Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode 94 · 7 months ago

Come and Drink


Come and Drink

John 7:1-52

Dax Bryant - Preaching

As we come to God's word now, having thanked God, who has done marvelous works in our lives, saving us from our sins, offeringness forgiveness, we come now and we're set apart. Were reminded of this God who remains involved with us, who speaks to us from his word, and so let's pray to that end here before we open up the word of God. This is a puritan prayer, by the way, from Robert Hawker. Precious Lord Jesus, How will I express my soul's sense of your love and grace, your mercy and favor? Since you first revealed yourself to my heart, I am no longer my own. You have taken all my affections with you to Heaven and cause them to center everything in yourself. So now, Lord, every day, sometimes every hour, when I hear Your Voice, I have to cry out. No one ever spoke like this man. Your words are sweet and perfect for my weary soul, and my sense of nothingness makes your fullness even more precious. When I hear you say my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect and weakness, I feel a power that makes all my enemies seem as nothing. Like your servant. I then truly boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Be All I need. Dearest Lord, let me hear Your Voice, see your countenance, because both in life and in death, in time and to all eternity, the voice of my Lord Jesus will be my everlasting comfort. No one speaks like you. Amen. Mean well. It has been a few weeks since we've been in John's Gospel. If you remember, last week Ed walked us through psalmn fifty one and explained superbly the this idea of repentance and the importance of repentance to the Christian life. The week before that was Easter and we looked at the centrality of the resurrection to the Christian faith from First Corinthians fifteen. And so the week before that, if you remember back that far, we feasted on the bread of life discourse in John Chapter six. And now today, as we come to John Chapter Seven, we're going to drink deeply from a few key verses here in this chapter. But I think to really appreciate the significance of these few verses we need to work our way through the the rest of the chapter kind of work up Athirst, so to speak. So let me remind you of where we are in this Gospel, in John Five through ten. This that section of chapters there. It's often referred to as the festival cycle because all of the major actions centers around these different Jewish festivals, and that's very easily seen here in chapter or seven with the frequent mention of a particular feast. Maybe you notice that as we read the chapter, Verse Two, the Jews Feast of booths was at hand, then again in verse fourteen, about the middle of the feast, and then finally in Verse Thirty Seven, on the last day of the feast. All of this is happening around this same feast and also within that festival cycle. In John Five through ten, there another pattern we see is this pattern of increasing opposition to the teaching of Jesus, and this is something we can clearly identify in John Seven as well, and it becomes more intense actually as the chapter progresses. So in fact, this morning what we'll see is this opposition advance from a fearful uncertainty versus one through thirteen, to a flabbergasted incredulity verses fourteen through twenty nine to a flagrant hostility in verses thirty through fifty two. But, as we will discover, and this is our big idea this morning, in the midst of ubiquitous, widespread division, Jesus makes a universal, welcoming invitation. In the midst of ubiquitous, widespread division, Jesus makes a universal, well a mean invitation. So let's examine this first episode here, as we watch the opposition increase and it is marked by a fearful uncertainty towards Jesus. So Chapter Seven, verse one, begins. After this, Jesus went about in Galilee. Now that phrase after this. It refers back to the events in the previous chapter around the feeding of the five thousand and the subsequent teaching that followed, where many of...

