Today’s Scripture: John 7:37-44
37 On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! 38 Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” 39 (When he said “living water,” he was speaking of the Spirit, who would be given to everyone believing in him. But the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus had not yet entered into his glory.)
40 When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 For the Scriptures clearly state that the Messiah will be born of the royal line of David, in Bethlehem, the village where King David was born.” 43 So the crowd was divided about him. 44 Some even wanted him arrested, but no one laid a hand on him.
It’s interesting to me all of the different ways that people responded to Jesus in this passage of scripture. Some wanted him arrested. Some said he was a prophet. Some said he was the Messiah. Others were convinced he was a nobody because he was from Galilee. People were all over the map.
I guess people are all over the map about Jesus even today. He tends to be what people want him to be: “your own personal Jesus” (with apologies to Depeche Mode).
I sometimes try to see myself in the characters of the Biblical story I’m reading. Which person would I be in this story? The one trying to arrest Jesus because he does not act the way the rules say he should act? Or the one calling him the Messiah? The fact is I’m all of these characters at different times in my life (or more honestly different times of the day!)
Following Jesus can be frustrating – one minute we can be declaring his glory and the next bemoaning his teachings. We can be ardent followers or quiet bystanders. We can be evolving in our faith or rock solid in what we believe.
But check something here. Take a look back at verse 37. Who is it that Jesus announces receives the living water? Anyone and everyone who is thirsty.
Thirst is a basic condition of life – physical and spiritual – we all thirst. Even if we have doubts from time to time. Even if we are the ones in the crowd calling Jesus the Messiah. Even if we are the ones wanting to arrest him. And Jesus tells us that the living water (himself) is available to anyone who is thirsty.
What great news!
I don’t know what kind of Monday morning you are having. I don’t know your opinion of Jesus at this very moment. But if you are thirsty (and we all are at some point!) there is water to be found in him. And anyone can come.
God you have given us your son who brings us rivers of living water. Help us to tap into that water this day – no matter what part in the crowd we are playing.