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Summary: Jesus refreshes, outflows, and brings transformation -- will we follow Him as Prophet, Messiah, or just a man from Galilee?

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Text: John 7:37-44 (NKJV)

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

40 Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, "Truly this is the Prophet."

41 Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Will the Christ come out of Galilee?

42 "Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?"

43 So there was a division among the people because of Him.

44 Now some of them wanted to take Him, but no one laid hands on Him.

Before we go into a deeper look on this text, let's pray:

Opening Prayer

Background/Context

This took place at the Feast of Booths (Sukkot), or Feast of Tabernacles

Late September to Late October (Jewish calendar month Tishri)

Feasts from the Old Testament:

Exodus 23:14-16 (NKJV)

14 " Three times you shall keep a feast to Me in the year:

15 "You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread (you shall eat unleavened bread seven days, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month of Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt; none shall appear before Me empty);

16 "and the Feast of Harvest, the firstfruits of your labors which you have sown in the field; and the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you have gathered in the fruit of your labors from the field.

Feast of Ingathering -- A festival where people would gather to give thanksgiving to the LORD for the results of the harvest.

People would also build temporary tents or 'booths' and mainly live in them for seven full days, serving as a means of remembrance of the Israelites dwelling in these tents as they went through the wilderness after the LORD delivered them from Egypt. This is also a means of remembering the LORD's presence with His people even in 40 years of wilderness times:

Leviticus 23:42-43 (NKJV)

42 'You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native Israelites shall dwell in booths,

43 'that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.' "

Walkthrough

I. Jesus' Call to the People (37-39)

John 7:37-39

37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.

38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."

39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

A. He Refreshes (37)

Knowing Jesus leads to flowing rivers of Living Water from our lives.

Parallel: John 4 when He revealed to the Samaritan woman that He was the source of living water. This means that Jesus is the continual source of renewal and refreshing spiritually. Only through Him comes this continual vitality! Note that there are rivers of this abundance -- a deluge!

B. He Outflows (38)

There is no exact quote here from Scripture that Jesus is using. I find it convincing that Jesus is summarizing the heart of Scripture and the whole of its testimony. Continually, Jesus refers to Himself as being what Scriptures testify to. Jesus states this plainly in John 5:39 --

John 5:39 - "You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.

Main point: Jesus is what the heart of Scripture is all about.

"Heart" in some translations here is the Greek word koili,aj, which literally means 'belly' or 'womb.' It's translated heart here since Jesus is saying that from the depths of our being will come refreshment.

Barnes elaborates on this point in his commentary:

"Out of his belly - Out of his midst, or out of his heart. The word "belly" is often put for the midst of a thing, the center, and the heart, Matthew 12:40. It means here that from the man shall flow; that is, his piety shall be of such a nature that it will extend its blessings to others."

Challenge: Is your faith flowing out to bless others? If not, how can you grow in this area? Perhaps this could be related to outreach, service, and spending time with the Lord to reenergize.

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