Jesus's disciples withdrew and no longer walked after him. This that took place about six months prior to John Seven. But in reality, Jesus has been steering clear of Judea and the city of Jerusalem for about a year at this point, ever since he healed the man at the pool and Bethesda back in chapter five. And why was he steering clear of Jerusalem? Well, verse one. Chapter Seven. Verse One continues he would not go about in Judaea because the Jews were seeking to kill him. And in fact John told us the same thing back in chapter five, verse eighteen, that even then the Jews were seeking to kill him. And in both cases, and chapter five and again here, the Jews refers to the religious authorities in Jerusalem. Notice first two. Now the Jews feast of booths was at hand. So, as brothers said to him, leave here and go to Judea, that you're disciples also may see the works that you were doing, for no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world. Now we'll say more about the feast of Booze or the Feast of Tabernacles in just a few moments, but for now just just remember that this was one of three primary festivals that God had instituted and one that all Jewish men over the age of twenty were required to attend if possible. So it makes sense, of course, that Jesus's brothers are going up to Jerusalem for this feast and they expect Jesus to go with them. So they say to him hey brother, we're all heading up to the feast and listen, we know it's probably been a little rough for you lately, what with losing nearly all of your disciples. So listen, if it were us, here's what we would do before you lose the handful of followers that you have left. Man, you got to take this show on the road. You got to get up to Jerusalem, get in front of the people who are going to be there for the feast and show yourself to the world. Now, when you read this, it's a little bit difficult, I think, at first to to kind of assess their motivation here in giving this advice. Are Are they making a little fun of their big brother here, kind of poking Adam, or are they genuinely concerned, trying to help him the best they know how to to seek a wider audience for his miraculous works? Now, now we know, because we've been reading this gospel, that when Jesus displays his miraculous works, people tend to respond with corrupt motives and a sort of superficial kind of faith. That we saw that just most recently in chapter six, right with the response to the feeding of the five thousand but we can't expect that his brothers really grasped all the nuances of that. So so why did his brothers say these things? Well, verse five explains that not even his brothers believed in him. Now, it was not that they doubted that he could perform the miracles right or else this, this whole challenge to go to Jerusalem and do it, wouldn't make any sense. Rather, what's going on here is that in this moment, his brothers, just like so many others, missed the the true meaning of the miracles and therefore they couldn't understand who Jesus really was, and therefore they couldn't submit themselves and in trust themselves to Jesus. And so, since his brothers don't believe in him, Jesus provides an explanation of why their advice then is faulty, because it didn't matter what they would do if they were in his shoes. No one could ever be in his unique shoes. Verse six, Jesus said to them, my time has not yet come, but your time is always here. So we see that Jesus is very aware that he's operating on God's divine timetable. He only goes where the father directs him and he only goes at the time that the father appoints for him to go, but in contrast to that, his brother's lack an appointed time because they belong to the world. Notice for seven the world cannot hate you, and kind of what's being implied there? The it can't hate you because you're a part of it, and the world loves its own. But Jesus continues. It hates me because I testify about it, that its works are evil. The world hates Jesus because it hates for its sin to be exposed. And so this is why his brother's suggestion is so flawed, even if it was well intended. I don't...

...think they were mocking him here. I think that they're unbelievers at this point and they can't understand him. They can't understand what he's doing, they can't understand why he seems to be stalling. So they they offer the best counsel they can come up with. They say show yourself to the world. But Jesus knows that the world hates him and since his brothers are part of the world at this point, they know nothing of God's gender, they know nothing of God's Messiah Standing Right before them. So, from their very worldly perspective, any time will do so, Jesus tells them. In Verse Eight. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come. Look at that phrase. My time has not yet fully come. My hour has not yet come. It's repeated often in the first twelve chapters of John's Gospel. It doesn't really matter when his brothers go to the feast, right, but for Jesus, everything he does in his life is regulated by the father's timing, not by the advice of unbelievers. Verse Nine, after saying this, he remained in Galilee. But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private. Now and some people's minds, there's a difficulty that arises here. Right, because didn't Jesus just tell his brothers he was not going up to this feast? But now he is? So did Jesus just lie here? What do we make of this? Well, will notice there in verse eight that his reply is conditional. He says, for my time has not yet fully come. Never is he saying that he will stay in