Thursday in the Fourteenth Week of Ordinary Time

John 7:25-39

Flowing Rivers of Living Water

The account continues from yesterday.  The people in Jerusalem just don’t know what to make of Jesus.  It certainly seems that he must be the Messiah; after all, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?”  But then they question among themselves that they know where this man comes from, and that when the Messiah appears, no one will know where he comes from.  This was a popular idea with no Old Testament support; Matthew 2:5-6 plainly shows that the Rabbis knew that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem.  But the people knew that Jesus came from Nazareth and assumed that he was born there, thus explaining much of the confusion (John 7:50-52).

But this raises the question of Jesus’ being sent.  It was his “sent-ness” that Jesus constantly refers to throughout the Gospel of John.  Jesus asks rhetorically, “You know me, and you know where I come from?” as if to say, “Really?”  Jesus then adds, “I have not come of my own accord.  He who sent me is true, and Him you do not know.  I know Him, for I come from Him, and He sent me.”  It is our Lord’s being sent from the Father and fulfilling the Father’s will that stands front and center in John’s gospel.  Jesus is who he is because of his relationship to the Father.  He comes from the Father to earth – which points to his coming from the Father in heaven – his being begotten of the Father before eternity (John 1:1-3; Hebrews 1:1-3).

And then on the last day of the feast, we are told that 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.’”  And then John does us the favor of informing us that Jesus was speaking of the Holy Spirit, whom those who believed in him would receive when Jesus was glorified, that is, upon his death, resurrection, and ascension.  We later learn in John 14-16 that the Holy Spirit is sent by the Father and the Son, who, like the Son, speaks not of his own but of the Son, who spoke of the Father.  It’s the way the Holy Trinity works, because it is the way the Holy Trinity is.  But let us focus for a moment on the words of Jesus which compare the Holy Spirit to “flowing rivers of water.”  Jesus said a similar thing to the woman at the well, “The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (4:14).  The Spirit is our present guide and teacher, the cause of our joy and our strength, our assurance of salvation, the One who convicts and comforts, our source of living water, and guarantee of eternal refreshment – God in us.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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