Rivers of Living Water – John 7:25-39

John 7:25 So some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is this not the man whom they are seeking to kill? 26 Look, He is speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to Him. The rulers do not really know that this is the Christ, do they?” (The crowd in their confusion are asking, “Since the leaders who we thought wanted to kill Jesus are not moving in, is it possible that they believe He really is the Christ?”)

27 “However, we know where this man is from; but whenever the Christ may come, no one knows where He is from.” (Wait just a minute.  Jesus cannot be the Christ.  We know where Jesus came from.  We know where He grew up.  The Messiah is going to come out of nowhere and miraculously appear on the scene.  The Christ will be a man of mystery, not the Jesus we know.)

28 Then Jesus cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, “You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. 29 I know Him, because I am from Him, and He sent Me.” (You think you know where I am from.  But, in fact, you do not know.  Jesus again asserts His unique relationship to God, the Father.  And His hearers do not miss the implication and we are back on the trail of the leaders trying to apprehend Jesus.) 30 So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. (The arrest of Jesus would happen along God’s timeline, not man’s.)

31 But many of the crowd believed in Him; and they were saying, “When the Christ comes, He will not perform more signs than those which this man has, will He?” (Even if Jesus’ apparent earthly origin and lack of interest in overthrowing the Romans do not fit their Messiah expectations, Jesus is performing incredible miracles expected of the Christ.  “You can’t expect the Christ to outperform these miracles Jesus is doing, can you?” they ask.  Some in the crowd may have witnessed the healing of the man at the pool, or at least heard about it.  Some may be Galilee pilgrims in town for the feast who witnessed the feeding of the 5000.)

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering these things about Him, and the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to seize Him. (The Pharisees need to nip this kind of talk in the bud, and send their temple police to arrest Jesus.) 33 Therefore Jesus said, “For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me.” (Jesus is going back to the Father.) 34 “You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” 35 The Jews then said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we will not find Him? He is not intending to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks, is He?  36 What is this statement that He said, ‘You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come’?” (Where is He going?  He is not leaving Palestine and going to teach the Greeks, or Jewish followers among the Greeks, is He?  And what does He mean that we will not be able to follow or find Him?)

37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ “ 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

We have written on these three verses at length in a previous post, Never Thirsty, and I recommend it to you.  For our purposes here, Jesus is now making another public proclamation that He is the specific living water, the source of eternal life.  And the only requirement for receiving this water is “He who believes in Me.”  Faith in Christ is the only requirement to experiencing the water’s life-giving flow.  Flowing water in this context also refers to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit inside every believer; a promise that was yet to be fulfilled.