Galilee forever and never go to Jerusalem. Rather, the point he's making is that, since he is following the father's timing, he won't be going to the feast when his unbelieving brothers say that he should go. He will go when the father says that he should go. So he turns down his brother's request. But when his time does come, he will go wherever and whenever the Father Commands. And notice also that when he does go, at this father's command and in his father's timing, he also goes in the manner that the Father Instructs, and it's exactly the opposite of what his brothers had in mind. They say go show yourself to the world, but Jesus goes instead, not publicly to be seen, but privately. And he does so not because he's a coward or something like that. Quite the contrary. He goes out of a firm and prudent resolve to do exactly what the father gives him to do, exactly when the father tells him to go and in exactly the way the father intends for him to do so, as we'll see here in a minute, he does make himself publicly known a little later, but by entering Jerusalem privately. Perhaps he avoids a sort of premature triumphal entry, kind of seeing that the people might have forced on him. And there's another need for discretion here, isn't there? Because verse eleven says the Jews, these same Jews that were plotting to kill him, they were looking for him at the feast and saying where is he? And there was much muttering about him among the people. While some said he is a good man, others said no, he is leading the people astray. Yet, for fear of the Jews, no one spoke openly of him. Now, during all of this, here, at at the beginning of the feast, he hasn't spoken a word. He may not even be in the city yet at this point. And yet he is still the center of attention and and while there's an undercurrent of opposition here, the authorities are on the lookout for him. The people, having heard of his miracles, are are somewhat divided, but mostly curious. Some of them give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they remember the result of his miracles. They say he's a good man. Others suspect he's a fraud, maybe a wolf in sheep's clothing who is deliberately causing harm and damaging the people. But regardless of where people's opinions land on the spectrum, the thing to notice here is that these opinions are only whispered in secret. It seems that that everyone is on edge. They're afraid to talk about Jesus and public. There is a fearful uncertainty here. That's really the first phase of that opposition, fearful uncertainty. And watch... as the reaction against Jesus begins to build in this next episode, as he makes himself known. So we move from a fearful uncertainty to a flabbergasted incredulity. Verse Fourteen. About the middle of the feast, Jesus went up into the Temple and began teaching. So apparently, according to God's divine plan, now was the time. Now the time was right for Jesus to appear, to make himself known, to teach and to continue to make some bold claims, like we've already seen him do. And at first the reaction is one of astonishment. Verse Fifteen. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, how is it that this man has learning when he has never studied? To their knowledgy. He's not set under any of the famous rabbis, he's not attended any of the best schools, and yet it was clear and obvious that he had an impressive command of the scriptures. Verse Sixteen. So Jesus answered them. My teaching is not my own, but his, who sent me. If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authorities seeks his own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of Him who sent him is true and in him there is no falsehood. So, if we put all that together, Jesus is saying something like this. Here's why you can trust my teaching. Number One, my teaching comes from God. Number two, if you have faith in God, or, as he says it here, if your will is to do God's will. If you have faith in God, then you'll know that my teaching is true. That that's why the scripture doesn't make sense to unbelievers. The word of God is only rightly understood and assessed from the inside. That's what he's saying here. And number three, unlike the other teachers. You know I don't have mixed motives. I don't, ever, stretch the truth. I desire to glorify God alone, not myself, in my teaching. And then to kind of further his point here about how having faith in God, in doing God's will, how those things are necessary precursors to knowing that God's Word is true, Jesus says in Verse Nineteen. He gets an example. Has Not Moses given you the law, yet none of you keeps the law. So so let's follow Jesus argument. Here. He's saying, in effect, the law reveals God, God's will. Right, but the law explains what God wants, but you choose to break the law, you choose to not follow God's will, and that's why you can't believe me. You don't have faith. Let me give you an example, he says in the Verse Nineteen. Why do you seek to kill me? After all, isn't murder prohibited in the Law of Moses? That's what he's saying, and knowing that at least the religious leaders who are there are planning to try to murder him, he asked six questions. Murder, for sure, is against the law of Moses. Verse Twenty the crowd answers you have a demon who's seeking to kill you, because not everyone is aware of the murderous intentions of the authorities. Maybe they think he's paranoid, maybe they just think he's delusional. Whatever the case, Jesus kind of brushes that off and he continues with his argument. Verse Twenty One. He says, I did one work and you all marvel