< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: John 7:37- 53

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

John 7:37- 53

John 7:37 – 39 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

On the first seven days of the Feast, people left their tree-branch shelters and went to the temple to worship. After the sacrifice was offered, a priest filled a golden pitcher with water from the Pool of Siloam. As he brought it back into the temple, the crowd shouted and played music on cymbals and trumpets. The rejoicing was so great the rabbis said those who had never seen this ceremony had never tasted true joy. When they returned to the temple, the priest cried, “lift up your hand,” and he poured out the water from the golden pitcher. Accompanied by cymbals and trumpets, the people said, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” According to rabbinic tradition, those words have always pointed to the Messiah.

The last day of the Feast was different from the others. This eighth day commemorated the beginning of a new era – the day the Israelites entered the Promised Land of Canaan. Jewish historians say that on this eighth day there was no water drawn. The water ceremony would show that when the Israelites entered Canaan, they were no longer in a desert but drank from the rivers of Canaan.

It was on this day the Son of God called for those who were thirsty to come to Him, the fulfillment of His Father’s promise. Jesus offered Himself as the living water.

All Temple symbolism pointed to Him. Jesus had once compared His body to the temple itself. He also spoke of Himself as the Bread from heaven. Now He revealed Himself s the Rock that when struck gives not mere water, but living water of eternal life.

To those who are aware of their spiritual thirst, Jesus gives Himself and eternal renewal and satisfaction.

Thirst is mentioned in Old Testament scripture:

David wrote in Psalm 63 You, God, are my God,  earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,  my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land   where there is no water.

And Isaiah called out “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat.”

Fulfillment of God’s great promises is centered on the Person and work of Jesus. And on that day God’s Son called people to come and take from Him rivers of life that overflow with His renewing and loving power.

John 7:40 – 49 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”
41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him. 

Finally the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring him in?”

46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied.
47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law—there is a curse on them.”

The priests pointed out to the guards that no leader from a rabbinical school followed Jesus, only the ignorant would be awed by Him they said. These people, they said, were not trained and therefore didn’t understand the law. We sort of get this from “intellectuals” today too, don’t we!

John 7:50 – 53 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?”

52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”

53 Then they all went home,

Nicodemus took the risk of raising a point of law. The other rulers were so furious they ignored the legal question and tried to embarrass Nicodemus. Then they ranted erroneously that no prophet ever came from Galilee. Perhaps they forgot Isaiah had spoken of Messiah’s great light shining there.

Isaiah 9:1-2 Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

2 The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.

The question, “Who is Jesus and what is your response to Him?” divides people in the world today and will continue to do so until He returns. But those who belong to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith come together in perfect union with the Almighty God, who gives them His Holy Spirit to live fully for Him.

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