“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37-38

Jesus and His disciples were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Fast of Tabernacles, with Jews from all over the world. They would build booths to live in to remind them of their deliverance from Egypt and God’s provision for them while they were in the Wilderness.

There were two important ceremonies during this feast. They carried torches around the temple, lighting candles along the wall, signifying that Messiah would be a light to Gentiles. Also, a priest would dip water from the Pool of Siloam and carry it to the temple, pouring it into a silver basin beside the altar. As he did this, he prayed that God would provide rain for their supply, looking forward to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as promised by the prophet Joel.

So, it was no coincidence that Jesus chose this time to proclaim that He had come to provide living water. He was proclaiming to all who would listen, that He was their Messiah, and had come to fulfill what their ceremonies foreshadowed. John clarified this in verse 39:

“(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

The next verses tell us that many recognized that Jesus was the Messiah, while others argued that He was just a carpenter from Nazareth, from which no good thing could come.

On the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit was outpoured, and after Peter preached, thousands partook of that living water that had been prophesied by Joel, just as Jesus had promised in Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles.

Today, that living water still flows freely. It is a gift promised to every one of us and is free for the asking. He brings life, joy, and peace to our hearts and lives as we open our hearts to Him. He is our comforter, our counselor, and our prince of peace. He is an ever-abiding presence, guiding us and directing us.

Are you thirsty for the Lord today? The words of Jesus are still true: “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.”

Prayer: Thank you, Jesus, that when you left this world, you sent back your Holy Spirit to dwell in our hearts, to comfort, and to guide us.

Devotion by Anne Johnston


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