at it. Now he's referring to the last time he was in Jerusalem, back in chapter five, when he healed the man at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath. He was accused of then violating the Sabbath by doing that. But keep following the argument. Now he moves from the lesser to the greater. Here, Verse Twenty Two. Moses gave you circumcision, not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers. It was codified with Moses, and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If, on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body? Well, do not judge by appearances. But judge with right judgment. So it's a challenge to them. Right, he's saying, if you'll break the law of the Sabbath to keep the law of circumcision, then... can it how can it be wrong to break the Sabbath to heal someone's whole body? See, they're judging things by this very narrow, superficial view of the law, which they themselves don't even follow consistently, and as a result, they're they're misconstruing Jesus's character, their misunderstanding Jesus's intentions. If they only had the eyes of faith to see, they would understand that Jesus is not a Sabbath breaker. Jesus is, in fact, the fulfillment of everything the Sabbath is all about. But notice the reaction to Jesus's Statement Verse Twenty Five. Some of the people of Jerusalem therefore said, is not this the man whom may seek to kill? And here he is speaking openly and they do nothing to him. Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Christ? But we know where this man comes from, and when the Christ appears, no one will know where he comes from. So notice WHO's speaking here. Unlike the pilgrims who are visiting the city for the feast, the people who lived in Jerusalem, they knew of the murderous intentions that the religious authorities had toward Jesus, and everyone knew that speaking like Jesus just spoke here was a good way to end up dead. So they are their flabricassed it. They are incredulous that Jesus is saying these things out in the open and the authorities are remaining silent. So they speculate in less unless they know that he really is the Messiah. But that can't be true, because they know where Jesus is from and they believe that when the Messiah appeared, it would be to save Israel, and until then no one would know who he was or where he is from, till he revealed himself for that purpose of salvation. So Jesus speaks into this doubt, into this incredulousness, into this confusion. Verse Twenty Eight. So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple. You Know Me and you know where I come from, or so you think, but I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know I know him, for I come from him and he sent me. In other words, he's saying you're ignorant of the truth, because God is the one who sent me, and if you really knew God, you would know me trust my teaching. But because you don't, you clearly don't. And now notice how the response is going to escalate again here. So moving from that flabbergasted incredulity to now more of a flagrant hostility. And notice here too, there's there's a widening gap of division that takes place this, this same ubiquitous, widespread division that always takes place wherever and whenever human beings are confronted with the claims of Jesus Christ verse thirty. So they were seeking to arrest him. Notice not the leaders seeking to arrest him here, it's the crowds. The crowds are seeking to arrest him. But no one laid a hand on him because his hour had not yet come. Third Time in the passage that's been mentioned, his hour had not yet come. Some in the crowd want to violently seize them, but they are unable to because he is operating on God's timetable. Others seemed to put their faith in him, though, though it appears to be of faith, at least somewhat, based on the miraculous works. Notice that in verse thirty one. Yet many of the people believed in him. We'll see what kind belief that is. In chapter eight they said, when the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done? See, ow, it's based on the signs. Is here still. And yet even with just a hint of this kind of uneasy, tentative sort of belief, once just that reaches the ears of the authorities, that's enough for them to move to take official action, and they do so. Verse Thirty Two. The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about him and the chief priests and Pharisees sent officers to arrest him. Now, if you don't know, the chief priests were almost all Sadducees, the rival sect to the Pharisees. But but here, along with the officers, who are also pulled from the Levites, they have a common enemy. Now they're united in this and as the officers, the guards are closing. In verse thirty three, Jesus then said, I will be with you a little longer and then I... going to him who sent me, you will seek me and you will not find me. where I am, you cannot come. And of course we know he's speaking of his coming death and resurrection and ascension into Heaven. These people don't know that he's misunderstood again. The Jews said to one another verse thirty five. Where does this man intend to go? That we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the dispersion among the Greeks that the Jewish people that had scattered out among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? What does he mean by saying you will seek me and you will not find me, and where I am you cannot come? There is still uncertainty and incredulity and hostility here. You can see that in these questions and responses, the confusion, the doubt, the