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.…
Our Lord's ministry was now nearly completed; the effects of His example and preaching were so manifesting themselves that the Sanhedrim had become desperate. The prey was about to slip from their grasp, and they must either lose their position or silence the Preacher. They accordingly sent their officers to apprehend Him. They were accustomed to obey such orders, and were selected because naturally possessed of more firmness than sensibility, and because the more insensible by having practised the duties of their office. Like other Jews, they had heard much preaching by their rabbis, and therefore expected to find a ranter. The idea they had must have been that the apprehension cf a fanatical preacher, disturbing the public peace, would be an easy task, and rather a pastime. So they may have gone jocularly on from street to street until they had come to the immense multitudes gathered in and around the Temple celebrating the feast of tabernacles. But the chief interest of that multitude seems to radiate from the vast circumference to Christ as its centre. They press through the throng, and approach the hallowed spot. But what checks their rude steps? Why do they not advance to seize their prey, please their masters, and secure an extra fee? They are confounded, not with fear, but with amazement, reverence, and an unwonted human sympathy. There He stands, incarnate Deity! No fierceness of a mob leader is seen in Him, no cringing to formidable enemies, no caressing the populace. He stands alone and lofty in the meek dignity of a descended God. And they might first have said, "Never man looked like that man." But they felt the attractive force of the very power that disarmed them. There was a presence that annihilated the authority of Sanhedrims; there was a manifest virtue that acquitted Him at the bar of their consciences. And before it they laid down their vile commission, and joined the devout and admiring hearers. This added to their wonder and reverence. Surely Moses never spake more according to the mind of God. Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, never spake with more authority than this man. He is a prophet of the living God; and surely the elders of Israel never intended to arrest such a man; and they returned, not with a prisoner, but with a nolle-prosequi, a report that there was no ground of arrest. "Never man spake like this man."
(E. N. Kirk, D. D.)
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.