Our scripture this morning is John 7:37-43.
On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’” (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.) When the crowds heard him say this, some of them declared, “Surely this man is the Prophet we’ve been expecting.” Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others said, “But he can’t be! Will the Messiah come from Galilee? 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.” So the crowd was divided about him.
In this passage Jesus calls us all to receive the living water of the Holy Spirit. He teaches this lesson at other times, as in John 4 with the woman at the well. As water is essential to human life, so the living water Jesus offers is essential to eternal life.
The prophet Zechariah also spoke of living water (Zechariah 14:8-9), that on the Day of the Lord it would flow across the world from Jerusalem. Revelation 21-22 declares the water of life flows from the throne of God. We are to be “baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5), the living water, in order to continue the ministry He has given us.
Jesus stands ready to forgive us when we repent and accept the blessing He offers. We can be made new and whole again, as at creation. Our sins are washed away by the blood of His sacrifice and we are cleansed in the living water, reunited with God.
Heavenly Father, we are sorry for our willful disobedience and our failure to love one another. Help us to be strong in our faith, sharing the joy of the living water Jesus brings us. Amen.