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.…
It was our Lord's wont to make use of the most familiar objects, the most ordinary events, the most customary practices, in order to illustrate and to enforce spiritual truth. To set forth man's need of teaching, of heavenly grace, of salvation, Christ spoke of hunger and of thirst, of bread and of water. On the occasion of the Feast of Tabernacles, there was performed a ceremony which may have immediately suggested the language of the text. This was the drawing of water from the Pool of Siloam, which was borne in procession to the temple, and poured out as a sacred libation before the Lord. It was probably upon the suggestion of this ceremony that our Lord uttered the memorable and encouraging words of the text.
I. THE THIRST OF THE HUMAN SOUL. This thirst is deep seated in the nature of man. It manifests itself in the many forms of restless activity by which men seek to satisfy their aspirations. The powerlessness of the world to quench this thirst is an indication of the Divine origin of the soul. He who drinks at a cistern will find that the cistern will run dry. He who quaffs the water of a pool may find the water foul and turbid. Pie who tries to quench his thirst by draughts from the sea will learn that, so far from assuaging, these salt waters only increase the thirst.
"The frail vessel thou hast made,
No hands but thine can fill;
For the waters of this world have failed,
And I am thirsty still."
II. THE SATISFYING GIFTS OF GOD'S HOLY SPIRIT. That which the world cannot do, the Spirit of God can do; he can fill the created nature with peace, purity, truth, and power. The river of God's love flows on forever; it is inexhaustible. "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation." "Blessed are they that... thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled."
III. THE INVITATION AND PROMISE OF JESUS.
1. He claims himself to dispense the satisfying gifts of the Spirit. He is the Rock in the wilderness, from which flows the stream of living water. Thus he said, "Let him come unto me;" and at an earlier period of his ministry, "I would have given thee living water."
2. The terms upon which this blessing is conferred are such as are most encouraging to the hearer of the gospel. Faith is required from the thirsting applicant. This is evidently intended by the use of the words "come" and "drink." The blessing must be appropriated. And yet the satisfying provision is offered freely; it is not bought, but given. "Drink of the water of life freely." - T.
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.