Yesterday afternoon I joined a couple of Irish friends and a new friend from New Zealand for a Bible study in a local coffee shop. We were studying John chapter 7 and I shared some ideas from verses 37-39. Here's the text and my paraphrase of these verses with a few observations.
"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, 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.'' 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."
As the Jewish people celebrated the festival of Booths - remembering their ancestors who had lived in tents in the wilderness - Jesus stood up and turned their minds from remembering to renewal. As he had done with the Samaritan woman by the well, Jesus offered the crowd living, flowing, life-giving water - he offered them life fueled by the Holy Spirit. Jesus claimed he was the source of this God inspired power, this God transformed life. After Jesus' death, resurrection, and exaltation, Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit to any who put their trust in him.
There's a hunger and thirst in our world for spirituality. The Enlightenment and Modernism have left people searching for transcendence; for the deeper things in life that can't be found in a mathematical equation, a scientific theory, a purely philosophical speculation, or an ever increasing or decreasing bank balance. Many people recognize that there's more to life than the what's readily available on the surface, but many people don't know where to look to find it. I'm convinced that though it's an old, old story, the answer's still to be found in none other than Jesus of Nazareth. He is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the life-giving source of the life-giving Spirit. Our search for deeper meaning and purpose, our desire for a fulfilled and spiritually relevant life can only truly be satisfied through Jesus. He offers living water to any and all who will believe. - Shay