John 7:5
For even His own brothers did not believe in Him.
Brethren, But not BelieversJ.R. Thomson John 7:5
An Unsuccessful MinistryD. Lewis.John 7:1-18
Christ an Example of PrudenceBp. Ryle.John 7:1-18
Christ and ManBp. Ryle.John 7:1-18
Christ FoundC. H. Spurgeon.John 7:1-18
Christ Must be Openly PraisedDr. Guthrie.John 7:1-18
Christ When He Comes Brings DivisionG. Calthrop, M. A.John 7:1-18
Christians May Find Opportunities of Doing Good At Any Time and AnywhereR. Brewin, "Lecture on Uncle John Vassar."John 7:1-18
Church FestivalsHooker.John 7:1-18
Cowardly ChristiansC. H. Spurgeon.John 7:1-18
Diverse Effects of Contact with ChristCanon Liddon.John 7:1-18
For Neither Did His Brethren Believe in HimJ. Orton.John 7:1-18
Go Ye Up to This FeastT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 7:1-18
His BrethrenP. Schaff, D. D.John 7:1-18
How Christians Should Act in Times of DangerJ. Trapp.John 7:1-18
InfidelityD. Thomas, D. D.John 7:1-18
Jesus and His BrethrenProf. Godet.John 7:1-18
Limitations of Human GreatnessJ. B. Thomas, D. D.John 7:1-18
Misused OpportunityBp. Horne., T. Jones, D. D.John 7:1-18
Moral CowardiceJ. W. Burn.John 7:1-18
Motives for Seeking ChristW. H. Van Doren, D. D.John 7:1-18
My Time is not Yet Come; But Your Time is Alway ReadyL. Shackleford.John 7:1-18
Openly ReligiousHooker.John 7:1-18
Opportunities of Doing Good Should be Seized EagerlyRichard Baxter.John 7:1-18
Opportunity UnusedUnion MagazineJohn 7:1-18
SalvationMassillon.John 7:1-18
Self RevelationJ. Spencer.John 7:1-18
Show Thyself to the WorldP. B. Power, M. A.John 7:1-18
Striking ContrastsD. Thomas, D. D.John 7:1-18
The Antagonism Between Christ and the WorldG. Calthrop, M. A.John 7:1-18
The Feast of TabernaclesProf. Luthardt., J. T. Bannister, LL. D.John 7:1-18
The Folly of Moral CowardiceJ. Beaumont, M. D.John 7:1-18
The Situation SurveyedT. Whitelaw, D. D.John 7:1-18
The Unbelief of Christ's BrethrenMathematicus.John 7:1-18
The World's Treatment of ChristW. H. Van Doren, D. D.John 7:1-18
The World's Treatment of the ChurchS. Coley., Terence.John 7:1-18
Unbelief an ObstructionJohn 7:1-18
Want of Religious Sympathy At Home"Pilgrim's Progress."John 7:1-18
We Must not Seek MartyrdomJohn 7:1-18
We Must Openly Show Our Love to ChristDr. Cuyler.John 7:1-18
Where is HeC. H. Spurgeon.John 7:1-18
Where is HeHomiletic ReviewJohn 7:1-18
Where to Find ChristC. H. Spurgeon.John 7:1-18
Why Christ Hid HimselfJ. Trapp.John 7:1-18

In recording this fact the evangelist shows his usual candour. The fact that some of those who were nearest akin to Jesus withheld from him their faith is at first sight surprising. It must have been very distressing to the human heart of our Lord to meet with such unbelief; and it must have been painful, and to some extent discouraging, to his avowed and ardent disciples. Yet the fact is so suggestive and instructive that, upon reflection, we cannot wonder that it was thus put upon record.

I. IT IS POSSIBLE TO BE FAMILIAR WITH CHRIST, HIS DOCTRINE, AND GOSPEL, AND YET NOT TO BELIEVE ON HIM. In reading the gospel narrative, we meet with instances of unbelief which do not surprise us, which seem easily accounted for. There were many who did not really know Christ, who simply took other people's judgment concerning him, or acted upon the prejudices natural to ignorance. We scarcely wonder that the selfish, unscrupulous, unspiritual rulers and scribes at Jerusalem rejected Christ's claims, and acted towards him with hostility; or that the Roman procurator Pilate misunderstood him, and finally abandoned him to his foes. But we are shocked when we learn that the very brethren of Jesus wanted faith - at all events, thorough faith - in Jesus. They were his kin; they had known him for many years; they must have enjoyed many opportunities of studying his character and verifying his claims. Yet they withheld their faith, at least for a time. This fact is not unparalleled. In condemning the brethren of Jesus, the hearer of the gospel may possibly be condemning himself. In our own day, in the very heart of Christian society, there may be found many who are very familiar with the gospel, who are frequent readers and hearers of the Word, who have seen in their nearest friends very favourable representatives of the Christian character, who yet have little interest, and no faith, in Christ himself.


1. There are cases in which familiarity itself seems adverse to faith. A striking illustration of the action of this principle is recorded by St. Luke. The Nazarenes knew Jesus well; he had been brought up among them, had dwelt in their town; everything they had known of him must have been favourable. "Familiarity," says the proverb, "breeds contempt;" and in vulgar natures this is true. Accordingly, the people of Nazareth, when the Divine Prophet visited them, were not only incredulous, they were hostile. In his own city he had no honour. It seems to have been the same with our Lord's kindred; it was hard for them to believe that one brought up among them, and in circumstances resembling their own, could be so far above them, in true rank and in spiritual authority, as Jesus claimed to be. To how many has the name of Jesus been familiar from childhood, without awakening sentiments of reverence and faith! When some such persons have the dignity and the power and preciousness of Jesus brought in some way with unusual vividness before their minds, it may be noticed that resentment is aroused rather than faith. Christ has occupied a familiar place in their stock of knowledge; but perhaps on that very account they are indisposed to see in him what they have never seen before.

2. There are cases in which worldliness and sluggishness of spirit are a barrier to faith in Christ. Such persons may be, through birth and association, almost as brethren to the Lord; yet their habits of mind prevent them from rousing themselves even to consider his claims. They live at a low level, and they hate everything that would raise them to a higher. They resist any demand upon admiration or faith. They may be indisposed to believe in anyone or in anything; how much mere in a Being so glorious, in doctrines so inspiring, as Christianity presents!

3. There are cases in which example explains indifference to the Saviour. No doubt our Lord's kinsmen ought to have been influenced by the better example of the mother and the disciples of Jesus. But they appear to have been more affected by the negligence and unbelief of others. It is observable that they came to believe at a later period - perhaps, under the influence of the growing numbers of the Lord's adherents. Certain it is, that many of the hearers of the gospel have no better reason to give for their incredulity than the faithlessness of others, especially of those with whom they most associate, and from whom they unconsciously take their moral tone. A "reason" this is not, but it is a sufficient explanation to those acquainted with human nature.

III. VALUABLE PRACTICAL LESSONS MAY BE LEARNED FROM THE UNBELIEF OF CHRIST'S BRETHREN. Those especially who have long enjoyed many religious advantages may gain profit from this record, which contains suggestions of very serious admonition.

1. It is foolish and wrong to rest in outward privileges; for these of themselves, if not used aright, are of no avail. If it served no valuable end for these relatives of Jesus to be so near him in blood, we shall act foolishly if we rest in our association with Christ's Church.

2. It is important to penetrate through superficial acquaintance with Christ to real spiritual knowledge of him. It is well to have an acquaintance with the facts and doctrines of Christianity. But these are merely means to a higher end, to faith and fellowship, assimilation and devotion.

3. Not to believe in Christ is to reject him in all his glorious offices. He came to earth to be a Prophet, a Priest, and a King. To refuse our faith to him in these several offices, is to forfeit the spiritual, the priceless blessings which it is his heart's desire to confer upon the children of men. - T.

On the last day, that great day of the feast.
S. S. Times.

1. Water for the thirsty (ver. 37; Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11; Psalm 78:15, 20; Psalm 105:41; Matthew 5:6).

2. Usefulness for the believing (ver. 38; Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 18:4; Acts 4:20; Romans 14:7; 1 Corinthians 6:20; James 3:10).

3. Divine aid for men (ver. 39; Isaiah 44:3; Joel 2:28; Zechariah 12:10; John 16:7; Acts 2:33; Philippians 2:13).


1. The prophet (ver. 40; Deuteronomy 18:15, 18; John 1:21; John 6:14; Acts 3:23; Acts 7:37).

2. The Christ (ver. 41; Matthew 16:16; Mark 14:61; Luke 4:41; Luke 22:67; John 1:41; John 4:29).

3. The seed of David (.ver. 42; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 33:22; Luke 1:69; Romans 1:3; 2 Timothy 2:8; Revelation 5:5).


1. Bitter enemies (ver. 44; Matthew 21:46; Mark 11:18; Luke 19:47; Luke 20:19; John 7:19, 30).

2. Perplexed officials (ver. 46; Matthew 7:28; Matthew 27:22, 24; Mark 15:14; Luke 23:22; Acts 23:9).

3. Raging Pharisees (ver. 47; Luke 5:30; Luke 6:7; Luke 7:30; John 7:32; John 11:47; Acts 23:9).

(S. S. Times.)


1. It was tabernacles. The last day had come. It was Sabbath. All hearts overflowed with joy. With water from Siloah the priest came, pouring it upon the altar in the presence of all the people. That water was a symbol of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). Seeing it, Jesus makes, regarding Himself, this proclamation: "If any man thirst, let Him come unto Me and drink." How emphatic the word "thirst!" It means all the needs of the soul and the deep cravings of mankind. The word "drink" is equally strong. Jesus here offers Himself as a complete satisfaction to man. The claim here set forth is one and the same thing with Isaiah 55:1. The same person speaks in both places. Jesus thus declares Himself to be God, i.e., the Christ.

2. The same thing is claimed in ver. 38. The believer, having received Jesus, becomes himself a fountain of eternal life — rather is he a channel through which the grace of God flows to bless other hearts. This is the effect of the regenerating and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. This Spirit is secured for the sinful world by the atonement of Jesus Christ. The cross has two sides — one turned towards God the Father, reconciling Him to man a sinner; the other turned towards man, securing for him the Holy Ghost. Under these two aspects Christ's sacrifice is always presented in the Bible. It is to the last of these that vers. 38, 39 refer. Hence Jesus declares Himself the Christ.


1. Some declared that He was "The Prophet" (Deuteronomy 18:15). The person here spoken of was held by the Jews to be the coming Messiah (Acts 3:22, 23).

2. Others bolder, pronouncing His name: "This is the Christ" (ver. 41).

3. A third party, while they seemingly rejected Him, bore a testimony to His being the true Messiah (vers. 41, 42). He had both the lineage and birthplace which they required to convince them. Only their own ignorance stood in the way. Observe:(1) It was Christ's strong claim regarding Himself that won Him confessors. So in teaching, we must present the truth in strong terms, leaving results with the truth itself.(2) A little ignorance often prevents men from receiving the gospel (ver. 42).(3) Anything for an excuse is the motto of some persons. The cry now is, "He is a Galilean!" If not this, then something else, equally untrue.(4) The plain teaching of the Word is apt to attract the attention of all and cause divisions among the people (ver. 43). Nothing is talked about so much as Christianity.(5) No one can damage the truth, except so far as God gives him permission, and then it is for a wise purpose, as the future will show (vers. 32, 44). His hour did come. Then He was crucified. The greatest crime secured the world the greatest blessing!

