Friday after Jubilate
Scripture: St. John 7:37-53 (NKJV)
7:37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.”
41 Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? 42 Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” 43 So there was a division among the people because of Him. 44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
45 Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?”
46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
47 Then the Pharisees answered them, “Are you also deceived? 48 Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed in Him? 49 But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed.”
50 Nicodemus (he who came to Jesus by night, being one of them) said to them, 51 “Does our law judge a man before it hears him and knows what he is doing?”
52 They answered and said to him, “Are you also from Galilee? Search and look, for no prophet has arisen out of Galilee.”
53 And everyone went to his own house.
On the final day of the Feast of Tabernacles Jesus cries out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” St. John explains that Jesus spoke about the Holy Spirit who would be given after Christ’s glorification in His resurrection and ascension. The scriptures prove this true by telling us of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. As in chapter 4 when Jesus says something similar to the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus promises the living water to quench the spiritual thirst of mankind. In Matthew 5:6 He says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
How does the Holy Spirit quench our thirst for righteousness? The Spirit does this by leading us to repentance and faith in Christ’s merits earned for our sake. The Holy Spirit creates faith in our hearts and that faith is counted as righteousness because faith receives the righteousness of Christ. Apart from faith, sinners thirst after spiritual righteousness and dig wells within their own hearts, trying to siphon out even the smallest droplet of righteousness. But the human heart is a well without water, for we have no righteousness of our own. So Christ earns a perfect righteousness for mankind and gives it to all who believe the Gospel. Faith in Christ, created by the Holy Spirit, quenches our thirst for righteousness and gives us peace of conscience and peace with God.
We pray: Lord God Heavenly Father, grant us this living water of Thy Holy Spirit always, that we may not seek righteousness in our hearts or works, but in the true fountain of our salvation, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.