 47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Has any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law–there is a curse on them.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn anyone without first hearing him to find out what he is doing?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
On verses 45-52: As Jesus continued to gain more followers, the Pharisees were feeling increasingly insecure. In their insecurity, they criticized not only Jesus but those who followed him (v45-49) or who tried to defend him (v50-52). They also showed a prejudicial bias against people who came from the region of Galilee (v52). What can we learn from this? Pressure has this way of revealing what is inside of us. If under pressure we begin to lose our cool, get defensive, attack and malign others, that pressure-filled situation didn’t make us that way; it simply reveals that we are that way. Watch the way you operate under pressure and if you see things in you that you don’t like, the next question to ask is, “How do I want to be when under pressure and how can I become more that way?”
Lord Jesus, I come to You today and I ask You for more of Your Holy Spirit to fill my life, that streams of living water would flow in and through me. Come and take over every part of my life, both the parts I like and the parts I don’t like. Have Your way with me. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!