III. THE OFFICERS CLAIM JESUS AS CHRIST (vers. 45-49). Their testimony in His behalf is contained in ver. 46. It was the same as saying: "His speaking is that of a Divine person." Those hard men, that went to arrest Him, were overcome by the love shown in His speech; by the truth which impressed them; by the persuasion His words carried with them and by His authority as a teacher. These all were so marked that, returning, His enemies had to declare. "Never man so spake" — none, save God, could show such love, truth, persuasion and authority.

1. These are all divine qualities, man having them in proportion as he is "endued with power from on high."

2. The gospel has these four great elements — Love, Truth, Persuasion, and Authority.

3. Those who will not receive the gospel pronounce such testimony as this "deception" (ver. 47). The belief of the humble-hearted is foolishness unto the intellectual-proud (Vers. 48, 49).

IV. Nicodemus claims Him to be Christ (vers. 50-53). The charge against Jesus by the Pharisees was that He claimed to be from God, the true Messiah. Nicodemus virtually said this: "You have not disproved this claim; nothing has been done to prove the falsity of Jesus' words" (ver. 51). He might have made His testimony stronger. We must remember that a secret disciple is not bold in word or deed. The reply of the Pharisees was weak, showing that their cause was based on ignorance and prejudice (ver. 52). Such is the cause of unbelief to-day.

(A. H. Moment, D. D.)

If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink
On the last day of the feast of tabernacles the priests stood near the altar and poured water over it copiously from large capacious vessels. Perhaps the day took its name "the great day" from that circumstance. It was a symbolical act intended to connect itself with the predictions that in the days of the Messiah God would pour out His Spirit, and was something like a prayer that they might live to see those days and share that blessing. It was our Lord's custom to connect His teaching with occurrences before Him, and so, perhaps pointing to that act, He said, "If any man," etc., proclaiming His Messiahship.

I. HUMANITY IS THE .SUBJECT OF INTENSE SPIRITUAL DESIRES. We know how intense the animal appetite of "thirst" may become. How terrible it has been in the burning desert or the besieged city i That is here taken to indicate the character of spiritual desire, and is an ordinary rhetorical figure used by our poets and philosophers when they speak of the thirst of gold, ambition, etc. But Christ offers no drink for the appetites or passions.

1. There is the thirst of the intellect — the desire for truth. It is very wonderful how soon the mind of a child will begin to speculate about the mystery of life, of death, of God, and the soul.

2. There is the thirst of conscience in two forms.(1) There is the consciousness of moral weakness. A man feels the moral obligation he is under, sees the beauty of duty, has a conviction of right, but a sense of infirmity of purpose — makes his strong resolutions and scatters them the next day. And so the moral nature thirsts for strength to perform.(2) The conscience is burdened by a sense of sin, and yearns for its forgiveness and removal. This has given rise to priests. The people create the priests. No priesthood ever yet originated itself for the purpose of trampling on the people.

3. There is the thirst of the heart: not merely a desire for happiness. You are made for something greater than that. There is a thirst in looking at the dislocation of things around us. What tears of soul bereavement and pain let out the waters of bitterness in times of darkness I So the soul wants something to rest upon, to feel that we are not in a neglected and fatherless world.


1. Christianity professes to be a revelation of spiritual truth. It interprets nature and adds communications of its own about all that it is necessary for us to know.

2. Christianity meets the thirst of conscience in a special way.(1) By the revelation of the Person of Christ. The gospel does not come as a system of thought, nor are its preachers philosophers; it presents a Saviour, through whom we may obtain forgiveness of sins.(2) Connected with this is the mission of the Spirit to renew, to strengthen the will, to purify the affections, to make duty a delight, and bring the whole man into harmony with duty and God (Romans 8:3-4).

3. Christianity meets the thirst of the heart by providing a large measure of rational and manly happiness, and that in two ways.(1) By the life of faith — faith as a daily habit, looking to God in all things; and along with that it gives spiritual consolation and grace.(2) By the character it creates and sustains, delivering us from the torments which attend passion, sin, disharmony with God.

III. CHRIST NOT ONLY MEETS THE THIRST OF HUMANITY, BUT IS URGENT TO MEET IT. "Let Him come." Do not mystify yourselves with the metaphysics of the Divine decrees. Take Christ in His plain utterances and remember that secret things belong unto God. He says, "if any man will, let Him come" — believe in His honesty of purpose, and that He means what He says, "It is not the will of my Father that one of these little ones should perish." "You may perish, but that will be from your own acts, not God's."


(T. Binney.)

"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.


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.


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."


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.

(G. Clayton.)

1. These words were spoken on the last day of the feast — therefore on the last opportunity for doing good to that multitude. The dispersion of a mighty crowd is always affecting, as we forecast that it is a final parting with some, and see in it a foreshadowing of that last separation. Our Lord was sensitive to such feelings, and could not suffer the vast assemblage to break up without giving them something which might reveal itself in their hearts when far from the excitement of the city.

2. It was the great day, when, after the solemnities of the previous week and their august associations and suggestions, all susceptible souls would be open to elevated thoughts. So Jesus, seizing the moment when the metal was molten to give His own impress to it, cried, "If any man," etc.

3. Christ's gift is living waters. He speaks to us as subject to desires for which nature has made no provision, and offers Himself as a fountain of relief and eternal satisfaction. His words sweep the entire circle of humanity, for every man thirsts. The only question is, Can His religion do what everything else confessedly fails to do? "Yes," said Jesus. The Holy Spirit as given by Him is as rivers of living water, because —


1. Man thirsts for love. It is the nobleness of our nature that food and raiment and gross pleasures do not satisfy it. What makes childhood's blessedness, but that its whole atmosphere is love? Yet how far all human love comes short of satisfying our craving all know. But let a man be thoroughly certified that God loves him to save him, and that every moment he has access to God to tell Him all his griefs, what a river of refreshment must this love prove in his heart.

2. God's love to us is His love in Christ — love, the most ample in its measure, the most intense in its power, the most complete in its adjustments to our condition. But it is not this love in a book that will give us relief. The testimony of the Book must be transferred to the heart to become a living reality there. The Spirit adds nothing to its dimensions, but makes it approved and accepted to the soul. Divine love is the sovereign element of all blessedness: Christ is the Divine Vessel holding that love which flows over with sweet waters, but it is the Spirit which witnesses of this to the soul.

II. THE SPIRIT IS THE CREATOR OF BLESSED AFFECTIONS IN THE SOUL. "Shall be in Him." Man thirsts for an inward blessedness. Not in his circumstances but in his heart, in noble views, pure affections, generous aspirations, lies the true well-being of man. He may have millions and yet be haunted with fears of starvation. He may allow himself every luxury, and yet his soul be a level of monotonous wretchedness. Malignant self-centred passions are the fever of the soul. Place a man amidst the splendours of royalty, and a jealous spirit will make him miserable. It is from a right state of the heart that its blessedness must flow; therefore the true salvation of man is not outward but inward. It has its outward elements in an alteration of man's relation to God; but what were it worth for the outcast to be delivered from his rags and poverty, and be received back if he retained all the evil passions which ruined him? He must become an altered man to become blessed. All experience and Scripture bear witness that this is a work not for man but for the Spirit of God. It is the almighty spirit of love, whose living waters flowing into the heart destroy its bitterness and impurity, and make it a fountain of brightness.


1. As the waters of a fountain gush forth by their own pleasure, so do the living waters of spiritual life impart themselves to all around. Every refreshed soul is constituted a well of refreshment, like a fertile spot in the wilderness. How is this done? By the gifts and service which it prompts. Whenever He is in the heart, our families, neighbourhoods, churches will be refreshed. Stagnant waters which have no outlet become corrupt and bitter like the Dead Sea.

2. Man thirsts for successful, useful action. You are not content with the result which your daily calling gives you. Without despising common duties, you feel that you were made for nobler things. Well, the noblest course is open to all. You need not acquire rank or money. If renewed by the Spirit, you can make your course as a shining river. No other life is worth living: all other is vanity and vexation.

3. This blessedness and usefulness must be habitual, a river not a brook. Nothing can be more remote from the true idea of the Holy Spirit than transcient excitement. Conclusion:

1. This gift of the Spirit is acquired by faith. "Coming" is "believing."

2. This gift assumes different forms in different believers.

3. This gift every believer is bound to use.

(J. Riddell, M. A.)

While the morning sacrifice was being prepared, a priest, accompanied by a joyous procession with music, went down to the pool of Siloam, whence he drew water into a golden pitcher capable of holding three log (rather more than two pints). But on the Sabbath they fetched the water from a golden vessel in the Temple itself, into which it had been carried from Siloam on the preceding day. At the same time that the procession started for Siloam, another went to a place in the Kedron valley, close by, called Motza, whence they brought willow branches, which, amid the blasts of the priests' trumpets, they stuck on either side of the altar of burnt offering, bending them over toward it so as to form a kind of leafy canopy. Then the ordinary sacrifice proceeded, the priest who had gone to Siloam so timing it that he returned just as his brethren carried up the pieces of the sacrifice to lay them on the altar. As he entered by the "water-gate," which obtained its name from this ceremony, he was received by a threefold blast from the priests' trumpets. The priests then went up the rise of the altar and turned to the left, where there were two silver basins with narrow holes — the eastern, a little wider, for the wine; and the western, a little narrower, for the water. Into these the wine of the drink offering was poured, and at the same time the water from Siloam, the people shouting to the priest, "Raise thy hand," to show that he really poured the water into the basin which led to the base of the altar .... As soon as the wine and water were poured out, the Temple music began, and the Hallel (Psalm 113.-118.) was sung... Salvation in connection with the Son of David was symbolized by the pouring out of water Thus the Talmud says distinctly, "Why is the name of it called the drawing out of water? Because of the pouring out of the Holy Spirit, according to what is said: ' With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.'"... We can now in some measure realize the event. The festivities of the week of tabernacles were drawing to a close. "It was the last day, that great day of the feast."... It was on that day after the priest had returned from Siloam with his golden pitcher, and for the last time poured its contents to the base of the altar; after the Hallel had been sung to the sound of the flute, the people shouting and worshipping as the priests three times drew the threefold blasts from their silver trumpets — just when the interest of the people had been raised to its highest pitch, that from the mass of the worshippers, who were waving towards the altar quite a forest of leafy branches as the last words of Psalm 118, were chanted — a voice was raised which resounded through the Temple, startled the multitude, and carried fear and hatred to the hearts of their leaders. It was Jesus who "stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink." Then by faith in Him should each one truly become like the pool of Siloam, and from his inmost being "rivers of water flow." "This spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive." Thus the significance of the rite, in which they had just taken part, was not only fully explained, but the mode of its fulfilment pointed out.

