Summary: Third of 5 on the Jesus Controversy. On the last and most important day of the feast Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.
5/2/04 – It’s All in the Teaching
The Feast of Shelters
During the 8 days of feasting there a daily rituals, processions, and ceremonies – all done with great presence and grand pageantry.
The past is remembered and a grand future becomes the hope of all of the people.
There are booths and shelters all over the city. People are gathered together and there are great celebrations of life and harvest.
The Daily Procession of the Priests
It’s the Last Day of the Feast of Tabernacles
Let’s set the scene on one such event.
This event was repeated every day for the eight days of the feast – a daily procession of priests
It would begin at the pool of Siloam and where jars would be filled with the waters there. Then the priests – dressed in all of their fine robes and accoutrements – would wind through the narrow streets to the temple. They would sing Psalms and read from the sacred scrolls. Finally, with choirs singing and scriptures being read, in an act of grand and glorious pageantry the priests would pour out the water on the altar in the courtyard of the temple.
Listen to the words of Isaiah and hear them as read by the priests as the water poured over the altar.
The Feast of Shelters
Isaiah 55:1-3 (NCV)
The Lord says, “All you who are thirsty, come and drink. Those of you who do not have money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
Why spend your money on something that is not real food? Why work for something that doesn’t really satisfy you? Listen closely to me, and you will eat what is good; your soul will enjoy the rich food that satisfies.
Come to me and listen; listen to me so you may live. I will make an agreement with you that will last forever. I will give you the blessings I promised to David.
They understood that the Temple of God was the Source of all Life
These were days of Thankgiving
Water is the Source of life Moses Psalm 78:15-16 (The Message)
He split rocks in the wilderness, gave them all they could drink from underground springs;
He made creeks flow out from sheer rock, and water pour out like a river.
These were days of Hope
Zechariah 14:8 (The Message)
What a Day that will be! Fresh flowing rivers out of Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea, half to the western sea, flowing year-round, summer and winter!
The Temple is set on the Foundation of the Earth
Together these texts taught that rivers of living water would flow forth from the temple (in Jewish teaching, at the very center of the earth, from the foundation stone of the temple), bringing life to all the earth.
The water-drawing ceremony (7:37) looked back to the waters that poured from the rock of Moses and pointed toward this hope expressed in Zechariah.
These were days of Prophecy
“After this, I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions.”
“…Then anyone who calls on the Lord will be saved, because on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be people who will be saved, just as the Lord has said. Those left alive after the day of punishment are the people whom the Lord called.”
Water is symbolic of Holy Spirit presence and power
Most of Judaism did not believe that the Spirit was prophetically active in their own time but expected the full outpouring of the Spirit in the messianic age or the world to come. Water usually symbolized Torah (law) or wisdom in Jewish texts, but John follows Old Testament precedent in using it for the Spirit (Is 44:3; Ezek 36:24–27; Joel 2:28).
This was a Time of Messianic Expectation
They had been waiting for over 400 years
God had been silent. Like the 400 years in Egyptian slavery they were now 400 years in Judea under Roman bondage
Listen to the Teaching of Jesus
John 7:37-39 (NCV)
On the last and most important day of the feast Jesus stood up and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. If anyone believes in me, rivers of living water will flow out from that person’s heart, as the Scripture says.”
Jesus said that day: I am the answer you are looking for!
With the words of Isaiah were still echoing in the temple, Jesus stood up and said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink ” So in the idiom of the temple worship and in the setting of its rich ritual, He dramatically claimed to be the Messiah, the source of the salvation and spiritual fare which Isaiah had promised. His claim, this time in words poignantly reinforced by their setting, lay like a gauntlet before the nation. Some recognized it and accepted it; some rejected it.