Drink deep

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‘God is the kind of God who will be pleased with the one thing I have to offer – my thirst’ (John Piper).

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Bible passage John 7:25–44

Division Over Who Jesus Is
 25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

 28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

 30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.

 33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”

 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

 40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.”

 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.”

   Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

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Overflowing Spirit
The Festival of Tabernacles involved a water ceremony celebrating the provision of water in the desert and recalling God’s promise through Isaiah to satisfy thirst (Isaiah 55:1 and 12:3, which were sung during the ceremony). Jesus uses this as an opportunity to speak about the refreshing and reviving work of the Holy Spirit.

Without the Holy Spirit it’s impossible for us to come to faith or pursue holiness. He is God’s ‘power in action’ (RC Sproul) in our lives. He’s a seal of God’s ownership of us and a deposit of eternal hope within (2 Corinthians 1:22). He brings freedom and leads us into all truth; helps us resist sin and makes what we do in service to God authoritative and abundantly impactful. He gives us gifts to build the church effectively, helps us pray fervently in line with God’s will and unlocks spiritual chains when we tell others about Jesus.

Making it personal
What has your experience of the Holy Spirit been? Has he been like a river bursting out of you? Ephesians 5:18, usually translated ‘be filled with the Spirit’, is a command to us to seek an ongoing overflow of God’s presence! For a river to flow powerfully takes a lot of water, but we’ll never exhaust God’s supply!


Invite the Holy Spirit to fill you until you overflow with living water. Then contact someone who’s weary and strengthen them from the refreshment you’ve received.

Phil Andrews

Deeper Bible study

‘As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.’ (Psalm 42:1,2)

‘If you really set your heart on something then you can get it’ is advice sometimes asserted to boost positive thinking, but unrealistic expectations can end in bitter disappointment. In the spiritual life, however, genuine hunger for God will always be rewarded. Here, in the midst of hostility and confusion, Jesus makes an astounding claim. On the greatest feast day he loudly proclaims (everyone should be in earshot!) that those who really long to know God can come to him. ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink’ (v 37). Jesus satisfies humankind at the deepest levels of yearning for meaning and wholeness. Believing him results in abundant life, filling and surging out of believers like streams of living water. John explains that this experience refers to the Holy Spirit, who had not yet breathed life on his church. Jesus, who has consistently taught how he is utterly at one with his sending Father (on his timetable, v 34), will go on ministering through the Holy Spirit. Sublime trinitarian truth shines out here. What a promise!

Tragically, the context shows that few take Jesus seriously. Is it irony when earlier Jesus says ‘Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from’ (v 28), because it is obvious that many of them don’t? Some think that because Jesus is from Galilee he cannot be the Christ. Others say that the Messiah will originate from Bethlehem (v 42) – apparently without realising that Jesus does! The religious leaders continue to hate him with consuming envy (Matthew 27:18) because of his effortlessly transparent authority. There’s no thirst for the living God. Yet, some in the crowd, which includes pilgrims to the feast, have a deeper longing. They have seen enough evidence (v 31). While some call him a prophet, yet others see that he is the Christ. A thirst for God has been awakened.

Michael Quicke

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

1 Kings 6,7

1 Corinthians 12


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Come to Jesus
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  • Rachael Hampton | Thursday, 18 May 2017

    Got to live Jesus' open invitations. More than once He declares loudly wonderful things for 'whosoever'. v38 Amp. He who believes in me - who cleaves to, and trusts in, and relies on Me - as the Scripture has said, from his innermost being shall flow - continuously - springs and rivers of living water. I have a note in my Bible that the Greek word is womb, and it occurs again in Rev 22:1 where the river that gives life flows like sparkling crystal from the throne of God and of the Lamb. What a thing to contemplate: our mundane, messy, painful lives are transformed from within as the glorious life giving Holy Spirit flows in and through us - continuously. If we come with our thirst. If we believe. O Lamb of God, I come .....

  • Rachael Hampton | Thursday, 18 May 2017

    HELEN, praying for Simon and his mother, that they will get the help they need, and most of all that they will bring this great thirst to Jesus for His gift of the life giving, transforming Holy Spirit. Blessings all.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Friday, 19 May 2017

    These rivers of living water in v38 referring to the Holy Spirit and the effects He produces in the lives of believers. Galatians 5:22-23 says that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, gentleness, ,self-control.” These qualities should flow out of us as an artesian well. They should not have to be pumped. They will flow as we conform our thinking to God’s Word. If we seek to walk in the Spirit it is actually hypocritical to let our soulish emotions dominate our spiritual emotions.

  • Angela Munday | Friday, 19 May 2017

    "Thus the people were divided because of Jesus"......this is the same today. Believers unite and say "He is the Messiah." The Spirit that Jesus gives us will never leave us 'thirsty' again; we know He lives within us to refresh and nourish the growing fruit.( double portion of gentleness Gilvin; I agree )........Our Father in heaven, help Simon to be strong in his resisting of the dependence he has on drugs and to seek You instead. May his trust be in You and his mothers' love for him Amen.