(A. Edersheim, D. D.)

In the latter days of Jerusalem, as we learn from the history of the period, a ceremony was added to those of the ordained feasts of booths, intended, evidently, to commemorate the thirst in the wilderness, and the supply that was provided from the rock in Horeb. On the last day of the feast, towards evening, the priests formed a procession, and, having drawn water from the pool of Siloam, bore it to the Temple, and poured it on the ground, so that it should flow down to the lower streets of the city. This symbol pointed, probably, to Ezekiel's grand vision of waters issuing from the Temple, small at first, but rapidly increasing, until they became a river that could not be passed over — a river to swim in. The precession of priests has gone to Siloam and returned to the Temple. They have poured the water from the golden vessel, and a rivulet is making its way along the unwonted channel, forth from the hallowed courts towards the city. The assembled crowds are ranged on either side, watching the progress of the mimic stream. The beams of the setting sun strike the water, where in a hollow it spreads into a pool, and golden glory flashes for a moment from the spot that had been dull dry earth before. The multitude gaze in ignorant superstition; but some of the Lord's hidden ones are there, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and spelling painfully out of these dead letters the name of their living Redeemer. Jesus looked on the crowd as they gazed wistfully on the symbolic water. His heart was yearning for them. He knew what was in man: He knew that the Jews made idols of these significant signs, as they made idols of the scriptures which were printed on their clothing. He saw them drinking that which cannot quench the thirst of a soul. He pitied them, and came to the rescue.

(W. Arnot, D. D.)


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.


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.


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.)


1. In all thirst there is —(1) A sense of want. Every man is sensible that he is not self-sufficient.(2) Desire of supply. The soul of man is ever desiring.

2. The object of this thirsting —(1) The end where the soul may rest, and that is happiness. For this every man thirsts.(2) The means leading to the end. He that desires refreshment, desires also to drink, though he may by ignorance take a cup of poison.

3. There is a two-fold thirst —(1) Natural and common to all men. It is as natural for a man to desire happiness as it is for him to breathe. But men miss the way and seek it in the world, and hence, disappointed, say, "Who will show us any good?"(2) Supernatural, experienced by those only whose heart God hath touched. "My soul thirsteth for the living God." There is no happiness unless this is satisfied.


1. To come to Christ, i.e., to believe on Him (ver. 33). Unbelief is a departing from the living God: faith is coming back.

2. To drink, i.e., to actually make use of Christ for the supply of this need. This points out three things in Christ.(1) The fulness of Christ for needy sinners.

(a)In Him there is a fulness of merit to take off the fulness of our guilt.

(b)A fulness of the Spirit to take away the power of sin, and to actuate us in all good.

(c)A fulness of grace.(2) The suitableness of Christ. In Him there is a remedy for every disorder.(3) His satisfactoriness. This drinking also implies three things in us.

(a)The soul going out for a supply of its particular wants, renouncing all confidence in itself or any creature (Jeremiah 17:5).

(b)The soul's going out in desire after supply from Christ upon His invitation.

(c)Believing application of Christ to the soul in —

(i)catching hold of the promise suited to our case.

(ii)Venturing our case upon the promise and proposed supply.

(iii)Confidence in Christ answering our necessities.


1. The supply of the needs of sinners is the great end of the mystery of Christ.

2. He is able to supply all needs however great they may be. Christ is a fountain that is never dry. The creatures are broken cisterns and soon exhausted.

3. Consider your need of Him.

4. If you come now you will drink of the rivers of God's pleasures for evermore.

(T. Boston, D. D.)

A celebrated minister was once taken ill, and his wife requested him to go and consult an eminent physician. He went to this physican, who welcomed him very heartily. The minister stated his case. The doctor said: "Oh it is a very simple matter, you have only to take such and such a drug and you will be right." The patient was about to go, but the physician pressed him to stay, and they entered into pleasant conversation. The minister went home to his wife and told her what a delightful man the doctor had proved to be. He said, "I do not know that I ever had a more delightful talk. The good man is eloquent, and witty, and gracious." The wife replied, "But what remedy did he prescribe?" "Dear," said the minister, "I quite forgot what he told me on that point." "What?" said she, "did you go to a physician for advice, and came away without the remedy?" "It quite slipped my mind" he said, "the doctor talked so pleasantly that his prescription has quite gone out of my head." You must receive Christ by faith.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

"If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink. What man would dare to say of merely physical things, "If any man lacks knowledge, let him come unto me." Neither Humbolt, nor Liebig, nor Agassiz would dare to say this, even of the departments in which they are pre-eminent, how much less of the whole range of learning! yet Christ, disdaining physical things, appeals at once to the soul with all its yearnings, its depths of despair, its claspings — like a mother feeling at midnight for the child whom death has taken — its infinite outreachings, its longings for love, and peace, and joy, which nothing can satisfy this side of the bosom of God, and says, "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink." He stands over against whatever want there is in the human bosom, whatever hunger there is in the moral faculties, whatever need there is in the imagination, and says, "He that cometh to Me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on Me shall never thirst."

(H. W. Beecher.)

I was travelling some time ago, and I had a little child with me, and I was not acquainted with the law of the railroad respecting children, but I happened to see this announcement, "All children under five years of age free." I did not ask any questions. My child was under five. Neither did I buy a ticket. I took the announcement to mean what it said, and did not pay a halfpenny.

(D. L. Moody.)

Suppose a man were to call upon the physician and say, "Well, sir, I want your services." "Are you sick?" says the physician. "No; not that I know of." "What, then, do you want of me?" "Oh! I want your services." "But what for?" The man makes no reply. "Are you in pain?" "No." "Is your head out of order?" "No." "Nor your stomach?" "No; I believe not. I feel perfectly well; but still I thought I should like a little of your help." What would a doctor think of such a case as this? "What must Christ think of those that ask His help, not feeling that they really need it?

(H. W. Beecher.)

During a revival in a town in Ohio, a man who had been very worldly minded was awakened, but for some time concealed his feelings, even from his wife, who was a praying woman. She left him one evening in charge of his little girl of three years of age. After her departure his anxiety of mind became so great that he walked the room in his agony. The little girl noticed his agitation, and inquired, "What ails you, pa?" He replied, "Nothing," and endeavoured to quiet his feelings, but all in vain. The child looked up sympathizingly in his face, and inquired, with all the artlessness and simplicity of childhood, "Pa, if you were dry, wouldn't you go and get a drink of water?" The father started as if a voice from heaven had fallen on his ear. He thought of his thirsty soul famishing for the waters of life; he thought of that living Fountain opened in the gospel; he believed, and straightway fell at the Saviour's feet. From that hour he dates the dawning of a new light, and the beginning of a new life.

It was the last day of the feast of tabernacles. It was the eighth day which was spent as a Sabbath, but the Saviour did not cease to preach because the festival was almost over. Till the last day He continued to instruct, to invite, to entreat. It is but one instance out of many of the Saviour's pertinacity of lovingkindness.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Drink! That is not a difficult action. Any fool can drink; in fact, many are great fools because they drink too much of poisonous liquors. Drink! Thou canst surely do that. Thou hast only to be as a spunge that sucks up all that comes near it. Put thy mouth down and suck up that which flows to thee in the river of Christ's love, open wide thy soul and drink in Christ, as the great northern whirlpool sucks in the sea. If any man thirst let him receive Christ.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Now was the time of the autumn heats. The effects of the harvest rains had long passed. The crops were just removed from the face of the ground. Above was the burning Syrian sun. Beneath — as with us, now — was the scorched and arid soil. All was dust, and weariness, and heat. It was the time of a great festival — the great autumnal feast of tabernacles, commemorative of the fruits of the earth now gathered in.

I. Here you may observe we have AN INVITATION — "Jesus stood, and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let Him come unto Me, and drink."

1. There seems to me something emphatic in that word, "stood." It expresses in a teacher the attitude of prominence, energy, aggression. It was well suited to High, who, as tie was there placed amidst that perishing throng, came "to seek, and to save that which was lost."

2. And the voice is still more marked than the attitude. "Jesus stood and cried." This term is applied to those who arc labouring under some strong passion or affection of the mind, whether of grief, fear, desire, or other. Here it expresses earnestness and energy. At least, let ministers shew by their manner that they have a deep interest in the salvation of those they address.

3. But from the attitude, and the voice, turn we to the words themselves, to the gracious invitation of the Lord. Whom does He address? Those who thirst. A large class, as many will testify. For they who thirst include all who are not satisfied.(1) There, for example, are they who are disappointed. On them life opened fairly and brightly, but its horizon became overcast. Full of joyous anticipation they sprang forward with alacrity in the race of life. But unlooked for difficulties arose, They experienced treachery and falsehood. Life to them lost its charm. They found not what they sought. They thirsted, but were not satisfied.(2) Then there are the prosperous who cannot be satiated with prosperity. In their fulness they are empty; in their joyfulness they are sad; pleasure pleases not; slumber soothes not.(3) And there are those, too, who, having tried to slake the thirst of their undying souls with dying things, and discovering their error, are now seeking in things heavenly, unfailing sources, and perennial fountains. These do not, now, thirst for the creature. They have found out their error, and plainly see that the creature cannot satisfy. Now to these, and to all others, unsatisfied, anxious, craving, desiring, thirsting, Jesus cries, "Come unto Me, and drink." And it is thus that Jesus meets the cravings of our humanity; His providence supplies our bodily wants. "As thy day, so shall thy strength be." In the same way man's intellect meets in his God, that on which it can repose. Who should satisfy mind but He who made mind! But, oh! the storms and tempests of thought! Then there is the way in which the Saviour meets man's spirit. The heart of man must have something whereon to repose, something to love, something wherewith to sympathize. The Saviour in His humanity here meets the heart of man.

II. Nor must we omit to notice THE EXTENT OF THE LORD'S INVITATION — "Any man." "If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink."

III. Having thus spoken of this invitation of our Lord, we have now to notice HIS PROMISE, WITH JOHN'S COMMENT THEREON.

1. "Water." Refreshment and purification are presented to us in this figure.

2. "Living water." Not stagnant, much less putrescent. Life belongs to the Christian; and this life he must seek to impart to others.

3. "Rivers of living water." Here are presented to us ideas of depth, copiousness, perpetuity. Eternal life in believers is not to be scant, or shallow. A joyous and abounding river, it is to flow with waters exuberant and vivifying to all around.

4. They are "flowing waters." "Out of Him shall flow rivers." The Spirit which God has given is not to be restrained.

IV. But in WHAT MANNER may this water of the Spirit in a man be said to flow out of him?

1. One main method of the manifestation of the Spirit has already been alluded to — by the words of our mouth. But we would not restrain the symbol of these flowing waters only to a man's words.

2. His actions also may be included. The Christian's life should be a continual call to turn from the path of death.

3. Influence we would also name as another most effective mode of making these waters flow to the benefit of our fellow-men. Influence! Influence voluntary, and involuntary! How wide its extent, and how incalculable its power!

