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COME AND DRINK
John 7:37, 38
Most of us know very little about thirst. If we are thirsty, we go to the refrigerator and get some water, tea, or a coke. You may go to the faucet and turn it on and water comes out; if we don’t turn it off, water would continue to pour out 24 hours a day.
A man can live for weeks without food, but he can only live a few days without water.
For several weeks, we have been looking at the invitations of Christ, and specifically those that are marked by the usage of the word “Come.” This morning, we’re looking at a portion of scripture where Jesus invites the withered and parched heart, “Come unto me and drink.”
When He encountered the woman of Samaria at the well in John 4:13-14, “Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
This is a rather familiar invitation in the Word of God. The Bible says in Isaiah 55:1, “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters…” In Revelation 22:17, the Bible says that “the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”
This invitation is an invitation to salvation. It was an invitation extended it on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (2,37).
Now as we think about this invitation, in order to better understand it, we need to realize that few facts
There were three great annual national “feasts” in the Jewish religious calendar. The first was the Feast of the Passover; the second was known as the Feast of Pentecost; and the third was known as the Feast of Tabernacles. Jesus was speaking here during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Jesus stood and cried saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” He yelled out for all to hear. He's yelling because He wants men to hear. This is a public invitation. Now some people don't think you need to give a public invitation. Jesus did here. He publicly announces that He is water for every thirsty soul, and all the thirsty need to do is come.
The feast of the Tabernacles was a high, happy, holy day in the life of the Jew. During that feast, (a priest) would go to the Pool of Siloam, take a golden pitcher, dip it into that pool, and carry it back to the temple. He was accompanied by a procession of the people and musicians. On returning to the temple, he was welcomed with three blasts from a trumpet, and, going to the west side of the great altar, he poured the water out on the altar of sacrifice,
The seventh day, which was the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, was especially distinguished in the following manner from the other six days. After the special festival sacrifice of the day, the priests in procession would make seven circuits round the altar, whereas on the preceding days of the celebration only one circuit was made. It would be the last time they would draw the water and pour it out. No doubt just as they were pouring out the water, symbolic of the water Moses drew from the rock, Jesus stood and shouted His great invitation to thirsty sinners.
It is upon this background that I want us to examine our text.
I. How astonishing the proposition is – “If any man thirst”
The very fact that Jesus gave an invitation is remarkable. Jesus had come to a city that was largely against him, the leaders of which were known to be seeking his life. But still he rises in the midst of the people, and John tells us that he cried out from the passion of his soul. Charles Spurgeon writes, “Whereas his custom was to sit and teach the people who gathered in a ring around him, on this closing day he now sought a prominent place… and there he stood, conspicuous before them all… Behold, he stands and pleads with them.”
There is nothing so terrible and hard to bear as thirst, but if, bodily thirst is so painful, how much more painful is the thirst of soul! It is a thirst after pardon, forgiveness, and peace with God.
Here is an offer that confronts that thirst.
A. Note how inclusive the offer is — “If any man”
The Gospel of Christ is for “any man.” It matters not who you are, what you have been or what you have done. The Lord Jesus says, “If any man.”
The invitation is as broad as humanity. In these words, then, there is an invitation as wide as humanity.
B. Note how exclusive the offer is - “If any man THIRST”
On the other hand, there is also a sense in which, sadly, the great scope of this text is realistically narrowed down. It is true that the Lord Jesus addressed the invitation to "anyone," but we can hardly miss the fact that he did so in the midst of a conditional sentence. He said, "If any man thirst."
Thirst is the most powerful of all human sensations of need. The pain of hunger may be endured, but the pain of thirst is a desperate one.
Thirst is the absence of a necessary. Thirst is a painful need… an emptiness. Thirst is conscious need, conscious to a painful degree… a beneficial warning that something very important is needed.
Now, Jesus was of course speaking of a thirst of the soul. He calls to those deeply conscious of their need to come and drink.
The problem today is that so few thirst for the life that Jesus gives. People think they will miss out on life if they come to Jesus, when the opposite is true. They do not thirst because they are filled with the dead waters of this world – its entertainments,
Before a person can be saved, he/she must sense their need of salvation.
How astonishing that Jesus should be the one pleading, when we ought to be on our knees before him. Yet the masses ignore his call, drink the polluted waters of earthly pleasure, and feel no thirst for an entrance into heaven, even as eternity races nearer.
What about you? If you feel the need of your soul, then come to Jesus!
Christian, have you ever considered that one of the effects of s salt is that it creates thirst; and Jesus called believers the salt of the earth.
II. How amazing the provision is – “let him come unto me”
There is a grand simplicity about this little sentence which cannot be too much admired. There is not a word in it of which the literal meaning is not plain to a child. Yet, simple as it appears, it is rich in spiritual meaning.
It is a provision that is only ours when meet two condition:
A. There is a position we must recognize.
It is a position of humility.
