Come and drink {John 7}

10:30 PM

By Mari Sandoval

For many reasons the month of April is very special to me: the celebration of Easter and the celebration of my momma’s birthday! This year she turned eighty and for us it has been a double celebration: 12 years ago she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. In that stage of her life she was not only dying physically but spiritually, too!  The trial she was facing led her to seek our Heavenly Father with all her heart and she not only received His Saving Grace, but was healed from this terrible cancer! Our Lord granted my mother a new life in Him (John 3:3-7) and from then on she and I became closer than ever! This was not always so… 30+ years ago when I professed my Faith in Jesus both my mother and my only brother suggested I was acting “strange” and we could not communicate anymore because of “my religion”. It was as if we were not family anymore… such as complete strangers!  

We see this happening in Jesus’s family, too as we read John 7:1-5 “After this Jesus went about in Galilee. He would not go about in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill him. Now the Jews' Feast of Booths was at hand. So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea, that your disciples also may see the works you are doing. For no one works in secret if he seeks to be known openly. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” For not even his brothers believed in him.”

To his family, Jesus's ministry is apparently falling apart. Many disciples have left Jesus (6:66), his betrayal is in view (6:71), and he has to stay in Galilee because of death threats in Judea (7:1). Jesus' brothers give him some family advice: he should go back to Judea and “do some miracles so that your disciples may see the miracles you do”. They were scoffing at Jesus and at the same time tempting him! Isn’t it awesome the way He answers them? : “My time has not yet come, but your time is always here. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify about it that its works are evil. You go up to the feast. I am not going up to this feast, for my time has not yet fully come.” (Vs. 6-9) Here Jesus is letting them know He has nothing to prove to them or to the world.  They were acting according to the world’s standards and that’s why they couldn’t understand Jesus. This statement to his brothers is an example of His testimony to the world's evil, for He reveals that their apparent faith is, in fact, not faith at all. The world hates Him, for it does not want its evil exposed by the light (3:20; 8:12) Jesus will indeed go to Judea to perform a great work--His death! But it is not yet time for him to die. Jesus has shown his family that He has not come to do his own will, He has come to do the will of his Father (6:38), and that His schedule is determined by God!

“But after his brothers had gone up to the feast, then he also went up, not publicly but in private.” Why did Jesus go to the feast after all? Well, in the next verses we read: … About  the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied?” So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.” (vs. 10, 14-19)

The fact that He does actually go to the feast suggests that he received instructions from His Father to go after he spoke to his brothers. He had to be in His Father’s business in the right place at the right time! In Jesus' life as well as our own, the Father's timing is just as important as His will. Many of us stumble because we may sense we know God's will, but then move ahead of His timing and the result is mere frustration!  How important it is for us to follow Jesus’ example of being sensitive to our Father’s leading. He not only paid the price for our Redemption but He has given us His Holy Spirit! 

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.” (Vs. 37-39) (4:14)

In Revelations we find this invitation, too: "Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life" (22:17). (Is. 49:10, 55:1)

I love how this author explains this verse: ” Our need, our thirst, is what we bring to our relationship with God. This verse is one of many revealing, diagnostic texts in John. What do we thirst for? What do we really desire? Sin is our seeking relief from this thirst in something other than God.
Jesus invites those who know their need, those who are poor in spirit (cf. Mt 5:3), to take the initiative and come to him and drink (v. 37). Drinking refers to believing (cf. v. 38), which means aligning oneself with him, trusting him, receiving his teaching and obeying his commands. Such faith will enable one to receive the Spirit and enter an abiding relationship with Christ after his glorification. All of this is based on who God is and what he has done for us. When we believe we open our hands to receive what his grace offers--we come and drink.” (InterVarsity Press)

Heavenly Father: I humbly come to you bringing those family members who are still walking in the world’s standards and have not recognized yet your amazing Love for them through the Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be a witness to them so that they may too receive the miracle of New life in You and the outpouring of Your Holy Spirit in their hearts. In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.

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