V. We have expounded and illustrated the text. Let us conclude by some INSTRUCTIONS drawn from it.

1. See the diffusive character of the dispensation of the gospel I A man is not made partaker of the Spirit of God for His own mere individual salvation, but for the salvation of others also.

2. But let us be careful to avoid a common error. The water of life must be put in us for our own salvation before it can flow out of us for others' good. It is not like the spider's web which she spins out of herself.

3. But how encouraging the promise, "He that believeth on Me, out of him shall flow rivers of living water." Christ here expressly declares that if we believe on Him we shall be made partakers of His Spirit.

4. Holy gracious the invitation! "If any man thirst let him come unto Me, and drink." If our lips are to feed others, those lips shall themselves be first fed.

5. Contrast here these .living waters of the soul with that perishing water of Shiloah of the ceremonial before alluded to. Here is the contrast between religion spiritual and religion ceremonial — between sacraments (or signs) and the things by them signified. The Jewish populace saw nothing but the water — heeded for the most part nothing but the ceremony.

(M. Brock, M. A.)

1. This saying of our Lord's produced among some the conviction that He was the Christ (vers 40, 41). We gather from hence that it met some instinct of the human heart. He struck a note which vibrated in their inmost souls. What was the secret of this effect. It was no doubt that many of the audience felt that they were spiritually athirst, that there was a craving in them after light, truth, love which nothing on earth met. They felt that He was making an offer of which hey had need to avail themselves. They are convinced of His claims by offering them exactly what they had felt the want of.

2. In order to the existence of love between two parties, there must be a secret affinity between them in virtue of which one supplies what the other needs. Take the case of friendship between the sexes. The man needs sympathy and confidence, which the woman supplies; the woman needs support, protection, counsel, which it is the man's part to furnish. This principle lies also at the foundation of commercial intercourse. A. produces what B. wants, and B. what A. wants; and this mutual want draws both together. The same mutual interdependence is observable in nature. Plants are fed by the light and air of heaven, and return the perfumes which some of them exhale. It is so with man and God.

I. MAN HAS AN URGENT NEED OF GOD. When this makes itself felt he cries, "My soul is athirst for God," and then he is arrested by the offer of the Son of God, "If any man thirst," etc. Of course all things need God for their continuance, but man has needs which distinguish him from the inferior creation.

1. His understanding is never satisfied with the truth it contrives to reach.(1) There is nothing more interesting than discovery. It is as if God had proposed to us in nature and life certain enigmas, and had challenged human ingenuity to the solution of them. But observe how, upon a discovery being made, it loses its interest, and we immediately go in quest of fresh truth. Just as the pleasure of hunting is not derived from the game which is caught, but from the excitement of the pursuit, so with the quest of truth. You see this restlessness in the pursuit of religious as well as scientific truth. The inbred curiosity of the mind, which desires above all to know where it is precluded from knowledge, is the fruitful source of heresies and fantastic speculations.(2) But is there nothing corresponding to this restless thirst? Is the mind to fret itself for ever and never reach the goal? Is there no highest truth in which the understanding may at length acquiesce? Not so. The Scriptures say that God is Light, and that in Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. When, therefore, man displays an insatiable desire to know, he should remind himself that God is its only satisfaction, and this Light is to be enjoyed, not by any painful straining of reason, but by entire submission of the will to God's will.

2. Man craves after Infinite Good.(1) This is attested —(a) By the mischievous excesses of intemperance. The instinct that prompts man to this is peculiar to him. There is nothing of it among the lower creatures. The real account of it is that by the constitution of his mind man thirsts after a good he finds in no created object. The instinct misdirected by the Fall, goes astray. Having a hungry spirit, he makes a desperate effort to extract from bodily enjoyments what may appease its cravings, but the body, like a people, is impoverished and enfeebled by excessive taxation.(b) But there are more refined ways in which men endeavour to satisfy this craving. They seek preeminence of ability or position or wealth; the flattering speeches which are a sort of homage to superiority — how dear are these things to the soul! Not that the soul rests on them; having tasted them it immediately craves for new enjoyments, a wider reputation, a higher pre-eminence.(c) The best of earthly good with which the spirit seeks to satisfy its thirst is human sympathy. It plants for itself a domestic and social paradise, but the trees, alas I like Jonah's gourd, are apt to be smitten. And, independently of this, no mere natural affection can satisfy the craving for love.(2) But the Creator can satisfy every craving. Do we long after a joyous exhilaration of the Spirit which shall tide us over our difficulties? "Be not drunk with wine... but be filled with the Spirit." Do we thirst after esteem? Human esteem is but a taper; the real sunlight of the soul is the smile of God's approbation. Is pre-eminence our aim? He is the Fountain of Honour. Do we long for sympathy? He is Love.

II. DOES GOD DEPEND ON MAN? Yes, as a field of display for the Divine perfections. .God longs to surround Himself with intelligent and joyous creatures to lavish on them the resources of His infinite goodness. Here we may catch a glimpse of the reason why evil was permitted. To be bounteous to creatures retaining their integrity is a very inadequate effect of God's goodness. Mercy could never have poured itself forth, had there not been vessels of mercy to receive it. And vessels of mercy could never have existed had there been no transgression. We may therefore recognize between God and man a natural reciprocity. He is the only Being who can satisfy the deep wants of the soul. And from His intrinsic goodness He longs to satisfy them.

(Dean Goulburn.)


1. The smitten rock. Moses smote and Christ was smitten to save a perishing people.

2. The spring of life flowing therefrom.

3. Its inexhaustible fulness (John 4:14). The spring in the desert is now dry.

4. Its wonderful adaptability. Tropical suns cannot evaporate it, nor Polar breezes freeze it. It is adapted to every climate, and wise and foolish, rich and poor, must drink and cleanse themselves here.


1. The sinner thirsts. Life is a desert, provoking craving for satisfaction.

2. His consciousness of it. Desire for higher, purer experiences will awake in every rational soul. Then do what he will he cannot reason it away.

3. Its evidences. Man's endeavour to find rest somewhere; unnatural activity of mind and body; oft a desperate effort to drown the voice of God.

4. False waters.

(1)Wilful blindness.

(2)So-called innocent pleasures.

(3)Sinful indulgence — Marahs, or Dead Seas.

5. The thirst assuaged.

(1)By recognizing the terrible malady of sin.

(2)By confessing guilt.

(3)By coming to the fountain. The first draught allays the burning fever of the soul.


1. The disciple's thirst. Every draught creates a new longing. He thirsts for a sanctified life, for Christian work, for victory over sin, for conformity to Christ.

2. His need for the fountain. Only near the fountain can he live and grow.

3. Its reflecting power. Here he learns to know himself; what he ought to be and what he is.

4. Its purifying power.

5. The visits to that fountain the thermometer of the Christian's inner life.

(H. Dosker.)

I. THE TIME. The last and great day of the feast when Israel's joy, in appearance, was at the fullest, and when there seemed least need of any other joy.

II. THE PLACE. Jerusalem — the Temple. What need of anything else than what the Temple afforded: particularly through the teachings of this feast.

III. THE GIVER. The Son of God, and not merely a prophet, who knew what they needed, and what He had to give; Himself God's own gift. To Himself He, as ever, turns their eye. "Come unto Me." Feasts, altars, sacrifices, doctrines, ceremonies, were all vain.

IV. THE GIFT. Living water; the Holy Spirit; a gift sufficient to fill the soul of the emptiest, and to quench the thirst of the thirstiest, and then to overflow upon others. There are two gifts of God which stand alone in their priceless greatness — the gift of His Son and the gift of His Spirit.

V. THE PERSONS. Not heathen and irreligious, but religious Jews, engaged in Divine worship. Before it was to the Samaritan that He presented the living water. In Revelation 22. it is to Jew and Gentile alike. So also in Isaiah 55. But here the thirsty one is the Jew. His rites and feasts cannot quench his thirst, which calls for something more spiritual and Divine. So to those who frequent the sanctuary — who pray and praise outwardly — the Lord now speaks. External religiousness may help to pacify conscience, but it does not confer happiness. Only Christ can do that.

VI. THE LOVE. It is all love from first to last. In love Christ presents the full vessel of living water, and presses to their parched lips.

(H. Bonar, D. D.)

1. These are bold words, and they would be as false as bold if He who speaks them were no more than man. Shall a mere man presume to invite, not a small number for knowledge and sympathy — that we might understand — but the whole race for the satisfaction of their most vehement and spiritual ideas. The presumption would be as blasphemous as absurd. But He who thus speaks has a right to speak, and is conscious of it.

2. All human desire and need is expressed in the one word "thirst." Consider the different kinds of thirst, and see how coming to Christ will satisfy them.

I. The lowest and commonest of all, the thirst for HAPPINESS.

1. A man may come with a desire which is not gracious, but simply natural, since every creature desires to be happy, and which is universal, since no man is perfectly satisfied, and drink the cooling waters of the gospel. Those who limit the invitation to the graciously thirsty undo the grace they seek to magnify, and take all the freeness from the gospel. The words "any man" shatter such a fancy in pieces. Let him come with the feeling he has. It may be inward disturbance, brooding fear, gnawing heart pain, weariness of disappointment, inner longing — whatever it be he is welcome.

2. If he does not see how Christ can be of any service let him trust Him as he would a man who has the credit of being trustworthy, so far as to try His specific. Two men once followed Jesus because they heard another speak well of Him. They did not know very well what they wanted, so they asked Him about His home. He gave an answer He is giving to all the thirsty, "Come and see." They went, and never left Him more.

3. But coming so, a man soon begins to be conscious of higher desires.

II. Thirst for RIGHTEOUSNESS. If the desire for happiness is to be fruitful it will and must take this form.

1. A moral creature can never be happy without rectitude. If a man has the feeling "let me be happy, but let me enjoy the pleasures of sin," he either does not come or coming does not drink. The thirst therefore continues, and becomes a pain.

2. But to come to the righteous one is to see righteousness and to become conscious of unrighteousness.

3. Can I be right, and How? How can these stains be cleansed? Christ alone can answer these questions, and satisfy this great desire. His blood cleanses. His righteousness avails. It is to be in them as a principle as well as on them as a garment.

III. The thirst for LOVE — the love that shall love us, and the love that shall go out to those who love us. When this desire is fully aroused it will not rest until it finds Jesus Christ. It is but a little way when you can say, "He or she loves me," "I am loved of husband, wife, parents, friends." This will never satisfy an immortal nature. Take the earthly love that is good and pure. It is the gift of God. Rut that you may have that faculty fully developed take first the love that passest knowledge.

IV. There is a thirst profounder and vaster which Christ alone can satisfy — the thirst for LIFE. The others may be traced back to this. It is the deep organic desire which has been implanted by its Author for its perpetuation. Every man has it. The shrinking from annihilation is instinctive. Out towards the realm of life it stretches imploring hands. But where? Reason cannot demonstrate its existence; imagination cannot find it in her loftiest flight. Philosophy says, "You give me no data, and I can give you no conclusion." Ah, yes! no data; for the departed never return. And yet we thirst for them; and, if we are Christians, we are sure we shall see them again. But how? By His word who is the Life, and drinking of Him we live indeed. "Any man." That is you.

