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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!

Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

John 6





The chapter opens with the story of the feeding of the 5,000.  This story is so important it actually appears in all four of the Gospel accounts.  Jesus had been hanging out in the area of Galilee in northern Israel.  A huge crowd had been following Him, listening to His teaching and watching the miracles He had been performing.

On this particular day, Jesus asked where they were going to buy enough food for the crowd to eat. It is interesting that Jesus specifically mentioned bread here.  This sets the stage for what happens later in the chapter as Jesus talked about manna and about what would come to be known at the Lord’s Supper.

But the problem at hand was how were they going to meet the needs of such a huge crowd of people.  As you look at this story unfold in all four Gospel accounts, you will discover there were actually four different solutions proposed.

The first proposed solution (Mark 6:35-36) was just to send the people away.  In other words, the way you fix the problem is get rid of the problem.  You send those away who have the great need.  With the great needs in our part of the world, it is always tempting to just ignore those who need the most or send them away.  After all, once they are out of sight, they are often out of mind.  But Jesus knew and we should learn that just because we send the problem away doesn’t mean we solved the problem.  

The second proposed solution (John 6:5) came from Philip.  His solution was to raise enough money to buy food for everyone.  Of course, He calculated that it would take up to 200 days of wages for an average worker to have that much money.  And there was not stopgap solution offered.  What I mean by that is there was no answer as to what you would do with the crowd and for the crowd while the money was being collected.  This solution reminds us that money is not always the answer.  Money is important and necessary to keep ministries funded.  But if our only solution to a problem is to throw money at it, we have effectively taken our hands off and our presence away from those who have the need.  Money is not the answer to every need.

The third proposed solution (John 6:7-8) came from Andrew.  Andrew doesn’t get mentioned a lot in the Gospels.  But it seems like every time he is mentioned, he is bringing someone to Jesus.  And here He is doing the same thing.  We are not told how Andrew found this boy or how he knew that the kid had a lunch with him.  But somehow Andrew discovered that and brought the boy to Jesus.  When you look at what the boy had, it is almost laughable that Andrew would bring him to Jesus in response to the “how are we going to feed this crowd” question.  After all there were 5,000 people needing to eat and this little boy had two small fish (Think sardines.) and five small pieces of barley bread (These were not loaves of bread like we buy at the store.  These were five small pieces of bread.  By the way, as healthy as barley might be, it was the poor people’s grain.  So, barley loaves would not have been the bread of choice.)  Trying to apply this boy’s lunch to the problem of feeding 5,000 people would be like taking a small water pistol to a raging forest fire.  From our perspective, you are not going to do much good and you stand a chance of getting hurt. (e.g. when the fire overtook you or the crowd rushed you for the food)

The fourth solution came from Jesus.  In the hands of the Savior, a little became a lot.  In fact, it became more than enough.  They had 12 baskets full of leftovers.  The point is this.  You don’t have to have a lot to do a lot.  You just need to be willing to give all you have to Him.  In His hands, even a little can be more than sufficient.


Posted by Joe Ligon with 0 Comments

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