Ho! Thirsty One

[John 7:37-44] (37) On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. (38) “He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (39) But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, (Holy Spirit) whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (40) Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” (41) Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? (42) “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” (43) So there was a division among the people because of Him. (44) Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.”

Jesus made a public statement about Himself and immediately people started questioning what He said. That shouldn’t have come as a surprise as every thing Jesus said and did created controversy and started people talking. That is what God’s Word is designed to do. This is His way of prodding people into searching for life’s answers; and He hasn’t changed His methodology. Everything He said either made people happy, or as mad as can be. He always got a response out of people. If we are a minister of the Word, and we all are if we are a Christian; if what we say doesn’t get some kind of a response out of the people we are speaking to; what we had to say wasn’t worth the time and effort we put into it. Everything about Jesus was controversial. He was different. So the people didn’t know whether to side with Him or run away from Him. And especially so after He had said such things as; “I am the bread of life.”  [John 6:48] and “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” [John 6:54] And as He had just said to them “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” And later He would say to them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one goes to the Father except through me.” [John 14:6] When the people heard these saying they didn’t quite know what to make of them. They wanted to believe in Him; they wanted a Savior to appear, the problem they encountered was they just weren’t sure if He was the One despite the mighty works He did among them. They liked what He did for the people, many of them enjoyed hearing Him speak, but they had a hard time getting pass the fact that He was Jesus from Galilee, the son of Joseph the Nazarene carpenter. I don’t know what they thought God would look like when He came, but apparently most of them did not think He would look like Jesus. Their struggle with the identity of the personage of Jesus isn’t any different than our struggle with the idea that the words on the pages of our Bible is actually the Word of God that He had recorded for our benefit.
 
The things Jesus was teaching that was so controversial had never been heard by the ears of mortal man. His teaching were so revolutionary and controversial His own people killed Him to try and stop them. But try as they might His controversial teachings wouldn’t go away and these same teachings are still being taught to the body of Christ today. For those people who don’t realize this – God’s Word never quits working and it will never quit working until He brings all things to a conclusion. God’s Word is alive and active and will never die. (Hebrews 4:12) Because His Word is alive; His controversial teachings from back then are still being preached around the world via television, Internet, in books, magazines, newspapers, etc, and His teachings will keep on being taught throughout the world forcing people to decide for themselves if He is who He says He is until the last person that will be saved is saved. And there is not one single solitary thing anyone can do to stop His Word from going forth. It’s the same Word that created every thing we see, and it is the same Word that will cast the devil and his followers into the pits of hell. The devil has tried and tried to stop God’s Word from being circulated since Jesus came to the earth. He began by killing Christ, then His followers, and down through the ages other Christians. He has tried passing laws in an attempt to prevent God’s Word from spreading, and many other such things; but the harder the devil tries to stop God’s Word from going forth, the more it spreads. God’s Word is like poison ivy; scratch the infection in one place, and it appears in another. And just as there was on this day long ago, there are still many differing opinions concerning Him being circulated today; and some of them have a little truth in them, but none of them have enough truth to make an accurate determination if He really is the Christ. Jesus wanted the people of that day to search for the truth concerning Him with their whole heart. Thus He said to them, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  Folks, thirsty people go in search of water. And if we want to know the truth about Jesus, we will have to go in search of the truth. Truth will not come searching for us anymore than water goes in search of a thirsty person. 
 
Because Jesus made the above statement concerning Himself, some people said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.”  But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?”  Thus indicating they were interested in knowing the truth, but did they search for the truth? We don’t know. We hope so for the sake of their soul. We understand the times have changed, but people are still pretty much the same in their understanding as they were back then. Therefore without a real thirst, a person never quite comes to a clear realization of who Christ Jesus really was, is, and will always be. People who don’t have a real thirst cannot satisfy their thirst. And as a result of a lack of thirst, their knowledge of the things of God is limited to what they have heard other people say. If a person does not search the Scriptures for themselves to come to their own understanding; what they know about Him is limited and the reality of who Christ Jesus was, is, and will always be, never blossoms into revelation knowledge for them.
 
Jesus did not try to hide anything from the people when He visited them. But on the otherhand it was their responsibility to hear what He said, and examine the Scriptures for themselves to verify what He said before accepting or rejecting Him. He has given us that same responsibility. He will not force us to accept Him as Lord, but we are expected to examine the Scriptures and the records for ourselves so we can make a qualified decision about Him. No one can make a qualified decision without having all the necessary information in hand to make such a decision. A person gets into a lot of trouble when they try to make a determination without having all the information they need to make that determination. Therefore when we don’t do our research, we are left with nothing but questions. This is like trying to put the cart before the horse so to speak. We want answers without the difficulty of solving the problem. And when we do things in this manner there are plenty of people who will tell us what we want to hear whether it is the truth or not.
 
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit into the world after His departure to give us understanding of who He is, and what He wants to do in our lives. But if we do not do our homework, the Holy Spirit cannot reveal unto us the answers we are seeking. He said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”  This statement is just as true for us today as it was two thousand years ago. There is only one fountain of life providing life saving water in this world, and that fountain is Jesus the Christ. Ponce de Leon never found the ‘fountain of life’ he was searching for because he was looking in the wrong place. If he had searched the scriptures as Jesus instructed us to do – he would never have left the shores of his homeland. But he did, and the results of his failure is recorded history.
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