I’m drowning in love. I hope you are, too.
Ever since we took our first step into the The Gospel of Lent for the Beloved #LentChallenge, the waters of God’s love have been rising.
Inch by inch. Foot by foot. Day by day. Week by week.
Today, we find ourselves in John 7:1-39 at the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles or Feast of Booths. This harvest celebration falls almost six months before the Passover.
Josephus described it as the “greatest and holiest feast of the Jews.” The feast calls us to remember God’s faithfulness to the Israelites in the desert (Lev. 23:42-43).
Halfway through the feast (John 7:14), the religious leaders pepper Jesus with pointed questions, something that’s become SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) wherever Jesus goes.
The days pass until “the last and greatest day of the Feast” (John 7:37).
This linchpin detail gurgles with importance.
During the Feast of Tabernacles, the priests march to the Pool of Siloam (meaning peace or shalom) every day to make a drink offering at the base of the altar.
But the seventh and final day (note the complete number), had a water pouring and light ceremony.
That’s who Jesus is revealing Himself to us again and again and again.
The Light of the World. The Living Water
This historical background makes Jesus’ words reverberate louder and deeper:
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” —John 7:37
Jesus reveals Himself as the fulfillment, as our fulfillment.
But did you see the rising tides?
Beginning in John 1 with baptizing…
Echoing in John 2 with H20 becoming Merlot …
Deepening in John 3 with Nicodemus discovering he must be born of Spirt and water…
and The Baptizer with pruned fingers and toes declaring Jesus’ increase, his decrease…
Splashing in John 4 with the woman at the well…
Stirring in John 5 at the pool of Bethesda…
Stunning in John 6 when a sea becomes a sturdy path…
Satiated in John 7, as Jesus fulfills our deepest thirst.
What did I least want to read but most need to hear?
Every human knows thirst.
But what’s the difference between dead and Living Water?
Two words: The source.
Where are you drinking from?
A second question pairs well.
Who are you drinking from?
I confess that I’ve been drinking from dead seas. Spending time on lifeless activities that leave me more spiritual thirsty than when I began.
I’m looking at my time, my schedule, my days—even tracking my hours—to determine how I can better spend my life satiated and satisfied with the Living Water.
What about you?
Are you dripping from all these readings?
What did you least want to read but most need to hear in today’s reading?
(If you have any questions post them below. We’ll be collecting and gathering responses for insight from New Testament scholar, Craig Blomberg in the upcoming weeks).
Day 14: John 7:1-39 Discussion Questions:
- In what passages have you noticed this water theme appearing in the Gospel of John?
- Describe a time when you experienced severe physical thirst. Describe a time when you experienced severe spiritual thirst. What parallels do you see between the two seasons?
- Make a list of properties of water which demonstrate what Jesus offers us? (Examples: cleanse, hydrate, baptize etc.) Which is most meaningful to you right now? Explain.
- Using the Color Method, what stood out to you most from today’s reading?
- What do you find most challenging about today’s reading? What do you find most comforting about today’s reading?