Lord Jesus, excite the proper thirst in our soul, and refresh us with thy Spirit. Amen.
John 7, 37-40. In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
Jesus must needs suffer and die, and make atonement for the world, and break down the middle wall of partition between heaven and earth, and in his transfigured human nature enter the glory of the Father, before he could pour out the Holy Ghost. Now, however, all this has come to pass, and the pouring out of the Spirit is begun.
At the feast of tabernacles a priest brought water from the pool of Siloah in a golden bowl, and carried it into the inner court of the temple; and here he was received by the other priests with the blowing of trumpets, while all the people sang: “With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12, 3). The priest thereupon carried the water to the altar and mixed it with the wine of the drink-offering; and then it was poured out, and ran through underground tubes into the brook Cedron, while the Levites, to the accompaniment of all manner of musical instruments, sang the great Hallelujah (Psalm 113-118). — Christ is our priest and our altar. The waters of Siloah represent the love of God, the life of Christ. This has passed through the altar, through the sacrificial fire, through the death of atonement, and flows out over the earth as living water to quench our thirst and heal the waters. (Ezekiel 47). Therefore the Lord cries out on the last great day of the feast of tabernacles: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” The feast of tabernacles is a reminder of the journey through the wilderness; and this, again, is typical of our journey to the heavenly Canaan. Christ is the rock out of which gushes water to refresh the dry places of the earth. He stands in the midst of the church and shouts: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy, laden, and I will give you rest.” — Are you wretched and poor, and do you thirst after righteousness and love; come to Jesus; he has water to give you, and he invites you to come unto him. When you hear this, “if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink,” you hear his own voice; it reaches your ear, because his invitation is meant for you also. But to come unto him, and drink, means the same as to believe in him. For he adds: “He that believeth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” And, in John 4, 14 he says: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” Believe his love, and it shall enter your heart and
be the guiding principle of your life. Think of the rivers of living water which flowed out of the apostles! But this was because of the fact that they believed. Dear friend; the Spirit is here, Christ is here, there is abundance of water, and you stand on the bank of the river; drink, and give the others to drink with you. Believe in him, and let your thought, your speech, your deed, be his love.
Help us to this end, merciful God; and give us the spirit of faith and love in Christ Jesus. Amen.
I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
The living water: thirsty one,
Stoop down and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
Of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
And now I live in him.