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 INQUIRY FOR THE THIRSTY.
1. It is very wide. "Any man" of all that heterogeneous mass.
2. It is anxiously narrowed down. "If" — as if He had said the mass of you do not thirst; do any of you thirst? He reads their genera/indifference only too well. Alas I the thirsty are few: self-content possesses the minds of many, and world content steals over others. They are in a desert; no drop of dew falls about them, and the water-bottle has long since been dry; but they are mocked by the mirage, and they put aside their thirst with the fond idea that they can drink to the full.
3. It is painfully clear. The thirsty know what thirst is. It is a self-explaining pain.
4. It is being continually repeated. It is as urgent to day as then.
5. What is this thirst? Nothing actual or substantive; it is a lack crying out of its emptiness. When our system needs drink, a merciful providence creates a pang which drives us to a supply. Thirst rings the alarm bell, and mind and body set to work to supply the demand. It were a dreadful thing if the system needed water and yet did not thirst; for we might be fatally injured before we knew that any harm was happening to us. So with spiritual thirst.
II. THE ONE DIRECTION FOR THE RELIEF OF ALL SUCH THIRSTY ONES. "Let him come," etc.
1. Christ who gives the water which quenches spiritual thirst, invites us to Himself person. ally. What creed you are to believe will do by and by, just now your duty is to come to Christ. At this time Christ had not been crucified, risen, etc., but the text was spoken with a foresight of all that should transpire up to His glorification. Come directly to Him, who by all this has become a fountain of living water — not to creeds, ceremonies, sacraments, priests, services, doings, or feelings. Salvation lies in Him only.
2. All that a sinner wants is to be found in abundance in Him, and all that every sinner wants.
3. In Jesus is a varied supply. The thirst of the soul is not like the thirst of the body which is quenched with one liquid; the soul thirsts for many things — peace in distraction, pardon of sin, purity from pollution, progress in grace, power in prayer, perseverance; and all this is in Christ.
4. We must come to Christ and bring nothing of our own except our thirst, and that coming is believing.
5. Having come we must drink — the first action of the infant, the easiest act of the man.
III. THE PERMISSION HERE GIVEN FOR THEIR PARTICIPATION.
1. There is no limit as to what thou has formerly done, in the way of sin, unbelief, hardness, denial.
2. There is no limit put as to where thou hast been before. A man went to a merchant to ask the price of a certain article. He then went to others and tried to buy at a cheaper rate, but found that the first had quoted the lowest price. So he went back, but the merchant refused to serve him, not caring for such customers. But if you have been to Moses, to Rome, yea, even to the devil, Christ still says, "Come unto Me."
3. There is no limit because of any kind of lack. Some think themselves deficient in tenderness, or penitence, or disqualified by age, poverty, illiterateness. Some are locking the door with the very key that was meant to open it. "I am afraid I do not thirst;" "I have not the sense of need I ought to have;" but this means that you are sensible that you are more needy than you think you are. The fact that you need a sense of need proves how horrible is your need. Would you come if you did thirst? Then come and you shall thirst. The more unfit the more you are invited; your very unfitness is your fitness.
4. When Christ says "Come" nobody else can say "Nay."
IV. THE ENTREATY FOR THEIR COMING. "Jesus stood and cried." It was the last opportunity, hence the urgency. Surely we ought to entreat Him to let us come. Instead of that we are callous. When a man has charity to give does he entreat people to accept it? How strange that you should be so unwilling and Christ so anxious!
(C. H. Spurgeon.)
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.