opposition. And now skip down to verse forty to see the the pattern of division and hostility increase when they heard these words, and we're going to come back and look at these words in just a minute. When they heard these words, some of the people said this really is the prophet, others said this is the Christ, but some said is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was. So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him. Again there's division. It's him, it can't be him. Arrest Him, no one can touch him. Verse Forty Five. The officers, the same officers who were dispatched, back up in verse thirty two. The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, why did you not bring him? The officers answered, no one ever spoke like this man. You think about all the excuses they could have made for why they didn't bring Jesus back. But they're honest here. They're speaking better than they even know. Don't forget these, these officers, these guards, they were drawn from the the Levites at the temple, so they would appreciate, probably better than most, Jesus is mastery of the Scriptures, the authority with which Jesus spoke. They understand verse forty seven. The Pharisees answered them. Have you also been deceived? have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him. But this crowd that does not know the law is a cursed their anger and hatred for Jesus is directed at these temple guards. It's directed at the common folk. At the feast they they appeal to themselves as kind of the standard for whether to believe these claims that Jesus is making or not, which is kind of ironic, because notice verse fifty. Nicodemus, remember him. We saw him in John Chapter Three. who had gone to him before? who had gone to Jesus at night and who was one of them? Who was one of the Pharisees? Remember, he was the teacher of Israel. He said to them. Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does? So we have a we have a cooler head stepping in here right and it doesn't. He doesn't defend Jesus directly, but he he kind of raises a formal point of order. Our Law doesn't allow for this. We need to determine if the man's guilty or innocent first. But it's to no avail. Notice the reply. Are you from Galilee to the sarcasm? Search and see meaning, search the scriptures and see that no profit arises from Galilee. They've kind of set themselves up that these this this crowd, that is a curse. They don't understand the law. We do search of Scriptures and see there's no profit from Galilee, which is ironic also right. Jonah is from Galilee, Nahum is from Galilee, probably others as well. But they're too hostile to think straight, to listen to reason. They're mocking one of the members of their own council here. They're shouting him down simply for trying to follow proper procedure from their law and from their customs. And so I want you to see the pattern here. It won't be the last time you see it, where Jesus does a mighty work. In this case he'd done it a year earlier. Last time he was in Jerusalem, when he heal bat man at the pool. Then Jesus makes some bold claims about who he is, and then the response to all of that includes some level of superficial belief, but mostly opposition that varies from uncertainty to incredulity to outright hostility. Now a lot more could be said...

...about that, but I trust that that survey of the chapter will help us now to more rightly appreciate the bold claim that Jesus makes. I want to focus on here that we skipped over back in verses thirty seven thirty eight and the commentary in thirty nine. And this really here, in these three verses, this is where we will encounter our big idea that in the midst of ubiquitous, widespread division, Jesus makes a universal, welcoming invitation. Look at it. In Verse Thirty Seven, on the last day of the feast, the Great Day, Jesus stood up and cried out, if anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. Then John adds. Now this he said about the spirit whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the spirit had not been given because Jesus was not yet glorified. Now I want to focus really on Jesus's words in this passage. But but first take note of verse Thirty Nine, because it explains the imagery that Jesus uses. Whatever Jesus is talking about here. We have this to guide us. Now, this he said about the spirit so all this talk about about water rivers, whatever he means here, John is telling us that Jesus is speaking about the work of the Holy Spirit. Okay, so remember that. And given what Jesus has just said earlier, just before this, about how he's going to go somewhere that his opponents can't come, we're reminded that that later in John's Gospel he's going to talk to his disciples about how the giving of the spirit depends on his leaving, on his departing. Now, yes, the spirit is present and active from creation. All through the Old Testament we see the spirit at work. Jesus, in his humanity, even in this moment, is relying on the power of the spirit. But until the work of the sun is completed, the spirit will not be given in the full new covenant, permanent in dwelling sense of what that means. Okay. So, with that in mind, back to verse thirty seven, on the last day of the feast, the Great Day. Now you have to understand something about the feast of Booths, the Feast of Tabernacles. It was a it was a big celebration. According to Josephus, the Jewish historian, it was the most popular of all of the feasts. It was held in the fall. It was sort of a harvest festival really. It's celebrated the the gathering of the crops. It