In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink.…
"A word spoken in season how good it is!" Much of the force of an observation depends upon its being well-timed. The orators of Greece and Rome attended to this. But there was One who "spake as never man spake," who seized all occasions. Here is an instance of it.
I. THE APPETITE SUPPOSED.
1. Let us account for it. When man proceeded from the hand of God he was a stranger to thirst. He was formed for the enjoyment of God, and God became the source of his enjoyment. Then he was in his element. But sin has removed man from the fountain, and he now wanders through a parched wilderness. "My people have committed two evils," etc.
2. Its nature. It includes —
(1) Want and emptiness. The mind has an aching void. We might as well expect light in a beam cut off from the sun, the source of all radiance, as expect satisfaction of mind without God.
(2) Restlessness — the fever of the mind. Hence the anxiety of change, "seeking rest and finding none."(3) Misery. Disappointed in the objects of pursuit men turn away in disgust, saying, "miserable comforters are ye all." Hence despondency and suicide.
3. Its universal prevalence. It is felt more or less intensely, but none are strangers to it.
(1) The inquiries of men prove this. "Who will show us any good."(2) The pursuits of men prove this. The toils of the studious, the slumbers of the voluptuary, the cell of the hermit, the hoards of the miser, all.say, "I thirst."(3) The regrets of men prove this. "Vanity of vanities," etc.
II. THE SATISFACTION PREPARED.
1. The person who offers the refreshment. The eternal Son of God who became man, to die for sin and rise and ascend into heaven to "receive gifts for men," even the Holy Spirit. The "living water." Christ has the Spirit without measure for the enlightenment and salvation of men. Here is all that can satisfy the thirsty, soul — pardon for the guilty, liberty for the enslaved, peace for the distracted, and finally heaven.
2. The means of getting the living water. Note —
(1) the approach of faith, "let him come."(2) The application of faith "drink."
III. THE EXTENT OF THE INVITATION. "If any man."
1. As to character. There is no description of the persons invited. "If any man," be he who he may, whatever his age, country, condition. This is better than any specification of name, for others might bear the same.
2. As to the simplicity of the qualification. All men thirst. Don't say I am not thirsty enough. If you thirst at all you are meant.
3. As to the sincerity of the Inviter. Can we doubt this? Is He not able, and willing to relieve us.Conclusion:
1. Learn why Christ is imperfectly appreciated — because men do not realize their moral condition.
2. If this is not assuaged here it never will be in eternity. Read the parable of the rich man.
Parallel VersesKJV: In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.