Skip to main content

Living Water - John 7



In John 7 Jesus' brothers invite him to come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Festival of Booths.  Jesus had been avoiding Judea because the Jewish leaders there were already trying to have him killed.  His brothers wanted him to show himself there, to gain an audience, and to prove himself to be who he claimed to be, or to shut up.  Jesus told them that it was not his time and that he would not go with them.  He did go secretly though.   

During the Festival of Booths everyone camped in tents as a reminder of the time when the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.  It was a festival that reminded the people of their roots and that God was their provider.  

During the celebrations some people took notice of Jesus and he started teaching.  As a crowd began to gather the religious leaders questioned his authority.  They had concerns about the small town he was from and his lack of a prestigious education.  Jesus countered that they should challenge the content of his teaching against the scriptures instead of trying to discredit where he was from.  The crowd was impressed with Jesus and the fact that the religious leaders could not counter his teachings.  They saw a man of full of authority, courage, and charisma.  They had already heard of the miracles he performed and they wondered if he may be the messiah they had all waited for.  They wondered if he would be their King and save them from the oppression of Roman rule.  

On the last day of the celebration a golden jug was normally dipped into a sacred pool of water and then carefully walked through the city of Jerusalem to the Temple.  There it would be poured on the altar as a reminder of how God had given the people of Israel water in the wilderness and continued to provide for their needs.  It was during this procession that Jesus stood up and spoke to the whole crowd publicly.  He said:

“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.’” - John 7:37b-38

It was here that Jesus directly countered the status quo.  He was pointing out that the people were spiritually thirsty, that the religious structures had left them dry.  Some scholars even suggest that the pool was dry due to a drought that year, and that Jesus was pointing out that the religious system had no more water to offer the people.  Moreover, Jesus suggests that he will not only quench your thirst, but that by believing in him you will become a source, flowing out to those around you.   Many people walk away from the church because they say that they are not being fed, to those people, Jesus is talking to you.  Jesus is saying that you can not only be filled, but you can become a source.  The religious leaders no longer have a monopoly on God, you have been invited to play.  The people of God are a priesthood onto themselves.

May God fill your cup to overflowing.  May your spirit be quenched and may you pour out that abundance to the people around you.  May you become a source of living water!  Amen.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Death Will Lose it's Sting

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 1 Corinthians 15:51-57. In these verses, Paul reveals a mystery, that in the end some will be transformed, given a new body, instead of facing death.  In other words death is not one of life's two certain terms.  It seems taxes may be the only guarantee.   "...in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except  death and taxes ." - Benjamin Franklin. Ok, all jokes aside, these verses are difficult to read.  Paul looks forward to a time when death will have no victory, it will have lost its sting.  But today, we are in the middle of a pandemic, surrounded by death.  Many are scared for their lives, or their loved ones, and too many have already been lost.  Death does not seem to have lost its sting at all, it feels as if it is closing in. When I worked in wilderness therapy I remember holding a child who was desperately trying to kill himself.  We cried together as he struggled to end it, and I struggled

The Return Threshold

  As we come near the end of our weekly series on the Hero's Journey, today we will cover "The Return Threshold".  In this stage, the Hero has succeeded in their quest and now they are coming back to their old world.  Joseph Campbell calls this the "ordinary world".   The return to the ordinary world usually includes some type of challenge.  Sometimes an enemy must be challenged, but sometimes the enemy is the ordinary world itself.  As we have followed the hero's journey we have seen the hero change, what was once important is no longer important.  While the hero has changed, the ordinary world has not.  The ordinary world holds values that the returning hero has abandoned for something greater.  This can cause tension as the hero tries to return as a changed person. In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, we see the Hobbits finally return to their home in the Shire.  Unfortunately in their absence Saruman and his orcs have taken over the Shire and must be defeat

Master of Two Worlds

  This week we come to the second to last stage of the Hero's Journey.  Campbell called this stage "The Master of Two Worlds".  In this stage, the hero tries to integrate what they learned and gained on their journey with their old "ordinary" world.   Albert Einstein once said, "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough."  This explains the challenge the hero must face in this stage.  All that they learned and gained must be fully mastered and the test of this mastery is being able to use it in the ordinary world.  They must simplify it so that the uninitiated can benefit from it, just as Einstein encouraged the mastery of complex ideas into simple explanations.   In the Star Wars Trilogy, this stage happens off-screen after the film is over, but before the new movie begins.  We learn in the newest trilogy that Luke created a school for Jedi, taking the wisdom he gained from his journey and sharing it with others.  In