lasted for seven days and there was a special closing ceremonies kind of day on the eighth day and it included many different elements in the feast. Most most famously, the Jewish people built booths or tabernacles out of branches and limbs and foliage. There certain rules. There had to be enough sky that you could see through the ceiling to kind of remind them of what it was like for their ancestors to be out in the wilderness. All of it pointed back to the wandering following the exodus and how God had provided for their people. And at some point after the Jews came back from the exile, but still hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the priest had added in a new element to the celebration. This is a tested to and sources outside of scripture, where each morning of the feast, as the multitudes gathered there at the temple, the priest would appear and he had a golden picture that he would present and then he made his way down to the pool of Staloam, he would kneel down, scoop water from the pool in the picture and, with the big procession, make his way back to the altar in front of the temple and the the sounds of show fires would be blasting and the people would be singing from the psalms. They would shout out from Isaiah with joy, you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And then the priest would circle the altar, raise the picture high above his head, and then silence would fall over the crowd as they anticipated the water about to be poured out on the altar as a drink offering to the Lord. It was a time of great joy in two ways, in in giving thanks to God's faithful provision of rain that had made the harvest possible, and also in anticipation of God's promise to pour out spiritual rain in the Messianic Age. And this is speculative, but perhaps... was a moment like that at this festival that Jesus, as we're told, stood up and cried out, if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart would flow rivers of living water. Whatever the exact timing of when this happened at the feast, the claim couldn't be clearer. Jesus is saying he is the fulfillment of everything that the feast of booths anticipated. If Isaiah could invite the people to come and drink of the waters, Jesus announces that he is the one who supplies the waters. So notice here. First he says if anyone thirsts, if anyone thirst and having just read in John Six, Jesus is claim to be the bread of life. We can't miss the connection with the exodus here again, right, and how the Israelites desperately pleaded for water. Now, we usually aren't very familiar with what it's like to be truly desperately physically thirsty, like what the Israelites experienced and what like people in different places in the world experience. We don't understand that because we can just go home and twist the tap a little bit and water flows freely into the cup of your choice. You can drive anywhere along here and get a forty four ounce drink of whatever you want, with free refills. Right. I think there's at least Twelve Cup holders in our van, enough for each of us have two drinks if we want to so. We're not familiar with what it's like to be thirsty like this, but we are thirsty for joy and peace and significance. We thirst for meaningful relationships. We thirst for a good marriage and close families and precious friendships. We want to love, we want to be loved. We thirst for fulfillment in our work. We want to make use of our gifts, our talents. We thirst for a sense of purpose, we thirst for appreciation and recognition. We thirst for health and safety, we thirst for spiritual wisdom and growth. And so if you know what it means to third first in those kinds of ways, then you're exactly the kind of person that Jesus is calling out to hear when he says if anyone thirsts. The problem is we have countless competitors that promise to satisfy the thirst of our spiritual and emotional needs. We want to drink from the promise of a bigger paycheck or a nicer home or a newer car, any number of exciting events or hobbies or distractions or entertainment or the never ending news cycle. Those are all things that we try to drink from, but none of those things will satisfy your thirst. It's like the Prophet Jeremiah says, Jeremiah Thirteen, my people have committed two evils. They have forsaken me, the fountain of Living Waters, and they have hued out, carved out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. All those things that that promise enjoyment and fulfillment and satisfaction, they never quench your thirst. It's like being a drifted sea and the only thing you have to drink is the salt water around you. It's only going to make your thirst that much worse. Eventually it's going to kill you. In contrast to what the world offers, Jesus offers himself as an abundant supply to satisfy your thirst. That's what he says. Next, if anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. It's a universal invitation to everyone who is listening. Christ invites this divided people to come and drink and to receive his unifying spirit. It's an invitation to his disciples that are there. It's an invitation to his unbelieving brothers who are there. It's an invitation to the crowds, to the Pharisees, to the priests, to the temple officers, to Nicodemus. It's an invitation to the uncertain and the incredulous and the hostile. And if you are here this morning as a non Christian, it's an invitation to you as well. Have you tried just about everything you can think of to find fulfillment and happiness and purpose and meaning, but you're still dying of thirst? Then here...

