Have you ever felt so thirsty, so parched that it seemed like it cannot be quenched by just 1 or 2 glasses of water, but you need to finish the whole pitcher? Physical thirst can be easily remedied.
What about the longing in your heart – the thirst that cannot be quenched by worldly things? Does your soul feel dry and parched? Inside us, there is a thirst that nothing in this world can satisfy.
We have been studying the book of John and learning more about Jesus – His ministries and His miracles. He was with God since the beginning of time. He is the Son of God. And He is the reason why it is possible for us to have eternal life in heaven.
Through His miracles, He has proven that our God is limitless (John 6:1-15); He can calm any storm, be it physical or spiritual (John 6:16-21); And He is the bread of life (John 6:35).
Today’s sermon is about a thirst deep inside us that only Jesus can quench. As we study this chapter, may our hearts be focused on Jesus, and may we draw near to Him as He quenches the thirst that only He can satisfy.
The Ministry and Miracles of Jesus
The first few chapters of John show that Jesus was widely accepted. But slowly, Jesus’ public ministry started to challenge the traditional views and ways of the Jews.
The people were divided, and even his own brothers didn’t believe in Him (John 7:5). Some people raised questions about his authenticity as the Messiah; there were also those who believed He was the Messiah.
Others questioned the religious leaders, which made them (religious leaders) want Jesus to be arrested but to no avail.
At this time, The Feast of Tabernacles is being celebrated. During this week-long celebration, Israel remembered the intervention of God during their wandering in the wilderness, as described in the book of Exodus.
As part of this holiday, priests would carry water from the Pool of Siloam to the altar, remembering God’s provision of water for Israel (Exodus 17:1–7). The last day of the feast is the “great day,” when the priests would recite Psalm 118:25 while making seven circuits around the altar.
Jesus also used this time for His claim to be heard. In John 7:37-39 (NKJV) “37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those [a
]believing in Him would receive; for the [b
] Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
HOW CAN WE BE SATISFIED?
In these verses, Pastora Noreen would like us to focus on 3 words: Thirst, Drink and Receive. As we learn more, let us allow Jesus to bring life into these words so that we will thirst more and need more of Him.
Just as our physical body gets thirsty, so does our soul. We need to pay attention to our soul and we need to nourish it with the living water that comes (only) from Jesus. If we fill our soul thirst with worldly things, we will never be satisfied. We may become very successful in this world, but if our soul is empty, we might as well be like the living dead. The Bible says in Mark 8:36 “what good is it for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul?” What do you do to fill your soul thirst?
Jesus said, “if ANYONE thirsts…” He didn’t say only those who are rich, or poor, or sick. It is an invitation for everyone. No one is too bad that they can’t be saved, nor is anyone too good to not need to be saved. If you feel that your soul is “dry” or “parched”, you will sense the need and when you admit this, all you have to do is to come and drink. Jesus will meet your needs.
On the last and greatest day of the Feast of the Tabernacles, while the priests were performing the rituals and praying for the Messiah to come, Jesus cried out and made Himself equal with God. He is the one they have been praying for. He claimed that He alone can quench the thirst, and for anyone who believes Him, living waters will flow from within them (John 7:38).
Based on the scriptures, we see that Jesus is the living water. When our soul thirsts for God, we can connect with God. He did not also say that it will just be one river, but He said rivers of living water.
To come and drink is our response to His invitation. Drinking from God is not only a one-time experience. It does not only happen once.
Our God is limitless, and if ever, in your Christian walk of life you feel dry and parched again, you can always come to Jesus and drink. God is and will always be available to us.
But why do we still get frustrated in life? Why do we lose the joy inside us? Is it because when we think we are already satisfied, we put a cap on the water?
And when we thirst again, instead of going straight to the source of life, we try to satisfy ourselves with worldly things.
Let this not be our practice. Allow the living water to continually flow through you. Only Jesus can satisfy you.
When we drink from the living water, it is already proof that we are the children of God. We find the 3 words in one verse: thirst, drink, and believe.
Pastora Noreen says “You can’t believe if you don’t drink.
You can’t drink if you don’t come.
You can’t come if you don’t believe.”
These words should come together. If you are a believer of God, you should be drinking the living water – you should be coming to God. Otherwise, ask yourself ‘why do I feel this way?” maybe you came but didn’t drink, drank but didn’t believe it, believed, but you didn’t come. Reassess the state of your heart: do you thirst for Jesus? Do you come to His presence? Do you believe that He can provide you with living water?
Receiving comes from believing. In our receiving, we were given the assurance. Romans 8:9 mentions both the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ.
In John 7:37-39 and John 14:16-17 Jesus spoke of the Spirit that they (disciples and believers in that time) were to receive, one whom they know and dwells in them and will soon be with them.
Pastora Noreen explains that the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Christ are one and the same. The one who died, who sacrificed everything, the one who left heaven so that we can have eternal life is the same person who gave us the Spirit that is dwelling in our heart today.
There is no physical temple, there is no church building, but the temple of Christ’s Spirit is in our hearts. Who you are receiving is actually the Spirit of Christ.
In this world where you are offered choices left and right, saying it can quench your spiritual thirst, let us not be swayed and hold on to the truth. Don’t believe the enemy that it is enough that we just take a sip of the living water. Let us drink, let us dive into the rivers of living water. Let us find satisfaction in Jesus Christ alone.