(A. Raleigh, D. D.)

I. MAN AS A THIRSTY CREATURE. Every man thirsts.

1. Constitutionally. Not as accidentally excited, but as made by God to thirst. It is in our nature to thirst.(1) For life. In deep sorrow we may cry, "O that Thou wouldst hide me in the grave!" In unrest we may say, "I would not live alway." With heaven opened, we may desire to depart and be with Christ. But Satan spake truly, "All that a man hath will he give for his life."(2) For pleasure; according to our idea of felicity and our capacity for bliss. Man is not naturally a lover of misery.(3) For activity. Men are net naturally lazy.(4) For society. The results of the solitary system in our prisons show that the desire for association is constitutional.(5) For knowledge. The subjects upon which we seek information vary; but all men desire to know.(6) For power, from the moment in which we seize and shake the rattle to the hour in which we dispose of our property.(7) For the esteem and love of others.(8) For the possession of objects of beauty.(9) For God. That this thirst is natural is proved by the fact that religion of some kind is universal. There is not a nation of Atheists.

2. There are derived thirsts, dependent upon the particular condition of the individual, and grafted on the natural thirst. Thus a desire for wealth may arise from a thirst for enjoyment, or power, or honour, or social connections. A thirst for freedom may arise from desire for activity, and for religious unity by desire for religious enjoyment. Any natural thirst creates others.

3. The natural, and many of the artificial, thirsts would have existed had man kept his first estate; but the entrance of sin has produced depraved thirsts. Sin itself is a morbid thirst, and actual sin is the offspring of such thirst (James 1:14, 15). Covetousness, envy, etc., are depraved thirsts.

4. The return of man to God and his salvation by Christ involve new thirsts. There is the thirst —(1) Of the quickened spirit for particular religious knowledge.(2) Of the penitent for pardon.(3) Of the new born for righteousness.(4) Of the child of God for being filled with all the fulness of God.

5. There are a few facts connected with these thirsts that we may not overlook.(1) Those thirsts which are natural cannot be evil in themselves; and those which, being artificial, are lawful expansions of the natural are equally good.(2) The influence of our thirsts is most extensive and important. In some cases our thirst is a ruling passion; but in all cases they govern thought, prompt the imagination, affect the judgment, awaken or quiet the emotions, guide the will, lead to action, and form our characters.(3) Most potent, therefore, are they. A man is raised or cast down, destroyed or built up by his thirsts.(4) When a man is sick, he needs not medicine irrespective of its nature, but the specific for his particular disease. Poisoned food is more dangerous than continued hunger. He is blessed, not whose thirsts are for the moment slaked, but whose thirsts are slaked at Divine fountains.

II. JESUS CHRIST AS THE FOUNTAIN OF SUPPLY. Take the invitation in connection —

1. With our lawful natural thirsts. We thirst —(1) For continued life, and Jesus says, "Come unto Me and drink" (1 Corinthians 15:21-22; John 11:25, 26).(2) For activity, and Jesus says, "Come," etc. (John 14:12).(3) For enjoyment, and Christ gives joy in every gift, and promises it in every promise, and makes every duty its instrument (Matthew 5:1-8; John 16:24; 1 Peter 1:8).(4) For power, and Jesus makes His disciples the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and kings and priests unto God.(5) For society, and Christ satisfies it (Hebrews 12:22, 231.(6) For the love of others, and Christ directs streams of kindness to every one who comes to Him by means of His new commandment (John 13:34, 35).(7) For knowledge, and Jesus is Himself the Truth, in the knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life (John 17:3).(8) For God, and He manifests God's name to us, and shows us the Father.

2. If we here speak of depraved tastes, it must be to say that they who thirst morbidly cannot come to Christ and drink; but they may come to Him and be cured of their evil craving. As the thirst of a fever may be removed by a physician, so sinful thirsts may be removed by our Saviour.

3. The thirsts of the returning prodigal and repentant sinner are specially recognized in these words (Psalm 51:1, 8, 9; Luke 18:18; Mark 2:5; Mark 5:34; John 8:11).

4. All the thirsts of the God-born spirit are here recognized.Conclusion: From these words —

1. We might preach humanity, and show what is in man. We might exhibit him as a dependent, receptive, desiring being; that he is not like his Maker, self-sufficient.

2. But we will rather preach Christ. Here we see —(1) The know. ledge which He had of human nature. He knew the thirsts of the multitude in whose midst He spake.(2) His recognition of all that pertains to man. His words and works meet most entirely all human needs. They are not like flowers given to the starving,.or gauze raiment to the naked in winter; but like bread to the hungry and clothes to the beggar.(3) But what must be the resources of one who is justified in speaking thus? Can any individual be a fountain of supply to every man? There is One continually named by the sacred writers who is a Sun, Fire, Door, Rock, Bread, Fountain. To Him, who can be represented by these figures, any man may surely come and drink. No creature imparts all, or even many, kinds of good; but God is the spring of all that is beneficial, and Christ is the manifested God. To how few of our thirsty fellows can any of us say, "Come to me and drink"? But Jesus says that, and standing in the centre of all time, as in the midst of all men. Did we need proof of the Deity of Jesus Christ we have it here.(4) But what shall we say of His love? "Any man." The man may be Atheist or idolater, broken-hearted because all his cisterns are broken, be conscious that he deserves only to die with thirst; yet Jesus means him.(5) But the thirsty have to come. The sole condition is coming, and the only limit to the ministrations of the Saviour is our receptivity.

(S. Martin.)

1. An artist once painted a famous picture for an altar-piece, and called it the Fountain of Life. It represents the Sacrificed Redeemer stretched in His mother's arms. From the rock beneath their feet flow the abundant waters of salvation, which are received into a great cistern. Saints, martyrs, apostles, evangelists, are drinking of the water, or filling their vases and handing them to each other. From the cistern flows a stream into a lower place, where a family of poor, humble people are drinking with grateful looks. Then the stream flows away among meadows, where the little children can reach it, and they are taking up the precious water in their tiny hands, and drinking it with smiling lips. We can all see the meaning of that picture, which tells us that the salvation of Jesus is for all who will accept it, high and low, young and old, rich and poor.

(H. J. W. Buxton.)

Not like a shallow brook, that runs in winter and is dry in summer; but a fountain that the frost never binds, and that the hot, thirsty day never drinks dry, that is ever full and ever flowing. In the regions of the burning desert they tell me that skeletons lie thick, not only in the paths to the fountains, but lie ghastly white and withering, with the naked skulls looking over the banks into the very waters. With the tongue cleaving to the roof of the mouth, they press on, guided by the green pasture that lifts its head above the sand, and shows where the fountain is. They drank the water in anticipation, but will they reach it? Alas! with what horror in their eyes they gaze on the empty bed, and fight with man and beast for some muddy drops that but exasperate their thirst! The desert whirls around them; they stagger, they fall; hope expires, and they expire themselves; and by and by the sky drops, lightnings flash, thunders peal, and rain pours down, and the water rises in that fountain, and plays in mockery with the tresses of dead beauty, and kisses the faces of the dead. Such things happen. But see you yen cross standing up yonder? It marks a fountain where never man went in vain. No dead souls lie around that cross. Calvary was once a Golgotha — a "place of skulls." It is so no longer. Where men once went to die, men now go to live; and a man never went for mercy there, and for grace to help, and found none. There is now in America a great revival; there was in my own country a great revival. God send us all such revivals I In every church and every country there are times and seasons of revival, when the peace of believers is like a river in glorious flood, rolling beneath bank and ridge; like the sea in a storm, when it sends its waters beyond its common bounds, and overflows the boats that lie highest and driest on the beach. But at all times and in all seasons, I say, that if you will search you will find fulness of mercy to pardon and "grace to help in time of need." The supply, in fact, is inexhaustible. I know mountains have been exhausted of their gold, mines of their diamonds, and the depths of ocean of their pearly gems; but the riches of mercy and of grace in Christ are inexhaustible. They are no less to you than to those who went before you, and there will be no less for those who come after you; and when unborn millions have come, and the world's last man, with a dying sun above him add a reeling earth beneath him, comes up to that blessed Fountain, oh! he will find it as full as it is this day, in its fulness inviting you to wash and be clean, to drink and live, to believe and be forgiven.

(T. Guthrie, D. D.)

I. THE WORK OF THE SPIRIT IS INTIMATELY CONNECTED WITH THE WORK OF CHRIST. It is a great pity when persons preach the Holy Spirit's work so as to obscure the work of Christ — e.g., by holding up before the sinner's eye the inward experience of believers, instead of lifting up the crucified Saviour, to whom we must look and live. It is an equal pity when Christ is so preached that the Holy Spirit is ignored, as if faith in Christ prevented the necessity of the new birth. The two works are so joined together that —

1. The Holy Spirit was not given until Jesus was glorified. The original has it simply "was not." Of course this does not mean that He was non-existent, for He is eternal; but that He was not in fellowship with man to the full extent He now is, and could not be till the redeeming work of Christ was finished. You read of the prophets, etc., that the Spirit of the Lord came upon them and moved them, but He did not dwell in them. His operations were a coming and a going. They knew not the "communion of the Holy Ghost." But since Christ's glorification, the Spirit is in His people, and abides with them for ever.

2. The Holy Spirit was given after the ascension of Christ unto His glory, to make that ascension more renowned. "When He ascended on high... He gave gifts to men." Those gifts were men in whom the Spirit dwelt, and who preached the gospel to the nations. The shedding of the Spirit on the Day of Pentecost was the glorification of the risen Christ upon earth. What grander celebration could there have been?

3. The Holy Spirit was given as an evidence of our Divine Master's acceptance, the gift being a consequence of Christ's finished work.

4. It is the Spirit's work to bear witness of Jesus. "He shall take of Mine." Hence He comes to convince of sin, to reveal the sacrifice for sin; of righteousness, that we may see the righteousness of Christ; of judgment, that we may be prepared to meet the Judge. He has not come, and never will, to teach a new Gospel.

5. It is by the gospel of Jesus that the Spirit works in the hearts of men. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God."

6. The Spirit's work is to conform us to the likeness of Christ, not to this or that human ideal.

7. Evermore it is for the glory of Jesus that the Spirit works — not for the glory of a church, or a sect, or a man "He shall glorify Me."


1. Inward. The rivers are to flow out of the midst of a man, from his heart and soul, not from his mouth; the promised power is not oratory, talent, show.

2. Life-giving "living water." When the man speaks, prays, acts, there shall be going out of him emanations which are full of the life of grace and godliness.

3. Plentiful Not a river, but "rivers."

4. Spontaneous. "Shall flow." No pumping is required — the man does not want exciting and stirring up. Does the sun make a noise that men may be aware of his rising? No, he shines and says nothing about it. So does the Christian.

5. Perpetual: not like intermittent springs.


1. By believing in Jesus. It is faith which gives us the first drink and causes us to live, and the more abundant blessing of being ourselves made fountains come in the same way. With Christ is the residue of the Spirit.