Jesus is invitation to you to come to him, to drink and receive the unifying spirit of God. And this is an invitation to the believer also. Have you been following Jesus, but you lately are feeling dissatisfied, discouraged because of the challenges, the trials that you are undergoing in your life? You need to come again to Jesus and drink. You need to find refreshment in him. Only he is able to provide the living water that your soul needs. So Jesus says, come to me and drink, and the the verb there, to get grammarly on you for a second, is a present active imperative, a present active command, which means you could translate that like this. You must keep on coming to me and keep on drinking from me. In other words, coming to Jesus to drink isn't the start of the Christian life, it's the way from the start to the finish. Keep on coming to him, keep on drinking from him. Only he will satisfy. Jesus will abundantly supply your every need. In fact, the promise here, notice, is that he will supply you with so much that your coup will overflow. That's what he means when he says in Verse Thirty Eight, Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. That is an extravagant promise, but it is one that you can trust completely. Why? Because there is no chance of Jesus's resources running dry. There is no drought season here. There will never be waters that dry up. With Jesus, he's never lacking in his ability to supply, he's never stingy, he's never unwilling to provide out of the abundance of His grace. But notice here too, as you come to Jesus and drink, as you drink, that living water that only he can supply. It is not meant to be watered, that is stockpiled up and and hoarded away and kept in a reservoir somewhere. It is out of the abundance of what Christ gives to you that you can then go in turn and pour out to others as you work in the nursery or teach Sunday school or raise your children or witness and serve and love in your church, in your workplace, in your neighborhood. The question you need to ask as a believer is, are you living the sort of life that that pours into those around you? And before you answer that question too quickly, realize this is a big ask. This is hard to do because because here's what this means. It means the way you speak to other people matters, the way that you display integrity or not in the workplace matters, your generosity with your finances matters, the way that you love people that are difficult to love matters. All of it matters because, as a Christian, as Jesus abundantly blesses you, it is for the express purpose of you then being able to spread that same blessing to other people. But you can't do that on your own, as you know, if you've tried, you will fail to do that consistently. You can only do those kinds of things after you come to Jesus and drink, and you can only continue to do those things as you keep on coming to Jesus then drink. You have limited resources, so you must keep coming to Christ, who has unlimited resources. Keep drinking. Believer, is the river of living water that Christ has provided you with overflowing out of your heart? There is a river that flows through scripture. You catch glimpses of it now and then. It begins in the garden of Eden, flowing out there. It is gushing forth from the Rock in the Wilderness. There it is again in Psalm, forty six verse for a river whose streams make glad the city of God. Zechariah fourteen eight prophesies that living waters shall flow out of Jerusalem. Ezekiel has a vision where he has led through a stream that is coming out of the temple. First it's ankle deep, then it's knee deep, than...'s waist deep, then it's deep enough for him to swim in, and it flows from the temple in Jerusalem. All the way to the Dead Sea, where it gives life to what was previously dead. And then in John's tour of the New Earth, in revelation twenty two, he is shown the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the lamb. Jesus is the fulfillment of all of this. He's not only the fulfillment of the Sabbath, he's not only the fulfillment of the Feast of Booze. He is the fulfillment of the People's hopes for the life giving, thirst quenching river that flows through scripture. If anyone thirst, let him come to me and drink. It is an astounding claim. It is an astonishing invitation. But what does it mean? Exactly? What does it mean? What does it look like to come to Jesus and drink? Because though the invitation is universal, it is open and free to all. That is not to say that there are not some conditions to be met and I think perhaps better than anywhere else I've seen, C S Lewis puts his finger on this in very clear terms in the in the children's novel the Silver Chair. Let me