Physical thirst can be excruciating and dangerous. Dehydration will get you into serious difficulty in a hurry. If you have ever been really, truly thirsty then you will be much more able to connect with the meaning of thirst in a spiritual sense.
The story is told of a young student who went to his spiritual teacher and asked the question, "Master, how can I truly find God?" The teacher asked the student to accompany him to the river, which ran by the village and invited him to go into the water. When they got to the middle of the stream, the teacher said, "Please immerse yourself in the water." The student did as he was instructed, whereupon the teacher put his hands on the young man’s head and held him under the water. Presently the student began to struggle.
The master held him under still. A moment passed and the student was thrashing and beating the water and air with his arms. Still, the master held him under the water. Finally, the student was released and shot up from the water, lungs aching and gasping for air. The teacher waited for a few moments and then said, "When you desire God as truly as you desired to breathe the air you just breathed -- then you shall find God."
Thirst is one of the most powerful spiritual symbols in all of scripture. As dehydration draws the whole of our physical being to a longing for water, so a spiritual void will draw our spirits into a search for deeper meaning for our lives. The Psalmist expressed it this way, "As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God." (Psalm 42:1- Or... "I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land." (Psalm 143:6).
We must capture that type of spiritual thirst! We must thirst and long for God and for spiritual living!
THIS MORNING, WE WILL TRY TO GAIN SOME INSIGHT INTO SPIRUTUAL THIRST…SPIRITUAL LIVING BY EXAMINING JESUS’ STATEMENT IN (JOHN 7:37).
§ "On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink."
Americans are a people who love to celebrate holidays. I do not think anyone would argue that the three major holidays we celebrate throughout the year would be Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July.
The Jewish people also love to celebrate holidays. They call their holidays "feasts." 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.
Now we know from v.2 that Jesus was speaking here during the Feast of Tabernacles. This was a high, happy, holy day in the life of the Jew. The Feast of Tabernacles was like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July all rolled into one.
During that feast the High Priest would go to the Pool of Siloam, take a golden pitcher, dip it into that pool, and carry it back to the temple. There he would pour that water out on the altar of sacrifice.