2. By prayer. "If ye being evil," etc.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I have heard of William Gadsby, that, travelling on a coach one day, he asked two heretical divines to tell him how a sinner is justified in the sight of God. "No," said they, "you don't catch us is that fashion. Whatever answer we gave you would be repeated all over Manchester within a week." "Oh," he says, "then I will tell you. A sinner is justified in the sight of God by faith in the blood and righteousness of Christ. Go and tell that all over Manchester and all over England as quickly as you like; for I believe nothing that I am ashamed of."

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Sunday School Chronicle.
One summer day, a few years ago, strolling for rest and pleasure near the mouth of the Columbia river, where there is a large rise and fall of the tide, I came, at low tide, upon a splendid spring of pure, fresh water, clear as crystal, gushing up from between the rocks that two hours before had formed a part of the river's bed. Twice a day the soiled tides rise above that beautiful fountain and cover it over; but there it is, deep down under the salt tide, and when the tide has spent its force and gone back again to the ocean's depths, it sends out its pure waters fresh and clear as before. So if the human heart be really a fountain of love to Christ it will send out its streams of fresh, sweet waters, even into the midst of the salt tides of politics or business. And the man who carries such a fountain into the day's worry and struggle, will come again at night, when the world's tide has spent its force, with clean hands, sweet spirit and conscience void of offence towards God and man.

(Sunday School Chronicle.)

The Christian has a fens perennis within him. He is satisfied from himself. The men of the world borrow all their joy from without. Joy wholly from without is false, precarious, and short. Like gathered flowers, though fair and sweet for a season, it must soon wither and become offensive. Joy from within is like smelling the moss on the tree, it is more sweet and fair, and I must add that it is immortal.

(H. G. Salter.)As the Scripture hath said. — The reference is not to any one isolated passage, but to the general tenor of such passages as Isaiah 58:11; Zechariah 14:18, taken in connection with the original image (Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11).

(Bp. Westcott.)

Out of His belly shall flow rivers of living water.
Why has He called the grace of the Spirit by the name of water? Because by water all things subsist; because of water are herbs and animals created; because the water of the showers comes down from heaven; because it comes down one in form, yet manifold in its working. For one fountain watered the whole of the garden (Genesis 2:10), and one and the same rain comes down upon all the world; yet it becomes white in the lily, and red in the rose, and purple in the violets and pansies, and different and varied in each several kind; so it is one in the palm tree, and another in the vine, and all in all things; being the while one in nature, not diverse from itself; for the rain does not change, when it comes down, first as one thing, then as another, but adapting itself to the nature of each thing, which receives it, it becomes to each what is suitable. Thus also the Holy Ghost being One, and of one Nature, and undivided, divides to each His grace "according as He will," and in the name of Christ works many excellencies. For He employs the tongue of one man for wisdom; the soul of another He enlightens by prophecy; to another He gives power to drive away devils; to another He gives power to interpret the Divine Scriptures. He invigorates one man's self-command; He teaches another the way to give alms; another He teaches to fast and exercise himself; another He teaches to despise the things of the body; another He trains for martyrdom: diverse in different men, yet not diverse from Himself (John 4:14; John 5:4; 1 Corinthians 12:11).

( S. Cyril.)

Rivers, not river, to show the copious and overflowing power of grace; and living water, i.e., always moving; for when the grace of the Spirit has entered into and settled in the mind, it flows freer than any fountain, and neither fails, nor empties, nor stagnates. The wisdom of Stephen, the tongue of Peter, the strength of Paul, are evidences of this. Nothing hindered them; but like impetuous torrents they went on, carrying everything along with them.

( Chrysostom.)

There is one Spirit, but divers operations; one fountain, many rivers. Moses mighty" in miracle, Isaiah glorious in prophecy, apostles convincing in eloquence, Paul powerful in reasoning. A Howard for benevolence, a Luther for reformation, a Calvin for theology, a Huss and a for martyrs. No place having one believer is without a living well.

(W. H. Van Doren, D. D.)

The Holy Ghost was not yet given. — The addition of the word "given" expresses the true form of the original, in which "Spirit" is without the article. When the term occurs in this form, it marks an operation or manifestation, no gift of the Spirit, and not the personal Spirit (comp. John 1:33; John 20:22; Matthew 1:18, 20; Matthew 3:11; Matthew 12:28; Luke 1:15, 35, 41, 67; Luke 2:25; Luke 4:1).

(Bp. Westcott.)Because that Jesus was not yet glorified (comp. John 16:7; John 20:17). The necessary limitations of Christ's historical presence with the disciples excluded that realization of His abiding presence which followed on the Resurrection. It is impossible not to contrast the righteousness of this utterance with the clear teaching of St. John himself on the "unction" of believers (1 John 2:20, etc.), which forms a commentary gained by later experience upon the words of our Lord.

(Bp. Westcott.)

t: — The Holy Ghost was not yet with men in such fulness of influence on their minds, hearts, and understandings, as the Spirit of adoption and revelation, as He was after our Lord ascended up into heaven. It is as clear as daylight, from our Lord's language about the Spirit, in John 14:16, 17, 26; John 15:26; John 16:7-15, that believers were meant to receive a far more full and complete outpouring of the Holy Spirit after His ascension than they had received before. It is a simple matter of fact, indeed, that after the Ascension the apostles were quite different men from what they had been before. They both saw, and spoke, and acted like men grown up, while before the Ascension they had been like children. It was this increased light and knowledge and decision that made them such a blessing to the world, far more than any miraculous gifts. The possession of the gifts of the Spirit, it is evident, in the early Church was quite compatible with an ungodly heart. A man might speak with tongues and yet be like salt that had lost its savour. The possession of the fulness of the graces of the Spirit, on the contrary, was that which made any man a blessing to the world.

(Bp. Ryle.)

This is the first distinct reference to the glorification of our Lord. The conception is characteristic of this Gospel (comp. John 1:14; John 2:11), and includes in one complex whole the Passion with the triumph which followed. Thus St. John regards Christ's death as a victory (John 12:32), following the words of our Lord, who identified the hour of His death with the hour of His glorification (John 12:23, etc.). In accordance with the same thought, Christ spoke of Himself as already "glorified" when Judas had gone forth to his work (John 13:31); and so He had already received His glory by the faith of His disciples before He suffered (John 17:10). In another aspect His glory followed after His withdrawal from earth (John 17:5; John 16:14).:By the use of this phrase the Evangelist brings out clearly the absolute Divine unity of the work of Christ in His whole "manifestation" (1 John 3:5, 8; 1 John 1:2), which he does not (as St. Paul) regard as distinct stages of humiliation and exaltation.

(Bp. Westcott.)

The sea enters into the rivers before the rivers can enter into the sea. In like manner God comes to us before we can go to Him, and heaven enters into our souls before we can enter into heaven.


Grace in the saints is not like light in the sun, that springs from itself, but like the light of a lamp that is constantly fed with supplies of oil, otherwise the weak light will faint and die.

(H. G. Salter.)

Many of the people, therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet

1. Foretold (Deuteronomy 18:15; John 1:45).

2. Typified (Deuteronomy 18:18; Acts 3:22).

3. Anointed (Isaiah 61:1; Luke 4:17-21).

4. Competent (Matthew 11:17; John 3:2, 34).

5. Faithful (John 8:26, 28; John 12:49, 50).

6. Wise (Luke 2:40, 47, 52; Colossians 2:3).

7. Mighty (Matthew 13:54; Luke 4:82).

8. Meek (Matthew 11.; 29 12:17-20).

9. Sympathetic (Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15).


1. Rejected by His own people (John 1:11).

2. Rejected at His own home (Luke 4:28-30).

3. Rejected before Pilate (John 18:39, 40).

4. Followed by multitudes (Matthew 5:1; John 6:2).

5. Believed by many (John 4:41, 42; John 17:8).

6. Trusted by some (Acts 7:59; 2 Timothy 1:12).

7. Commended by some (John 1:26, 27, 45).

8. All should hear (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18; Hebrews 2:2, 3).

9. All should trust Him (Psalm 37:5; 1 Peter 5:7).


1. On sinfulness (John 3:18, 19; John 15:22).

2. On salvation (John 3:16; John 5:24).

3. On judgment (Matthew 25:31, 32).

4. On reward (John 6:47; Matthew 25:34).

5. On penalty (Matthew 25:41, 46).

6. On heaven (John 14:2, 3; Matthew 22:30).

7. On victory (Luke 12:32; Matthew 10:22). This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him (Matthew 17:5).

(Sunday School Times.)

Even when Jesus preached so sweetly His meek and loving doctrine there was a division among the people (ver. 43). Even about Himself there was a schism. We may not, therefore, hope to please everybody, however true our teaching or peaceful our spirit.

I. THERE WAS A DIVISION AMONG THE NEW DISCIPLES. We may view the parties formed in His day as symbolical of those in our own.

1. Some admitted none of His claims.

2. Others admitted a portion, but denied the rest.

3. Certain admitted His claims, but neglected to follow out the legitimate consequences of them.

4. A few became sincere hearers, going as far with Him as they had yet learned of Him. Let us view persons who have thoughts about Jesus with considerable hope. Though they blunder now, they may yet come right. Let us not frighten away the birds with imprudent haste. Let us pray for those who deny His claims, and resist His kingdom. Let us aid those who come a little way towards the truth, and are willing to go all the way if they can but find it. Let us arouse those who neglect holy subjects altogether,

II. THERE WAS A DIVISION OF BELIEVERS FROM NON-BELIEVERS. This is a great and wide difference, and the more clearly the division is seen the better; for God views it as very deep and all-im- portant. There is a great division at this present hour —

1. In opinion; especially as to the Lord Jesus.

2. In trust; many rely on self; only the godly on Jesus.

3. In love. Differing pleasures and aims prove that hearts go after different objects.

4. In obedience, character, and language.

5. In development, growth, tendency.

6. In destiny. The directions of the lines of life point at different places as the end of the journey. This cleavage divides the dearest friends and relatives. This is the most real and deep difference in the world.

III. YET WHEN FAITH COMES, UNITY IS PRODUCED. There is unity among the people because of Him.

1. Nationalities are blended. Calvary heals Babel.

(1)Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ.

(2)The near and the far-off as to spiritual things are brought nigh in Him, who is the one and only centre of grace and truth.

(3)Believers of all nationalities become one Church.

2. Personal peculiarities cease to divide.

(1)Workers for Christ are sure to be blended in one body by their common difficulties.

(2)Position, rank, and wealth give way before the uniting influence of grace.

3. Mental specialities feel the touch of unity. Saints —

(1)of varying creeds have an essential union in Christ;

(2)of all the changing ages are alike in Him;

(3)of all styles of education are one in Him;

(4)in heaven will be many as the waves, but one as the sea.Ambitions, which else would disintegrate, are overcome, and laid at Jesus' feet. Let us divide, if there be a division. Let us closely unite, if there be real union in Christ.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Here we see our words literally fulfilled. He did not bring "peace, but division" (Luke 12:51). It will always be so as long as the world stands. So long as human nature is corrupt Christ will be a cause of division and difference among men. To some He is a savour of life, and to others of death. Grace and nature never will agree any more than oil and water, acid and alkali. A state of entire quiet, and the absence of any religious division, is often no good sign of the condition of a Church or a parish. It may even be a symptom of spiritual disease and death. The question may possibly be needful in such cases, "Is Christ there?"

