Jesus said to them, ‘My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune. The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its deeds are evil.’ (John 7:6-7 [NASB])
As you read this conversation between Jesus and His brothers, did questions arise in your mind? Was your heart pricked? Did what Jesus say to His brothers hit home for you? Let’s consider this passage and a few others. First, let’s consider a metaphor.
Have you ever been in or heard of a boat that sprung a leak? What emotion do you think the people on the boat felt? Fear? Panic? Confusion? Doubt? Security? Faith in the boat’s ability to get you to shore? If we allow waters to flow into us that are not Living Water, we will sink. If we allow things of this world, deceiving teachers and preachers, and other religions to invade our mind and take residence there, we will sink.
After Jesus told His brothers He would not go to the feast in Jerusalem because it wasn’t His time yet, He stayed in Galilee a while longer then made His way to Jerusalem in secret. When Jesus went to Jerusalem during the feast, He entered to the temple to teach. The Jews were astonished at His teaching because the Rabbis never educated Him. Jesus challenged the religious leaders on why they wanted to kill Him. The crowd thought He had a demon. Jesus challenged both these groups of people. Others in the crowd questioned among themselves why the religious leaders had not killed Jesus yet. After that, Jesus began to teach He was from God and sent by God. The religious leaders became more fervent to seize Him while some of the crowd believed in Him. This latter caused the Pharisees to send officers to capture Jesus. Jesus challenged them again when He said, “You will seek Me, and will not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come.” His proclamation perplexed them even more.
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus told the people if anyone was thirsty to come to Him and drink. He then proclaimed, “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ (John 7:38) This Living Water, John explained, was the Spirit of God who would live in everyone who believed in Jesus. The questions from above about the boat with a hole fit with this idea. Do we have Living Water flowing through us, keeping us buoyant, giving us direction, teaching and guiding us, and encouraging us? Or, do we have water flowing into us, overwhelming us, and causing us to sink? If the answer to the first question is yes, then we won’t sink, but what the Spirit, the Living Water, does in us proceeds from us to others. This Living Water is not from a stagnant, non-flowing pond or lake. It comes from a continually flowing source of water, from the throne of God, and it brings nourishment to us and to others we meet. Jesus meant this when He said “rivers of living water” will flow. Will flow is a continuous verb. It starts at a point in time when a person believes in Jesus and continues forever from God.
What are we doing with the water that arises in our lives? Are we grabbing a pail to bail it out of our boats? Or, are we allowing the Living Water, not the world’s idea of water, complete reign in our lives so when people see, listen to, or receive help from us, they recognize God and see, hear, and receive from Him? If we don’t believe in Jesus, all we have is stagnant water by which we can quench our thirst, but not grow or have eternal life. If we believe in Jesus, we will have Living Water and eternal life with Christ. Our water, the Living Water within us, will stream. That stream won’t be stingy, but vibrant and flowing.
Consider John 7:6-7 again. Jesus told His brothers who did not believe in Him as the Messiah their time was always opportune. The people of Jerusalem would not harm them because they did not hate them; they did not testify about Jesus being the Messiah. The world could not hate because they did not testify about Christ with their words, thoughts, or actions.
It is our time to go to our Jerusalem and proclaim Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Savior of the world. Do you believe in Him? Do you have Living Water living in you? Or, do you just have ordinary water? If the latter, the world will not hate you because you are of the world and, like them, you do not have eternal life. If you answer yes to the first two questions, what is keeping you from allowing the Living Water to continue to flow through you?
Are you stagnant, stingy, or streaming?
Be a living witness of Jesus Christ as your Savior
by allowing the Living Water to flow inside and from you.
Lord, so many times I have failed to be a living witness to You as I go through my days. I allow my to do list to keep me from seeing You work or obeying You. I’ve allowed my plans and agendas to master me instead of allowing You to be my Master. When this happens, I become easily frustrated in the day and my emotions become my master. Lord, help me continually to be aware of You each day. Grow me from the root You planted in me so I continue to walk in You. Establish my faith in You so nothing formed against me will make me fall and fail You. Lord, build me on the foundation Christ became for me so I stand strong for You. Use me as Your instrument to share the Living Water to other people so they will come to know You and grow in their faith in You. I have failed You, Lord, but make me grow so I fail you less with each new day coming. Thank you for Your love, grace, and mercy. Without these from You, I would fall. Thank you for being Creator, Savior, and Master of all things. In Jesus name, Amen.