Tuesday, March 5, 2013

John 7:37-52

On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” ’ Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, ‘This is really the prophet.’ Others said, ‘This is the Messiah.’ But some asked, ‘Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?’ So there was a division in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.

Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, ‘Why did you not arrest him?’ The police answered, ‘Never has anyone spoken like this!’ Then the Pharisees replied, ‘Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.’ Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, ‘Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?’ They replied, ‘Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.’

For Jesus, it was the last and most important day of the Feast of Tabernacles. With people filling the streets of the city, Jesus stepped forward and made a proclamation in a very loud voice. He wanted everyone to hear his word of hope. He proclaimed that whoever believes in him will have streams of living water flowing through their life. For extra credit (just kidding) you may want to look at the opening verses of Ezekiel 47 so you can understand the power of living water just a bit better.

It was a wonderful offer! In response, there were many who believed and began to proclaim their faith by declaring that Jesus was a great prophet. But others were stressed. They did not know what to think. They had lots of questions.

Some of them are the same questions you might carry in your spirit. Is this really the Christ, the Messiah? Can it be true? Is this Jesus / faith stuff actually real? How then shall I respond? Let me suggest a specific possible response. What if you found a new way to serve? How about using the gifts God has given you to make a difference in the world? What if you celebrated your commitment to tithe by adding an offering that would be directed to a mission project that you love to support? What if…

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