just explain a little bit. The story and read you a brief snippet here. There's a girl named Jill and upon seeing a lion as she's out walking, she is scared out of her wits and she runs into the forest and she runs so hard that she she wears herself out and she's just about to die of thirst, she thinks, when she hears the Gurgling of a brook in the distance. She approaches and she's almost ready to go to the brook when on the grass before her suddenly appears the same lion, and Lewis writes. Are you not thirsty, said the lion. I'm dying of thirst, said Jill. Then drink, said the lion. May I could. I would you mind going away while I do, said Jill. The lion answered this only by a look and a very low growl, and as Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the Stream was driving her nearly frantic. Will you promise not to do anything to me if I come, said Jill. I make no promise, said the lion. Jill was so thirsty now that without noticing that she had come a step nearer. Do you eat girls? She said. I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperor's cities in realms, said the lion. It didn't say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it. I dare not come and drink, said Joe. Then you will die of thirst, said the lion. Oh dear, said Jill, coming another step nearer. I suppose I must go and look for another stream. Then there is no other stream, said the lion. It never occurred to Jill to disbelieve the lion. No one who had seen his stern face could do that. and her mind suddenly made itself up. It was the worst thing she ever had to do, but she went forward to the Stream, knelt down and began scooping up water in her hand. It was the coldest, most refreshing water she had ever tasted. You See, the point, when you come to drink of this water, you are coming to a lion and you must come on the lions terms, and you have to yield yourself to the lion by faith in order to drink the water that he provides. If you are thirsty this morning, you are feeling empty this morning and in the midst of ubiquitous, widespread division in the world, Jesus makes you a universal, welcoming invitation. Come and drink the living water of Jesus, Christ and receive the unifying spirit. Stop drinking from the poisoned well that the world offers. Turn from your feudal efforts to seek satisfaction in the world and in your sin. None of those things can satisfy... You must come to Christ, you must yield to him, submit to him, because he alone can meet your deepest needs. He alone can quench your deepest thirst. You must repent of your sin place your trust in him. That's what it means to come and drink. Now this he said about the spirit whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the spirit had not been given because Jesus was not yet glorified. Guess what? Jesus has now been glorified. He died on the cross, he rose from the dead, he ascended to the right hand of the father, and now the spirit has been given. The Christian is now constantly connected to God through the spirit in dwelling him or her, and now, by the power of the spirit of Christ that dwells within you, you are enabled to carry out the work of God in Your Life because Christ's living water is welling up inside of you, so much so that it overflows out of you, out of your own heart, to those around you, and, I might add, it ought to flow out of your own mouth or memes or social media interactions. In this cultural moment, in a world that is drowning in a sea of division, our message must be different than the salt water that is sucking people dry. We must extend the same universal invitation that Jesus did to come to him, to drink the living water that only he can provide. So keep coming to Christ, believer, keep finding your satisfaction in him, keep quenching your thirst in him, be continually filled with the spirit, and then go and spread the blessings that you have received to others in every avenue of your life. Come and drink. Let's pray. Lord, what an invitation that you have given us, what a promise that we have in this passage, what a what a privilege. We do not want to let it pass. We want to come and drink. I pray, Lord, that as your word has been preached and heard and your spirit is doing his work, that you would move each one of us to respond in the appropriate way. Maybe that is in worship, maybe it is a response of repentance, a response of encouragemental response of conviction. But, Lord, grant it, whatever it may be. As your word goes forth, may it accomplish the purpose for which you send it out. And we promise, Lord, to to glorify you, father son and spirit, with all honor and praise and Thanksgiving forever and ever. Amen.

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