[A little research: Jesus is at the Feast of Booths. It is the last of the 3 big feasts and celebrates the last harvest of the year as well as the 40 yrs. the Israelites wandered in the desert (ref. My Jewish Learning, see Deut. 16:16-17; Lev. 23).]
“On the last day…the great day” the people were to all gather in one big assembly – This is what I imagine. Jesus has been teaching in the temple to those gathered around him. Word has spread and the crowds are probably teaming – you got the regular people, the Sunday School Police and the Pharisees are lurking in the background. It’s noisy –
Then Jesus stands up and cries out – He is addressing everyone and anyone who can hear – shouting above the noise: “If anyone thirsts, 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.” (Isaiah 44:3 or Isaiah 55:1?) What strikes me is Jesus’ boldness and personal, one on one invitation. This is between YOU and ME…if YOU are thirsty, come. Don’t wait for your buddy, or to see if the rulers approve… If YOU are thirsty, if YOU believe…come.
Some were open – “this really is the prophet” – “this is the Christ”. And then there were the naysayers who were still trying to match up the words with their theology. The division grew and even though some wanted to arrest him they still didn’t. [Time had not come, remember?] When I hear Jesus speak, there is always a choice to be made…belief that offers life or not.
About now the Sunday School Police are reporting back to the brass. Pharisees want to know why they didn’t follow orders to bring Him in. “No one ever spoke like this man!” In spite of their duty they couldn’t ignore His words – mesmerized comes to mind. Of course the brass will have none of it. “Look you goonies, do you see any of us – the smart, educated and powerful – do you see any of us believing him? We know the law and the people who don’t are doomed.”
There is Nicodemus – a voice of some reason: “Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?” He is met with a smart-aleck reply: “are you from Galilee too?” These guys have their mind made up. They have their one big piece of “evidence” – end of story! Lord, don’t let this be me…mind made up on some shred of “evidence” – let me give a hearing and learn what You are doing – make me thirsty for your ways.
The Father offers an open invitation: “springs of living water” to anyone thirsty to believe.
Jesus said the way was narrow but not narrow-minded.
About the World?
Jesus is crying out…are you thirsty? Come.