Morning Bible Study
We are with Jesus in the seventh month of the year on the Jewish calendar,
sometime around October and November.
The “seventh month” was a busy one for Israel – It started with the Feast of Trumpets, then the
Day of Atonement,
and in the middle of the month was a celebration that lasted a week, the Feast of Tabernacles (or,
We saw how Jesus’ brothers wanted Him to go to Jerusalem with them and make
a big splash, to get a lot of attention.
Jesus preferred to follow His brothers quietly and He didn’t raise a lot of
attention for the first part of the week.
There have been a lot of questions that people had about Jesus, and He’s
stirred up a little bit of controversy as people began to believe in Him as the
We pick it up
at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles.
(Jn 7:37–39 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.
The Feast of
Tabernacles was intended to celebrate a couple of things.
1. Remember the forty years in the
It was to remind the people of how the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty
years, living in tents (“Tabernacles” or “Sukkoth”)
To celebrate this, the people would set up booths made of branches and live
outside with their families, kind of like camping out.
The farmers’ growing
season was over, the crops have all been harvested and the farmers had a chance
The requirements of the Feast in the Mosaic Law had to do with sacrifices.
On the first day of the feast,
(Nu 29:13 NKJV) You shall present a burnt offering, an offering made by fire
as a sweet aroma to the Lord: thirteen young bulls, two
rams, and fourteen lambs in their first year. They shall be without blemish.
sacrifices were accompanied with grain offerings and drink offerings (wine was
There would be sacrifices every day for seven days.
The only difference was that each day there would be one less bull
offered as a burnt offering.
In total, there would be 70
bulls sacrificed over a period of seven days (that’s a lot of bull), and
according to Jewish tradition, they saw this as a bull being sacrificed for every nation of the world.
The first seven days of the feast were to symbolize the forty years in the
But as you know, there came a day when they actually made it into the
Promised Land, and apparently that was what the eighth day represented, when
they left the wilderness and entered the Land.
On the eighth
day there was only one bull sacrificed, and to the Jews, this was a bull
sacrificed for them, the nation of Israel.
The eighth day was different. In
fact the Jews considered this a separate feast.
There is a little bit of disagreement among scholars as to which day Jesus
stood up during. But it seems to me that
the best understanding was that it wasn’t on this eighth day, but on the
Through time, there became a couple more additions to Sukkoth.
On the evening
of the first night, a golden candlestick was lit in the Court of the Women at
the temple. This was a picture of the pillar of fire by night
that led Israel in the wilderness.
time, a ceremony was added to Sukkoth that had to do with water.
Some have suggested that the people in the city were getting a little
anxious about their water supplies in the fall.
This added ceremony was seen partly as a cry to God for rain.
Every day of
Sukkoth, at daybreak, a priest would lead a procession of people from the
Temple to the go to the pool of Siloam. (Show
map video “Temple to Siloam”)
The choir would sing a song from:
(Is 12:3 NKJV) Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of
At the pool of Siloam,
the priest would fill a golden pitcher with water. The pitcher held about 2 ½ pints of
water. He would then lead the procession
back to the Temple. When he arrived at the Temple, there would be
three blasts from a
shofar. The water would be taken to the
west side of the altar
where it would be poured out. This was
all accompanied with songs, shouts, and trumpets.
The people would shout and sing from the Psalms like:
(Ps 118:1 NKJV) Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy
(Ps 118:25 NKJV) Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray, send now prosperity.
They would shake their myrtle, willow, and palm branches toward the altar
as if to remind God of His promises.
On the seventh
day, the priest would circle the altar seven times before pouring out the
water, similar to the Israelites walking around Jericho seven times.
On the sixth time around the altar, the priest with the water was joined by a priest with
the wine which was to be poured out.
After the seventh trip around the altar, the priest would hold up the water
and the people would shout for him to raise it higher and higher and higher.
The people would beat their tree branches until all the leaves fell off and would go crazy
with praise songs.
It was a time of great joy and celebration.
It was said that “Whoever
had not witnessed it had never seen rejoicing at all” [Lightfoot]. This seventh day was known to the Jews as “the Day of the Great
After the praises, there would have been a brief pause as the priests
prepared to offer the sacrifices for that day.
It has been suggested that at this point, during this pause, that Jesus
stands up to make His proclamation.
It is thought that the water
ceremony represented three things:
1. The water provided in the wilderness
When the people in the wilderness first ran out of water,
God showed Moses a “rock”
and told him to “strike it” and water would come out (Ex. 17:6)
Later, at the end of the forty years, they faced a similar
situation, but this time God’s
instructions to Moses changed:
(Nu 20:8 NKJV) “Take the rod; you
and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak
to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water…
But Moses was upset with the people at the time. Instead of speaking to the rock, Moses
expressed his anger by once again striking the rock. (Num. 20:11)
After this event, God took Moses aside and told him that
he had blown it and as a result, Moses was not going to go into the Promised
Land. Why was Moses punished for simply
striking the Rock?