  • Adam Julians | Friday, 19 May 2017

    Angela - I picked up on that too about people being divided. Didn't David say something similar recently as well? Gentleness in context of course often meaning power under control. For without the power that comes with the love of God of what use would it be against dark forces. And obviously the fruits of the Spirt you talk of Gilvin coming with a daily dying to the ego. For Jesus said that anyone who keeps their life will lose it and anyone who loses their life for his say will gain life, and that he came to give life in the fullest. And as with any death there is the process of shock, and anger acceptance. It requires 100% commitment and 100% the work of the Holy Spirit. The divisions we talk of happen with the holding on to the ego and when there is the grasping for glory without first having gone through the death to ego. And how glorious it is to be counted as a child of God and having a share in his glory. If you are in Christ, you are a prince, and you are a princess in God's kingdom. How awesome is that?

  • Roger Hall | Friday, 19 May 2017

    John Piper raises a very good point. What else can we similarly offer which pleases our God? My hunger obviously. Praise glorifies God. It's possible to delve into scriptures such as this which we know and love so well and yet thirst for more and something new wonderfully appears. Praise Him, Jesus our precious redeemer!

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Friday, 19 May 2017

    Nlot meaning to be penickity ADAM but it is fruit of the Spirit in the singular. It makes a big different in the understanding as they all emanate from love

  • David Forbes | Friday, 19 May 2017

    How lovely when brothers and sisters live together in peace. Psm 133;1-2 " A Song of Ascents, of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Coming down upon the beard, Even Aaron's beard, Coming down upon the edge of his robes". Thank God for his wonderful patience with us. Eph 6.. stand therefore with the whole armour of God. This living water . i need it again and again. Let me put my trust in you .

  • Derek Forster | Friday, 19 May 2017

    All the way my Savior leads me; Cheers each winding path I tread, Gives me grace for ev’ry trial, Feeds me with the living bread; Tho’ my weary steps may falter, and my soul athirst may be, Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see; Gushing from the Rock before me, Lo! a spring of joy I see;

  • Barbara Sabin | Friday, 19 May 2017

    Adam it is Fruit not fruits of the spirit But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Each aspect has to grow in us ....... until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ ........ Water that will never run dry; water from a well that tastes like a spring of water welling up; water that not only sustains life, but promises eternal life .the Holy Spirit that was there at the creation was promised to us and came at Pentecost we can quench our daily thirst until as the Revelation 7 words of tells us we shall neither thirst any more … For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.

  • Barbara Sabin | Friday, 19 May 2017

    Life is a journey; long is the road, And when the noontide is high Souls that are weary faint 'neath their load, Long for the waters, and cry: Chorus The well is deep and I require A draught of the water of life, But none can quench my soul's desire For a draught Or the water of life; Till one draws near who the cry will heed, Helper of men in their time of need, And I, believing, find indeed That Christ is the water of life. Life is a seeking, life is a quest, Eager and longing desire; Unto the true things, unto the best, Godward our spirits aspire. Life is a finding; vain wand'rings cease When from the Saviour we claimAll we have longed for, solace and peace, And we have life in his name. ........https://youtu.be/YboIcPFuQWs

  • jeffrey smith | Friday, 19 May 2017


  • Ruth Lewis | Friday, 19 May 2017

    Such a great lesson. I have enjoyed comments also! Wishing everyone a great weekend!!!

  • David Chipchase | Friday, 19 May 2017

    V27 "...when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” What is the background of this text especially in light of v42?

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Friday, 19 May 2017

    DAVID, No scriptures state that the Christ’s coming would be a mystery. Quite the contrary, it was prophesied that He would be a descendant of David and that He would be born in Bethlehem, the city of David (1 Samuel 16:4, 12-13; and Micah 5:2). These Jews must have been making reference to some of the traditions expounded in the synagogues. Once again, their traditions made the Word of God of none effect (Mark 7:13). ADAM, years ago as a new Christian I was in a housegroup with a man who often prayed 'Lord give me the power' and each time under my breath I used to say 'Please don't Lord, he'd be dangerous!' Agreed we must die to self for the human nature and spirit are not compatible.

  • Adam Julians | Friday, 19 May 2017

    Gilvin, thanks for sharing. I hear what you say about someone praying for more power and you praying against that. Of course this is different to power under control of the Spirit and I hope we would all have that, enabling us to serve in the power God provides and to speak as if God were speaking.

  • David Forbes | Friday, 19 May 2017

    “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, gentleness, ,self-control. These qualities should flow out of us as an artesian well. They should not have to be pumped. They will flow as we conform our thinking to God’s Word. If we seek to walk in the Spirit it is actually hypocritical to let our soulish emotions dominate our spiritual emotions." Amen Gilvin

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