(Bp. Ryle.)

We often speak of the great changes and revolutions which have occurred in the world. But through the long series there may be traced much that is permanent, so that probably uniformity is as truly the characteristic of human history as variety. It may, e.g., be always ascertained that the same principles have pervaded God's moral government. It may also be perceived that the elements of human character have throughout been the same. Our text, relating as it does opinions of the Jews regarding our Lord, will give us opportunities of observing this sameness in particular cases. We may be compelled to say that men are what they were eighteen hundred years back, on discovering that modern indifference and unbelief borrows from ancient its form and apology.


1. The cause of this conviction was not any action of Christ's, but a "saying" of His. Then surely the saying must have been one of extraordinary power, some assertion of Divinity, or some verification in Himself of ancient prophecy too complete and striking to be resisted. No; the wonder-working saying was that of ver. 37, which the Evangelist thought so obscure as to require an explanation. Yet simple as it seems to us and dark as it seemed to St. John, it succeeded at once in wringing the confession that He was a Divinely-sent Teacher.

2. The saying is one of those gracious invitations into which are gathered the whole gospel. It demands a sense of want, a feeling of thirst, but proffers an abundant supply, and by adding a reference to Scripture, which could only be interpreted of some measure of supernatural influence, our Lord intimated that His promise was a spiritual gift, satisfying desires after God and immortality.. Here is the moral thirst which is not to be slaked at the springs of human science and theology. And as there must have been many in the crowd dissatisfied with the traditions of the elders, and feeling a need of higher teaching, the promise would come home as meeting their wants, and the suitableness of the offer would pass as an argument for Christ's Divine mission.

3. There is no difference here between past days and our own, for the argument is but that based on the self-evidencing power of the Bible. A religion may commend itself either by prodigies wrought in its support, or by the nicety, with which it fits in to the mental and moral constitution, to the wants and cravings of a soul which sought in vain everywhere else for supply. And this latter is the standing witness for the Bible. The sinner, conscious of exposure to the wrath of God, and of inability to ward off destruction, will find in Christ the Saviour he needs, and in the aid of the Spirit the help he wants, so that there will seem to him no room for doubt as to the truth of the gospel.

II. Mix again with the crowd and hearken to SOME OTHER OPINIONS.

1. Those who are inclined to conclude that Jesus is the long promised Christ, find themselves met with objections, formidable because professedly grounded on Scripture (ver. 42). There is no attempt to depreciate Christ's teaching, but there was a fatal argument deduced from prophecy which has expressly fixed the birthplace and lineage of Christ. But this is one of the most surprising instances of ignorance or inattention, if we may go no further. It is hardly possible to imagine a fact more readily ascertainable than that our Lord was born at Bethlehem, and was of the lineage of David; for the massacre of the innocents had made His birth so conspicuous, and now there was no one left but our Lord who could prove Himself to have been born at Bethlehem on the expiration of Daniel's week of years. Therefore either He was the Messiah, or prophecy had failed. Yet so great was the popular indifference or prejudice, that a statement seems to have gone uncontradicted that the pretended Messiah was a Galilean. He passed as "Jesus of Nazareth," and this was proof that He was not born in Bethlehem; and men were so glad of some specious excuse for rejecting Him, that they made this shallow falsehood a pretext for rejecting Him. It looked very fine to have Scripture on their side; the devil used the Bible in tempting Christ, and they could now use it in justifying their unbelief. The "Sword of the Spirit," like every other, may be used for suicide as well as for war.

2. The like of this is of frequent occurrence amongst ourselves. What is that scepticism which is often met with among the boastful and young? Is it the result of careful investigation? No. The fashionable young man, the orator at some juvenile literary club, gets hold of some objection against Christianity which has a specious sound and formidable look — all the better if it come out of the Bible, in the shape of an alleged contradiction and this is enough; he has his "Shall Christ come out of Galilee?" and with so decisive an argument, why should he trouble to search further? This is our quarrel with him. He wishes to continue deceived. The sceptic, like the Jew, has only to look around him and he would find that Jesus did not come out of Galilee, but out of Bethlehem. God suffered infants to be slain that Jewish unbelief might be inexcusable, and He has raised up giants in His Church whose writings render modern unbelief the same.

(H. Melvill, B. D.)

His mode of speaking is like that of a prince, who, having been educated in a splendid court, could speak with ease of many magnificent things, at the sudden view of which a peasant would be swallowed up in astonishment, and would find himself greatly embarrassed in an attempt to explain them to his equals at home.

(P. Doddridge, D. D.)

Then came the officers
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).


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.)

I. GENERALLY SERVES TO ELICIT THE MOST IMPORTANT TESTIMONY IN ITS BEHALF. The officers could have no possible interest in Christ, but were, if anything, prejudiced against Him. Hence their testimony was disinterested. It was —

1. To the justice of His claims as a Divine messenger. Unless aided by Divine influence, there was the difficulty the Jews themselves started (ver. 15).

2. To the earnest persuasiveness of His manner. He spoke the truth, but in love. He concealed nothing to soften prejudice, but clothed warnings, etc., so as to win conviction (ver. 46).

3. To the force of His reasoning on conscience. What but this could have induced the officers to risk disapproval?

II. GENERALLY IGNORES MAN'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS BELIEF (ver. 48). We are told that we are not competent to judge for ourselves, and therefore should believe what our superiors bid. Some submit from indolence; others for the sake of a good appearance, "willing to be damned for fashion's sake, and to go to hell out of compliment to the scribes and Pharisees"; others from policy. How is it that so many of the great ones are arrayed against the truth? Because —

1. It is independent of their patronage.

2. It is indifferent to their prejudices.

3. It promises no worldly rewards. Hold to your personal responsibility.

III. Is ESPECIALLY CAREFUL TO CONSERVE ADVENTITIOUS DISTINCTION (vers. 48, 49). Truth is levelling in its influence. It debases the great and exalts the humble. It destroys caste. Error, on the other hand, preserves it, for it is essential to its continuance.

IV. FREQUENTLY CALLS OUT THE SYMPATHIES OF ITS SECRET DISCIPLES (ver. 50). If we resolve never to do less for Christ than Nicodemus did, we shall be of service. Whatever we are not able to do, we can prevent a vote of censure on Christ unanimously.

V. IS GENERALLY MARKED BY RIDICULE INSTEAD OF ARGUMENT (ver. 52). This method is often successful, or it would not be employed. Truth revolts from levity.

VI. IS GENERALLY CONDUCTED IN VIOLATION OF EVEN ITS SELF-CONSTITUTED STANDARDS. These men, who professed to go by the law and sneered at the people as ignorant of it, were themselves convicted of violating it (Deuteronomy 19:15-18).

VII. WILL FINALLY BE SILENCED AND OVERCOME. The assembly, unable to answer Nicodemus, broke up with every mark of haste and confusion.

(J. W. L. M.)

The officers answered, Never man spake like this man
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.)

Plutarch mentions it as a memorable proof of the extraordinary eloquence of Mark Antony, that, when soldiers were sent to kill him, he pleaded for his life in such affecting language that he totally disarmed them of their resolution, and melted them into tears. But these officers are vanquished, not by the forcible arguments of a man pleading for his life, but by hearing one of the ordinary discourses of our Lord, not particularly directed to them, but to the people at large.

(G. Burder.)In the troublous times that closed the great Republic, amongst the men that arose and made themselves masters of the world there was hardly a greater than Caius Marius. The conqueror of Jugurtha, the conqueror of the Cimbri, he was looked upon as the shield and sword of Rome. Six times he sought and six times he obtained the consulship, and bid fair to die as he had lived, the ruthless lord of the eternal city. But God decreed otherwise. A rival appeared upon the scene, and after chequered fortunes Marius had to fly. In the romance of his wanderings we read that he was once put on shore unattended and unarmed. He was seized and flung into prison, and an edict came from Rome that he must die. A Gaulish slave was sent to the dungeon to do the deed. Marius, sitting in a gloomy corner of the prison, with his bloodshot eyes glared on the man, and with his terrible voice demanded, "Canst thou kill Caius Marius?" And the slave, fearing the prisoner more than the gaoler or the judge, flung down his sword and fled away, crying, "I cannot kill Caius Marius." Put side by side with this story of a sanguinary life the incident of the life the most submissive and self-denying the world has ever seen, and the very likeness of the latter will make the unlikeness of the spirit greater. In both murder was meant. In both the presence and words of the intended victim postponed the murder. In both the assailants turned craven. But the shield that turned the edge of their sword in the one case was terrific rage, in the other placid mercy.

(J. B. Figgis, M. A.)

1. Jesus was a popular preacher. The synagogue was full when He spoke, and men went out in crowds into the fields to listen to Him.

2. He was a powerful preacher. Extraordinary changes of character were wrought by His sermons. The tax-gatherer left his money.changing and the fisherman his boats to follow Him. All classes were affected by it, from the most cultured and religious to the most abandoned.

3. Whatever theory men may have respecting His person, there can be no doubt that the world has been revolutionized by His teaching. What, then, were the elements of His power?(1) He spoke to the common in their vernacular, using illustrations from common life, but He never descended from the high place of a noble instructor. The demagogue flatters the prejudices and appeals to the passions of his audience, but Jesus never did this.(2) He used no arts of elocution. Men did not flock to Him as they flock to an actor. He told them stories, hut they were simple stories, and not dramatically, for He taught sitting.(3) Nor did He use the arts of rhetoric. He employed no ornament for the sake of ornament. You find nothing that could be called out and recited.(4) There are no literary classics in His sermons. His was not the power which comes from scholastic learning or position. Men have shrugged their shoulders at lay preaching, but Christ was a lay preacher who had never graduated and become a Rabbi. His style was simple and transparent. Sometimes the waters are so deep that one cannot see the bottom, but they are never muddy.

4. We must look elsewhere for the sources of the eloquence of Jesus. If we look over the history of oratory, we find that three elements enter into it:

I. A GREAT OCCASION. All the great master-pieces were the offspring of great occasions — the orations of Demosthenes, when Greece was battling for its liberty; of Cicero, when the free institutions of Rome were threatened; of Chatham, at the time of the American revolution, Jesus had a great occasion, The world had reached its lowest ebb — politically, intellectually, socially, morally. Yet there was one little province which kept the light of hope burning, one little people who had an expectation of deliverance. A great need and a hope — these formed the occasion of Jesus.