A tired and weary salesman once stood before a water fountain in the lobby of a fashionable hotel. The sign over the water fountain said, “Stoop and drink.” However, he could not find no place to turn on the water. There was no button to push, no handle, and nothing to step on. Finally, looking around to make certain no one was watching, he dare to do just what the sign said, As he stooped to drink, a photoelectric cell caused the cold refreshing water to flow across his lips, and his thirst was then quenched.
God’s provision, likewise comes to us just like that sign. We must stoop and drink,
B. There is a Person we must receive.
Christ is that Fountain of living water which God has graciously provided for thirsting souls.
The best prescription of the best physician is useless if we refuse to follow the directions which accompany it.
1. He that thirsts and wants relief must come to Christ Himself.
He must not be content with coming to His Church and His ordinances. He must not rest satisfied with privately opening his heart to His ordained minister.
To do so is only drinking of waters wherein you "shall thirst again.”
We must deal directly with Christ.
An old woman, a true saint of God, was dying. For many years she had studied the Bible, committing much of it to memory. As her health failed, her mind began to falter, and she couldn’t remember many of the passages she once quoted by heart. She passed her days sitting in a rocking chair in her sunny living room, remembering as much as she could. Near the end she could only remember one verse, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto him against thatday” (II Timothy 1:12). Little by little she lost her ability to say even that one verse. Eventually she could only repeat one phrase,and she said it over and over—"that which I’ve committed unto him.” In her last few days, her family saw her lips moving. She was repeating something over and over. When they leaned over, they could hear her whisper one word: “Him … Him … Him.” At the end she had lost the whole Bible except that one word, but in that one word she had it all.
2. He that thirsts and wants relief from Christ must actually come to Him.
It is not enough to wish, intend, and hope to come. Hell is paved with good intentions.
We must come to the Physician.
3. He that thirsts and comes to Christ must remember that SIMPLE FAITH IS TH ONE THING REQUIRED.
By all means let him come with a broken and contrite heart; but rest not on that for acceptance. Faith is the only hand that can carry the living water to our lips. Faith is the hinge on which all turns in the matter of our justification. It is written again and again that "whosoever believeth in him shall not perish,but have eternal life," (John 3: 15).
"To him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness," (Rom. 4: 5).
How simple is this remedy for thirst, but how hard it is to persuade many to receive it! Tell them to do some great thing, and they will try to do as they are bid. Tell them to throw overboard all idea of merit, working, or doing, and to come to Christ as empty sinners, with nothing in their hands, and they turn away in disgust.
III. How abounding
the promise is
believeth on me, as the scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow
rivers of living water.”
What does Jesus intend for those who drink from his fountain of life? The answer is found in John 7:38, which adds a great promise.
As a river flows to bring life and refreshment to the weary land, so the Holy Spirit (39) flows in the believer’s life, to satisfy and refresh the needy soul.
THE WOMAN AT THE WELL BECAME THE WOMAN WITH THE WELL!
A Notice The Direction Of The Flowing Water
“out of his belly,” means out of his midst or innermost being.
The believer … not only quenches in Christ his own thirst, but becomes a source of new streams for others.
He who comes to Christ by faith shall receive an abundant supply of everything that he can desire for the relief of his own soul. The Spirit shall convey to him such an abiding sense of pardon, peace, and promise, that it shall be in his inward man like a well-spring that never runs dry.
In addition, I believe our Lord meant for us to understand that he who comes to Him by faith shall not only have an abundant supply of everything which he needs for his own soul but shall also become a source of blessing to the souls of others. The Spirit who dwells in him shall make him a fountain of blessing to his fellow-men.
Notice that “rivers” is plural. Only God knows what can be accomplished through a Spirit filled life; the possibilities are unlimited!
Out of our hearts should flow rivers, not one river and not a drip. Most of us can't even say, "Out of my heart drips living water." I think the reason that so many Christians stink spiritually is because they have become stagnant storage tanks instead of rivers of living water. Most of us need a good dose of spiritual Drano because somewhere along the line the channel is clogged.
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, but channels made for sharing.
B. Notice The Description Of The Flowing Water
“living” - bubbling up, gushing forth, flowing, with the suggested idea of refreshment and (health and well-being; invigorating).
Eternal life in believers is not to be scant or shallow. A joyous and abounding river, it is to flow with waters exuberant and refreshing to all around. They are life-giving waters.
In the nineteenth century Billy Bray, a dynamic Christian and a Cornish miner, so overflowed with Christ that wherever he went, men trusted Christ. Each day as he went down into the mines—very dangerous in those days— he would pray with the miners as he went down, "Lord, if any of us must be killed or die today, let it be me. Let not one of these men die for they are not happy and I am, and if I die today I shall go to be in heaven." It was rumored that at times when he got to the bottom of those mines, the other miners would all already on their knees.
We need to drink of the Holy Spirit so much that He flows out to others allowing them to drink and experience this living water.
Hear and accept this invitation without delay. "If any man thirst, let him come and drink" without delay.