Skip to main content

You thirsty?

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” (John 7:38)

Today, we find Jesus unfazed by the opposition of the religious leaders of the day - teaching in the Temple, as was his custom. The religious leaders are appalled at how much of the Law Jesus knows and how well he explains it. In fact, they are engaged in a heavy discussion about where he received his "credentials" to preach when Jesus responds to their curiosity with a simple statement: "I didn’t make this up. What I teach comes from the One who sent me. Anyone who wants to do his will can test this teaching and know whether it’s from God or whether I’m making it up. A person making things up tries to make himself look good. But someone trying to honor the one who sent him sticks to the facts and doesn’t tamper with reality. It was Moses, wasn’t it, who gave you God’s Law? But none of you are living it. So why are you trying to kill me?” (vs. 16-19) All this "banter" between the religious leaders and Jesus begins to get some in the crowd talking about Jesus' "origin" and his "ability" to be "in ministry" without any "formal teaching". Doesn't it just seem like the crowd always has to include some who will question the validity or motivation of anyone who is in public view?

Jesus is steadfast in his teaching - never wavering despite the continued and escalating opposition. The religious leaders are jealous of him receiving the following of the crowds - a powerful opponent to humility is the devil within we can each call pride! Yet, in all Jesus "endures" at the hand of the crowd of onlookers, there are those "in the crowd" who he knows are on the brink of hungering and thirsting for the reality of "God with them". To them, he begins to minister - "If ANYONE thirsts...." This is not likely an invitation to the religious, but to the seeking hearts who long for something more than set of rules to follow and a place to gather on "church day". Two things Jesus tells them: "Come to me" and "drink". Look at the little three-letter word which begins this invitation - "LET". Jesus is saying to the religious "righteous" - "allow, permit, grant access" to the thirsty - they need what I have to offer. It was as though he is saying to the rabble-rousers in the crowd, "Stop standing in their way and let them alone!" He recognizes the hungry within the crowd - those who desire more - not just the onlookers there because they wanted to be 'part of the group'. It is these seeking hearts he desires to touch. Jesus never sought to "convince" the religious "righteous" of his greatness - he just opened heaven to those who were willing to admit their own righteousness would never be enough to truly bring peace to their souls and right-thinking to their minds.

Come to me is the first invitation - permit these hungry among you to experience access to what it is they desire so desperately. Then he adds the instruction to allow them to drink - the place of refreshing awaited those who would draw near enough to experience the "flow" of his grace fully. Religious righteousness only makes people more "thirsty" for something that will truly satisfy - Jesus is simply offering himself. The filling-up of one's thirsty soul with the presence of Jesus is the only truly satisfying position the thirsty can find - for the rivers of grace flow freest and clearest the nearer we come to the source of the "water". Then he adds what becomes a message of hope to the thirsty within the crowd - "Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way". Dry to the bone, you will be refreshed beyond your capacity to "contain" or "hold" what is offered by the infilling of his grace! Rivers are not tiny streams that trickle along in some lazy way, following the path of the least resistance. Rivers have currents - they cut paths right through whatever stands in their way! Jesus tells us his grace has the power to cut paths where there is resistance - to overcome obstacles to refreshing and renewing.

He adds the rivers will "spill out". Ever "over-pour" a glass of soda? You know, you just did not expect it to overflow the top of the glass, pooling around the base of the glass and dribbling onto the floor. He is not talking about this kind of "fizz up" overflow here! In fact, he talks of it being a river that spills out - from the depths of one's being. Soda fizzes up and then the "overflow" dissipates, doesn't it? His "river of living water" is non-dissipating! It flows and flows and flows. Grace has no limits! Grace abounds - the more we need it, the more is spills out, but did you ever stop to consider that which spills out has to have filled the object in the first place? I don't know about you, but I want this kind of "overflow" in my life! I don't want an occasional "sprinkling" or "fizz up" of his presence, but the genuine flow of his grace constantly renewing me, cutting paths through the places of resistance in my life. How about you? Just askin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean

Doubt isn't a bad thing

I would like for you to consider for a moment what this journalist was attempting to share in his words: " Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is - it is her shadow ." (Ambrose Bierce) Have you ever doubted? Then it is suggested you were at least at the place of some form of belief. Have you ever considered what your doubt was attempting to reveal to you? Perhaps doubt is not a bad thing because it points us to consider the truth of a matter. Where doubt is - - - there truth is. It may be in the shadows, but it is there! We need only look a little closer and we will find truth has never been far from us.  The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate dow