|Monday 11th February 2019
This week, as well as our normal daily devotions, we will sending out updates regarding the week of prayer. Please don’t forget to come along to as many of our prayers meetings as you can – they are Monday to Friday at 9.15am, 12.30pm and 8pm at the church for an hour. There is also a prayer meeting on Saturday morning at 8am to 9am. Jesus clearly gave the illustration of the promised Holy Spirit that believers were later to receive as a “stream of living water”flowing from them.
On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” 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. (John 7 v 37 – 39)
It is interesting to set the context in which Jesus gave this illustration.
The Festival of Tabernacles
Many people had deserted Jesus after he had spoken about being the “Bread of Life”. This was the point when Peter said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God”– I love those words and they are probably my favorite words of any of the Apostles.
Jesus was then aware that the Jewish Leaders were looking for a way to kill him. His disciples went to the Festival of Tabernacles but Jesus stayed behind joining them later, but secretly. The disciples wanted Jesus to go public with his ministry but Jesus stated that his time had not yet come.
At the Festival of Tabernacles, Jesus was teaching in the Temple Courts and the Jews were amazed at his teaching. They said, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught”. We see that That Jesus’ teaching caused division – some people thought he was the Messiah and some wanted to kill him.
On the last and greatest day of the Festival we are told that Jesus began to shout out and in verse 37 he declares “let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink”. What had begun in private and become public.
These words of Jesus took place during the “Festival of Tabernacles” (The Sukkot or the “Festival of Ingathering”), which was a Jewish Festival Celebrating the end of Harvest, but it also remembered how the Israelite people relied upon God during the Exodus from Egypt to the Promised Land.
I find this intriguing that during a time when every Jewish Person was thinking about harvest and gathering in, alongside the way in which God sustains us in Life’s Journey to Heaven, Jesus unveils the Holy Spirit as streams of living water – in other words as we gather people in (reach out to the lost in our communities) and as we think about how we will grow in our own Christian experience the Holy Spirit, the very Presence of God, is key to all that we do.
Have a great day!
Pastor Peter Jordan