Paul tells us that
(1 Co 10:4 NKJV) …For they drank of that
spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.
God was trying to paint a picture, and Moses had ruined it. The Rock was a picture of Christ. Christ was struck once for our sins, just as
Moses struck the rock the first time.
Now we no longer need to strike the rock to receive, we simply need to
speak to it, to believe in Christ.
Pay attention to the One who speaks at this ritual.
2. A cry for rain.
Rain in Israel comes during two seasons of the year, the former rain
(Sept.-Oct.), and the latter rain (March-April).
3. The Messiah and the Holy Spirit
Even the Jews had this sense that this sense that this was
bigger than just water. They saw it
connected to salvation. They saw it
connected to the Holy Spirit.
Remember the song they sang as they went to get the water?
(Is 12:3 NKJV) Therefore with joy you
will draw water From the wells
to what one of the rabbis taught:
R. Joshua ben Levi:
“Why is its name called the place of drawing water? Because, from thence
“they draw the Holy Ghost”, as it is said, “and ye shall draw water with joy
out of the wells of salvation””
: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.
:37 cried out
– krazo – speak with a loud voice
Last week we talked about Jesus speaking up in the Temple. He speaks up
:37 thirsts – dipsao
– to suffer thirst, suffer from thirst
Present tense – Jesus is speaking to those who right now are thirsty.
Do you know what it means to be thirsty?
video: Nestea Plunge
:37 let him
come – present imperative – a command.
This is something that we have to do.
– pino – to drink – present
imperative – another command. This is
something that we do.
:38 He who
believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of
– pisteuo – to think to be true, to
be persuaded of, place confidence in
– koilia – belly, the origin of
thoughts, feelings, or choices.
:38 will flow
– rheo – to flow
Future tense – it’s not something that “might” happen, but it WILL happen.
:38 as the
Scripture has said
I’m not sure Jesus is pointing to a specific Scripture, but instead a whole
lot of Scriptures that speak of this, like…
(Is 44:3 NKJV) For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, And floods on the dry
ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, And My blessing on your
:38 living water
– There were two types of water Jesus’ day.
There was water that was collected in underground reservoirs called cisterns. Some parts of Israel are a desert. The only way to survive was to build large
cisterns and channel the water into them during the rare rainstorms.
In Jerusalem, there is only one spring, the Gihon, which Hezekiah had
channeled through solid rock to the pool of Siloam.
The rest of the water for the city came from water collected during
rainstorms and stored in these large cisterns, some carved out of solid rock.
This is flowing water. Clean water. Water that bubbles up out of the ground.
The one spring
in Jerusalem flowed into the pool of Siloam, where the water came from that was
being poured out on the altar during the Feast.
(Play Jordan Headwaters clip) What God wants to do is to satisfy your
thirst in such a way that not only will your thirst be quenched, but there is
enough to soak everyone around you.
Balloon” video clip.
: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.
John gives us a little commentary on what Jesus has just said.
:39 Jesus was
not yet glorified
Before the Holy Spirit would come upon the believers, Jesus would first
have to pay for their sins by dying on the cross and rising from the dead.
(Jn 16:7 NKJV) Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I
go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I
depart, I will send Him to you.
Are you thirsty? Are you unsatisfied
with your life?
Maybe you have never opened your life to Jesus. Maybe you realize that you need help.
Maybe you are a Christian, but you’ve been living your life in your own
strength. Four things from this passage:
You have to have a need for Him.
You have to “suffer from thirst”.
There must be a strong sense of need in our life.
We need to come to the point where we realize just how
much we need God's help.
If we're complacent about it, and don't really care one
way or another, then don't expect anything.
2. Come to Jesus
You have to realize that to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you're going to
have to come to Jesus.
Going to Mohammed won't do. Nor Buddha.
Coming to a special pastor to pray over you is a nice
sentiment, but if you want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you must come to
If you aren’t coming to Jesus to have your thirst met, it’s like (show video of Nestea gone
wrong – people falling backward and hitting the dust)
Only He has paid the price for your sins, enabling you to come into a
personal relationship with God.
To drink a glass of water, you first have to open up your mouth.
Imagine drinking a glass of water with your mouth closed.
You would certainly have a “drinking problem”!
To receive the Holy Spirit, you have to open up your heart.
Dr. A. B. Simpson used this illustration about being filled with the
filled with the fullness of God is like a bottle in the ocean. You take the
cork out of the bottle and sink it in the ocean, and you have the bottle
completely full of ocean. The bottle is in the ocean, and the ocean is in the
bottle. The ocean contains the bottle, but the bottle contains only a little
bit of the ocean. So it is with the Christian.”
A.W. Tozer wrote, “We are filled unto the fullness of God, but, of course,
we cannot contain all of God because God contains us; but we can have all of
God that we can contain. If we only knew it, we could enlarge our vessel. The
vessel gets bigger as we go on with God.”
Jesus didn’t say, “He who feels this tingle down his back will have rivers
of living water ...”.
He said, “He who believes ...”
Being filled with the Holy Spirit is based on trust, on faith, not on