By John Brown
A. 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. (NKJV)
1. It was the last day of The Feast of Tabernacles, (also known as the Feast of Booths).
a) A celebration commemorating the Lord's provision in the wilderness. (15th-22nd of October)
b) For 7 days the priests would go down the Pool of Siloam in the Kidron Valley and fill their water jugs and return to the temple courtyard.
c) As they would come into the courtyard the people would break out into singing as the priests would pour out the water on the pavement.
(1) As celebration and reminder of God's provision of water from the rock.
d) On the 8th day, there was no procession by the priest, and no pouring out of the water!
(1) This also was symbolic of the Lord's fulfillment to bring them into the land of milk and honey!
(a) In this new land, they could gather for themselves.
2. Tradition has it that it was during this time of the feast when the water would normally be poured out that Jesus stood up and made the statement in John 7:37-39.
a) He would have had an audience of thousands of people.
b) The fact that He stood up is also significant:
(1) Traditionally the "teachers" (or Rabbi's) were seated in the middle of their standing students.
(2) It was only when something was to be heralded or announced that the speaker would stand up!
c) And so, Jesus was proclaiming a truth!
d) Jerusalem is a very dry place, much like Phoenix.
(1) The need for "A cup of cold water" doesn't have to be explained to a Phoenician.
(2) The Hebrew was as aware of his need for water for survival as we are!
(3) And so the stage is set!!!
(4) It is this need for water that Jesus uses to explain a greater need!
II. MAN IS A 3-FOLD BEING
A. He is spirit, he possesses a conscience, and it is all housed in a material body!
1. And so it is with all men, they are made up of body,mind, and spirit.(A bit of an un-holy trinity I might add.)
2. Because man is made up of these three parts, he is able to experience "thirst" in all three areas.
a) He can experience physical thirst, emotional thirst, and spiritual thirst.
b) As human beings we don't have a very difficult time understanding physical thirst.
(1) We need it to survive!
(2) When the body moisture get too low we will do just about anything for a glass of water.
B. Sociologists have proven that our emotional need is just as great!
1. Studies have proven that babies die without physical touch.
a) In such experiments, in only 6 months they suffered irreparable mental retardation.
b) And usually they died within 2 years without that holding and cuddling. They need to be loved!!
2. Another emotional need is the need for security.
a) We need to be needed.
b) We see this in couples who have lived together for 50 years.
(1) When one dies, often the other dies within the year.
(2) They need to be needed!
C. These is yet the third and probably the greatest need, and that is the need for God!
1. Romans 8:20 20 For the creation was subjected to futility (emptiness), not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; (by the Lord's design) (NKJV)
2. Deep within every man is the desire for life to make sense!
3. And that is not possible without God!
4. So when Jesus cried, "if any man thirsts", it was this thirst to know God that He was talking about!
III. THE THREE-FOLD MAKEUP OF MAN IS INSEPARABLE
A. The body, soul and spirit of man is so integrated that one affects the other.
1. In other words, if we are sick physically, it will affect us emotionally and spiritually.
a) The same is true of all three areas of life.
b) This was indicated in Proverbs 17:22 A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones. (NKJV)
(1) Proverbs 15:13 13 A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, But by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. (NKJV)
(2) David knew what is has taken scientists centuries to discover!
2. It is significant to understand that our spiritual condition will also affect us physically, and emotionally.
a) They are all so intertwined that it is often difficult to discern whether we are under spiritual attack or simply physical attack!
(1) I think it is important to understand that satan will use any or all three of these!!!
B. Hebrews 4:12 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (NKJV)
1. God's word is able to discern, between these tightly enmeshed areas of our lives!
a) Many churches think they are having deep spiritual services when they are only feeding their emotions. And many times their physical needs.
b) If they would only look into the word of God, it would give them the balance they desperately need.
(1) It would let them discern between the soul and the spirit!
(2) The word of God feeds the spirit of man!
C. Though these 3 areas of body, soul, and spirit are tightly enmeshed and one often affects the other:
1. Satisfying one, cannot satisfy the other!!!
a) You cannot fill a physical need with an emotional experience.
(1) If I am stuck out in the desert in August without water it isn't going to matter to me much if you come along and tell me that you love me!
b) You cannot fill an emotional need with a physical experience.
(1) This is where many of us men go wrong in our relationships with our wives.
(2) They often have the need simply to be loved and needed, yet we try to solve the problem by "buying" them something!
(3) Many parents do the same thing with their children.
(a) They buy them everything, but they do nothing with them.
(b) The video games and the TV become a substitute for love!
(4) And you cannot fill a need for God with either one!
(5) That is why the world is so empty even though they posses many things!
(a) American's garages and backyards are full of toys to enjoy life with, but most are miserable.
(b) They thirst for God but won't come to the well to drink.
(i) John 4:13 13 Jesus answered and said to her, "Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, (NKJV)
(ii) As long as we keep trying to satisfy our spiritual thirst with this world's water, we will always be empty.
(iii) We should keep this in mind with everything we purchase in this life.
(iv) It is not wrong to have things, but they will never satisfy us.
(v) We will always be coming back for more!
(vi) We always need one newer or bigger or prettier.
A. What is the answer?
1. Things cannot satisfy us, but Jesus can! "If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
a) Jesus takes the responsibility for satisfying our deepest needs in life!
b) He tells us that we will find what we are looking for only in Him!
(1) John 7:38 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
(2) In the Greek, this would be better translated, "Out of his innermost being will gush torrents of living water."
(a) This is not a little stream, but more like Niagara Falls!
c) Some 60 years later, the Apostle John writes John 7:39 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. (NKJV)
(1) The Holy Spirit is supposed to be like this "torrent" "gushing" "out of" our innermost being!
(2) This is different that inviting Him in.
(3) Again many Christians have invited Him in, but He is surely not "gushing" out of their lives.
(4) So, the question is, "Does this describe your life in Christ?"
(a) Is it noticeable that the Holy Spirit is "overflowing" your life?
(b) If not, then perhaps you have not submitted to the power of the Lord's holy spirit through the baptism of His Holy Spirit!