37: “On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and shouted, "If you are thirsty, come to Me and drink!" - This is the Festival of Booths (Leviticus 23:33ff) which is a 7-day festival to relive and remember the ordeals the Israelites faced in the wilderness. During the last day they were probably remembering the unquenchable thirst of the Israelites while in the desert.
38: "Have faith in Me, and you will have life-giving water flowing from deep inside you, just as the Scriptures say." - Our faith in Christ is the source of sustaining life, flowing like a river from our hearts.
39: "Jesus was talking about the Holy Spirit, who would be given to everyone that had faith in Him. The Spirit had not yet been given to anyone, since Jesus had not yet been given His full glory." - This is a key aspect of Pentecost - the Holy Spirit came to reside in the hearts of believers on that first Pentecost. It is an event as wonderful, miraculous, and noteworthy as Christmas and Easter.
Points to Contemplate:
Are you thirsty?
As the Jews gathered to live for a week in tents to remember the trials of their ancestors wandering in the wilderness, their focus had shifted to the issue of thirst. Of all the trials they faced in the wilderness, thirst was the most problematic. What is it that you thirst for? Is it a sense of purpose? Are you seeking fulfillment? Do you have needs and are you seeking sustenance? What have you found that quenches your thirst? Is it your vocation or job? Or do these fail to sustain you in all things? Is it in your relationships? Or are people prone to vanish? Is it in possessions? Alcohol? Drugs? Sex? Or are all of these only temporary escapes? Have you tried drinking from the living water that Christ offers?
Do you have faith? I'm not asking if you believe in Christ; do you have faith in Christ? Do you expect or know that He will provide for your every need? Are you capable of turning every aspect of your life over into His capable hands? Can you give Him your fears and worries? Your hopes and dreams? Your pain? Your love? Your first born child? What aspect of your life do you clench on to that should be given up in faith to Christ?
Are you filled with Life-giving waters? The promise Jesus offers is that everyone with faith will be filled with the Holy Spirit. The fulfillment of this promise occurred, first, for the gathering of His disciples forty days following His resurrection. Has this promise been fulfilled for you? Can you sense the living waters flowing in you, through you, and from you? Can you feel His Spirit? Can you hear His voice? Can you tell where He is leading or what He is teaching? What steps can you take to be more in tune to His Spirit? Can you pray more frequently about every aspect of your life? Can you set aside your worries and really trust Him to provide for every thirst you face? Will you seek evidence of His life-giving presence at every moment and in every circumstance? Promise of the Gospel:
Hunger and thirst is an essential part of our life. At every turn we seek fulfillment, sustenance, and satisfaction. In many ways our lives are defined by our seeking? The clothes we wear, the homes we live in, and the jobs we perform are all expressions of our efforts to have our needs met. The Israelites, while wandering in the desert, faced many crises of faith but none more severe or frequent then the challenge of thirst. Jesus provides an answer. We can quit seeking. We can give up longing and desiring. When we take a step of faith and really trust Christ with our lives, the Holy Spirit fills our hearts, sustains our needs, and flows forth like a spring of unending glory. Pentecost is a celebration of His Spirit living and growing inside our hearts. It is the transcendence from an external God to and internal God. We no longer have to seek; we simply need to trust. We no longer have to find; we simply need to live.