Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Living Waters

John 7:37  On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38  and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, 'Out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" 39  Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.40  When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, "This is really the prophet." 41  Others said, "This is the Messiah." But some asked, "Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? 42  Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?" 43  So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44  Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

John Chapter 7 is a significant turning point in the life of Jesus. The preceding chapters note a gradual build up of hostility towards Jesus:  the first four chapters have no opposition; then Chapter 5 tells of how Jesus heals a paralyzed man on the Sabbath and angers the religious leaders; and Chapter 6 tells of the many people who turn away from Jesus because his teaching is too hard; It is as if John says – it is time to answer the criticism.. And so John places Jesus at the Festival of the Tabernacles. There are booths/tents everywhere. This is a symbolic reminder of how the Jews spent years living in temporary homes while wandering in the wilderness. [1]  

One of the significant moments of the festival is the ceremony of pouring out the water. This is a reminder of the refreshing stream that came out of the rock at Meribah.[2]   As the water is poured out, Jesus seizes this moment to offer a new perspective:  "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink”. Here is John saying that just as people found their thirst satisfied by God in the wilderness – so will the teaching of Jesus satisfy the thirst of those who wander in the desert of the soul.  

For Thought
Let Your living water flow over my soul,
Let your Holy Spirit come and take control,
Of every situation that has troubled my mind,
All my cares and burdens on to you I roll.
Father, Father, Father.

Give your life to Jesus, let Him fill your soul,
Let Him take you in His arms and make you whole,
As you give your life to Him, He'll set you free,
You will live and reign with Him eternally.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

Come now Holy Spirit and take control,
Hold me in your loving arms and make me whole,
Wipe away all doubt and fear and take my pride,
Draw me to your love and keep me by your side.
Spirit, Spirit, Spirit.

Jimmy Swaggart Lyrics

The Third Sunday in Lent
Thirsting for God
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 118.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.   

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