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.…
I. THE MAJESTY OF JESUS CONFESSED (ver. 47). One almost wishes that the officers had been more specific. Perhaps it was the same qualities that had affected Christ's listeners from the first.
1. Openness (ver. 26). No greatness, criticism, danger, daunted Him. Before the hierarchs (John 18:20), the hostile mob (John 18:5), and Pilate (John 18:33), He was ever the same resolute and outspoken preacher of the truth.
2. Authority. There was not a solitary realm in which He did not reign supreme — the kingdom of nature (Matthew 8:26; Matthew 14:32), the world of humanity (Matthew 8:8), the empire of devils (Mark 1:27; Luke 4:36),the region of the dead (Matthew 9:25; Luke 7:15; John 11:44), the innermost domain of the conscience (John 8:9).
3. Graciousness (Luke 4:22).
II. THE FRIENDS OF JESUS SILENCED.
1. The bailiffs rebuked (vers. 47-49). They were reminded that they were only menials, who had no right to think, etc.; hearing which, no doubt, crestfallen, they slunk away; let us hope rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer for Him (Acts 5:41) and following up the favourable impression.
2. Nicodemus put down (vers. 50-52). The Sanhedrists could not frown at him as ignorant of the law (ver. 51), but they could sneer at his sympathy with the Galilean Preacher, and stopped his mouth by delicately hinting that he was growing old and did not know his bible as accurately as he should (ver. 52). Exactly so have Christ's champions in all ages been treated.
III. THE ENEMIES OF CHRIST HARDENED. The hierarchs, determined on Christ's removal, are henceforth impervious to everything advanced in His favour. The light that was in them became darkness. Lessons:
1. The power of Christ's words over honest and sincere hearts.
2. The doctrine of Christ an argument for His divinity.
3. The superior religious instincts of the masses as distinguished from the classes.
4. The certainty that Christ and His cause will never lack defenders.
5. The downward course of those who wilfully oppose Christ.
(T. Whitelaw, 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.