THURSDAY, JUNE 22
SCRIPTURE: John 7
As this chapter opens we are told it was the time of the Feast of the Booths or the Feast of the Tabernacles. This particular feast was a real party in many ways for the Jewish people. They actually moved out of their homes for a week and lived under shelters made of branches. (Think a small brush arbor). In some ways this was like camping out for the folks who lived in Jerusalem.
The purpose behind this particular religious festival was an annual reminder of the time the nation of Israel was in the wilderness living under God’s care. The Temple area would have been filled with large candles that were to remind people of the guiding pillar of light God provided in the wilderness. And each day the priest would carry water from the Pool of Siloam and pour it out in the Temple as a reminder of the water that miraculously came from the rock in the wilderness.
If you will skip over to verse 37, we are on the seventh and last day of this feast. It was called the great day because a lot of special things happened. One of those things is the priests would march seven times around the altar chanting Psalm 118:25. On the seventh trip around the altar they would pour out the water.
No doubt it was at that very moment that Jesus stood and shouted this incredible invitation. He invited all those who were thirsty to come to Him and drink. So what was going on here?
1 Corinthians 10:4 says that the rock in the Old Testament from which the water miraculously poured was Jesus. He was that rock. Now we learn that the water that poured from that rock was the Holy Spirit.
So, when we believe in Jesus, His Holy Spirit is given freely or poured into us. That’s the reason the water was “living”. Those who are Christ followers possess the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit possesses them. But no one can contain the Holy Spirit. That’s why verse 38 speaks of living water flowing like rivers from the hearts of believers.
Verse 39 makes an interesting statement. The Bible says the Holy Spirit had not been given yet because Jesus was not yet glorified. What does that mean?
First, remember the Holy Spirit is omnipresent. That means He is everywhere at once. He has always been omnipresent and always will be. Second, up until the time of the Gospels, the Holy Spirit came upon certain people for certain tasks for certain amounts of time. Before the Gospels, the Holy Spirit came upon people but never took up forever residence in people.
The miracle of God’s Holy Spirit living inside of us is a New Testament phenomenon. But this amazing thing would not be happen until after Jesus ascended back to heaven. In John 16:7, Jesus actually said it is better that He go away because He would send the Holy Spirit to us.
How could it be better for us for Jesus to go away? When He walked on this earth, His presence was limited to where He actually was. Only those in His physical presence could experience Him. But now the Holy Spirit literally dwells in believers all over this world. The presence of Jesus is made known wherever the Holy Spirit dwells. So all believers everywhere now have the daily benefit of living in and with the amazing presence of Jesus. And that’s just pretty cool!