Tuesday, July 27, 2021
37-39 On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says.” (He said this regarding the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)
40-44 Those in the crowd who heard these words were saying, “This has to be the Prophet.” Others said, “He is the Messiah!” But others were saying, “The Messiah doesn’t come from Galilee, does he? Don’t the Scriptures tell us that the Messiah comes from David’s line and from Bethlehem, David’s village?” So there was a split in the crowd over him. Some went so far as wanting to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him.
45 That’s when the Temple police reported back to the high priests and Pharisees, who demanded, “Why didn’t you bring him with you?”
46 The police answered, “Have you heard the way he talks? We’ve never heard anyone speak like this man.” -John 7:37-46 The Message.
As Jesus continues to go around being arrested, religious leaders are still working on capturing him. Meanwhile, there is a debate about who Jesus is. It’s not hard for us to grasp as we are reading about history, but it was complicated for people to understand what Jesus is about during that time. Therefore, we will start at verse 37 and work our way through verse 39 before studying. Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” As Scripture says, “He who believes in Me. From his most innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive, for the Spirit was not yet given because Jesus was not yet glorified.
In chapter 4, verse 10, Jesus used the term living water, which is eternal life. Jesus also used the word to reference the Holy Spirit. The words living water and Holy Spirit go together. When we have the Holy Spirit, we have eternal life. If you want to jump ahead in the study, Jesus teaches on the Holy Spirit in chapters 14-16, or you can wait until we reach it here. In Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus’ followers at the Pentecost, and it has been available to all who believe in Jesus as Savior.
Continuing to verse 40: Some of the people, therefore, when they heard these words, were saying, “This certainly is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ,” Still others were saying, “Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He?” “Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the descendants of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?” So a division occurred in the crowd because of him. Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?” The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.”
Unpacking and studying verses 40-46: In verse 26, there were reactions to Jesus. Now, they are asking questions about Jesus, but with a mixed response too. Some people believed some were opposed, and others excluded Jesus as the Messiah because he was from Nazareth and not Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2, Luke 2:1-7) Jesus grew up in Nazareth. Part of the problem is they didn’t pay attention to Jesus, and if they had paid attention, they wouldn’t have jumped to the wrong judgments. When you search for the truth in the Bible, make sure you do that with an open heart and mind. Don’t jump to thoughts of your own without knowing what the Bible says.
The Romans ruled over Palestine but gave Jewish religious leaders authority over minor civil and religious affairs. For example, the leaders were responsible for their own temple guards and gave power to officers to arrest anyone causing a disturbance for breaking ceremonial laws. The leaders created many trivial laws, which make it impossible for anyone not to reveal, neglect, or ignore many of them at a time, including leaders themselves. There was no reason to arrest Jesus, but because Jesus said unique words, they couldn’t find the evidence to. Be careful to not judge and make rash decisions based on closed-minded thoughts. Be willing to have an open heart and be gentle with others when there are disagreements.
Father, thank you for today. There are many debates in the world today. Unfortunately, a lot of the discussions can go the wrong way. For example, closed-minded and not willing to be open-minded about things in this world. I pray we can have civil conversations that can open hearts. In Jesus’ name. Amen!