II. A GREAT THEME. The greatest orators, on the greatest occasions, have broken down, because they have ranged themselves on the wrong side and failed to rise to the occasion with a great message. Not so Jesus. He proclaimed "The kingdom of God is at hand." This was a message of hope, and one which called men with a trumpet-call to battle. In this kingdom all could take part; it was one that was for all, and one that defied the gates of hell. This message is for all the centuries and for today. When the ship was on the sands at Malta the crew did not stop to study the rhetorical form of Paul's message. When the soldiers in the Shenandoah valley were in flight they did not stop to study the elocution of Sheridan when, waving sword in air, he bade them turn and follow him to victory. And when the world felt the darkness of night resting upon it, it was not the eloquence of drama; it was the eloquence of this great truth — the hope that there is in God and in immortality — that made Christ eloquent then and has made His words eloquent from that day to this.

III. For behind the words was A GREAT PERSONALITY — a personality so great that when He first rose in the synagogue of Nazareth all eyes were fastened upon Him; that when the mob gathered to stone Him as He passed they parted and let Him go; that when they rose to lead Him to the precipice He passed uninjured through them; that when these police came to arrest Him they went away saying, "Never man spake," etc. This we cannot analyze, and must therefore leave it.

(Lyman Abbott, D. D.)

as contrasted —


1. In the spirituality of His instructions. The Jewish teachers and their modern imitators are distinguished by their degrading conceptions of religion, morality, and worship. The Scriptures are made a cumbrous book of court etiquette; the heart is ignored; judgment and mercy pass for trifles as compared with ritual; and theology is turned into hair-splitting casuistry. But what a Teacher is this! With Him a broken heart is a sacrifice; a believing heart a sanctuary; love to God and man all duty.

2. In the dignity of His instructions. Rabbinical teaching, ancient and modern, is gravely puerile, and as you pass from it to Christ's you pass from a prison to a mountain top. Contrast with His their notions of(1) Jehovah — the national patron with the Universal Father.(2) The Messiah — the Jewish conqueror with the Saviour of the world.(3) The law overwhelmed with traditional burdens and superstitions, with the law as pointing to and fulfilled by Him.

II. THE POETS. Apart from Christ's influence, their teaching has no concrete reality nor anything to meet the deepest wants of the soul. Which of the non-Christian poets has sung anything calculated to make men holy, bring God near, secure pardon, lift the veil from the tomb, respond to any one of the queries of the human soul? But Christ says, "God is a spirit," etc. "There is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth." "In My Father's house are many mansions," etc. "Come unto Me all ye that labour," etc. Where in uninspired poetry shall we find lines like these? Christ was a true poet, but He gave truths adapted to meet the urgent necessities of the soul.


1. They can do no more than conjecture in regard to religious truth. But here we must have authority absolutely Divine. Socrates confessed this necessity but could not meet it. Christ confessed it and met it. "No man hath seen God at any time," etc. He did not reason, He affirmed.

2. They can only talk of abstractions, such as deity, laws of nature, etc., good words in their place, and so is "humanity," and if you should call your friend "humanity," you would deal with him as philosophers deal with God. But Christ teaches a personal God. Abstract teaching has its place, but to teach therapeutics to a man in a fever is as cruel as to mock at disease. Christ was a practical teacher, and told us not only what to believe, but what to do.


1. His claim, the loftiest ever made, was put forth under circumstances which fully attested its genuineness. It was open, in the presence of enemies, without human help. These and other tests would have detected imposture.

2. Imposters chiefly address the senses and the imagination, but Jesus' whole manner is that of one who would win man's intelligent confidence, and all He said was to give a basis to intelligent faith.

(E. N. Kirk, D. D.)

Long before the Messiah appeared it was foretold that He should sustain the office of preacher. "The spirit of the Lord God is upon Me." Consequently the Jews expected that He would appear in this character. "When Messias cometh He will teach us all things." This general expectation Christ did not disappoint. As soon as He appeared He drew the attention of admiring multitudes, but His addresses were too galling not to rouse the resentment of the enemies of truth. Hence the incident before us. But, how did Christ preach to make such impressions on those who had resolved to resist Him.

I. Christ was a PLAIN Preacher. His ideas lay clear in His own mind. He was master of every subject on which He preached. He knew the whole character and counsel of Gee, the frame and constitution of the human mind, the circumstances of all mankind. Upon these subjects He expressed Himself in a style which was not only intelligible but agreeable to persons of every capacity. Sensible that figurative language is the voice of nature, He made free use of images, not borrowed from the arts which are confined to the learned few, but from the air, light, water, etc., which were familiar to all. Hence "the common people heard Him gladly."

II. Christ was a SEARCHING Preacher. He knew the heart, and so was able to speak to the heart. This gave His preaching irresistible force, and men felt their whole souls to be naked before the all-seeing eye, and as they will feel at the day of judgment. Christ never drew a bow at a venture, but always sent His arrows home. Witness His dealings with the Pharisees, the rich young man, Martha, the woman taken in adultery, etc.

III. Christ was a SENTIMENTAL Preacher. His teaching was replete with interesting truths which not only enlighten the mind, but find the nearest passage to the heart. He urged, e.g., the necessity of disinterested love upon all His followers as the essence of true religion.

IV. Christ was a MOVING Preacher. He is the most moving Preacher, and possesses the power of persuasion in the highest degree, who is best able to convey His own views and. feelings to the minds of His hearers. This Christ was able to do, and was thus able to move the minds of His hearers with whatsoever passions He wished to excite. What could equal His language to hardened hypocrites, and what could be more melting than His invitations to penitents!

(N. Emmons, D. D.)

I. ITS OBJECT. There is a primary sense in which Christ taught as never man taught, viz., in that He was Himself its object. Others, even the greatest, convey the truth, but are not that truth. Jesus alone could say, "I am the Truth." The whole of Christianity is in Christ, neither He nor His disciples taught any other. The two terms of the religious problem are God and man. To know them is the whole of religious truth.

1. An apostle said, "Show us the Father." Christ responded, "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." All that we can know of God Christ has taught, or rather shown us. All His perfections and all His works.

2. In the same way all concerning man, his true nature and high destiny, we see in Him who is the perfect man.

3. Not only so, but He reveals the true relations of God and man. He is the Mediator between the two. On the one hand, by the fact of His mediation He manifests man's fall and his inability to save himself, and on the other, the love of the Father who gave His Son that whosoever believeth in Him, etc.

4. All that we can know of the work of salvation is bound up in the person of Christ. He is "made unto us wisdom and righteousness," etc.

5. Christian morality, through sanctification, is entirely referred to Him.

6. As to the future, all depends on Christ, who will raise the dead, judge the world, and bring His own to glory. Are we not justified in saying with Paul, "God forbid that I should glory," etc. Let us beware of withering this living teaching by our abstractions! Every doctrine, if separated from Christ, is smitten with barrenness.

II. The incomparable excellence of Christ's teaching results also from its PERFECT FORM. The perfection of human words is measured by the fidelity with which they manifest the human soul. A man may be very eloquent and yet his words be a brilliant lie, because not in harmony with his moral state. Perfectly sincere words are perfect words, and they are only so when it can be said: As are the words so is the life. If this be the case our text is justified, for never was man sincere like Christ. He lived His words and spoke His life. His life was the perfect life of love, and His words were the perfect language of Divine love.

1. The love of Christ rested on His humility, and never man spake like this Man in respect to humility. Compare His words with the despotic authority or pompous solemnity of the Jewish doctors. Their teaching was like their persons, clothed with long robes and phylacteries, and sitting in Moses' seat. Christ sat not on the benches of a Jewish school, had no official title, spake in the streets or by the sea side, and rendered homage to truth without exercising compulsion. And what could be more simple than His words. They were free from all solemn form. No doctor ever taught more in the style of a layman. He spoke as a friend to friends, without any rhetorical embellishment, and without aiming at effect. The simplicity of Christ's words is what constitutes their perfection, By resting on external authority He would have confessed that His doctrine needed foreign aid; by enveloping it in solemn forms He would have suggested a doubt of its intrinsic value. Christ knew that nothing is so beautiful or powerful as truth, and He wished that it should appear alone in His teaching.

2. Christ's love was especially characterized by mercy, which is love to the unfortunate and the poor, and the merciful character of Christ's teaching is evinced by its popularity. It was admirably suited to the wants of the simple and ignorant many. For Christ never admitted that distinction between the profane and the initiated which is always found in the religions and philosophy of antiquity, but rather gave special attention to the former. Not that He rejected the enlightened; but He knew that a doctrine which suits the poor is a truth for poor and rich, ignorant and learned alike. He could speak, then, to the people without fear of restricting His mission; and who has ever spoken to them like the Saviour? In bringing the truth to the feeblest reason Christ took nothing from the truth, nor subjected it to any alteration. It is very easy to gain the goodwill of men if we flatter their errors and their prejudices, but Christ never employed that accommodation which is treason against the cause of God. If then He rejected this we can only explain the popularity of His teaching by the form He gave to it. He ever found means to connect the truth with some feeling, idea, or fact in harmony with itself. And so He made constant appeals to conscience, conviction of sin, need of deliverance, sorrow and suffering. Nor was He content to rest on general dispositions, He knew what was wanted by each, and He addressed to each the precise teaching that was made for him. Recall the numerous persons who conversed with the Saviour. You will not find a word that is not the most affecting that could have been pronounced. Is He talking to fishermen? He says, "I will make you fishers of men." Is He addressing a doctor of the law? He makes constant allusion to his dignity. Is He speaking to a great multitude that He has just satisfied with food? He discourses of the bread of life. It was with the same design that Christ multiplied His admirable parables. None of His hearers, after listening to Him, could look on the external world without reading His doctrines there afresh, something to raise the thoughts to God. Never man spake like this man because never man loved our poor humanity like Christ.

3. The teaching of Christ was full of love also in that it was essentially creative and fertilizing to the mind of His hearers. A teacher not impelled by love does not tolerate spontaneity of thought in his disciples; but Jesus' method was to give men a glimpse of the precious mine of truth that they might dig and search for themselves. He did not hurry anything, wishing to prepare the new bottles for the new wine, and pour it into them drop by drop. With what gentleness did He endure their slowness of understanding and weakness of faith.

4. The words of Christ were the expression of perfect love, because never was there addressed to man language so consoling as His.

(E. De Pressense, D. D.)

No one can read His discourses without seeing that He differs generically from all other teachers. He is an order by Himself (John 3:11-13).

I. Compare Him with SOCRATES, whom we know well, and have a full record of his teaching and methods. Like our Lord his one aim was moral improvement. His end in discovering truth was conduct. To know, with him, was but the way to live. But when we come to his method it contrasts sharply to that of Jesus. For he affirmed nothing, professed himself ignorant, but thought that by inquiry and consideration it might be possible to find out what ideas were just and what were false, and so to establish a sound healthy knowledge that might be the guide to a sound and healthy life. But he dreaded to say "I have the truth" about anything. This is the method of Acts 17:27. Our Lord's method is at the opposite pole. It is calm, convincing affirmation. It is entirely unparalleled. It is the word of One who does know; who has not to argue and inquire, but to declare. Its simplicity arises from absolute certainty. Agnosticism, notwithstanding, this is the teaching for which the world yearns, and which can only meet the world's needs.

II. COMPARE HIM WITH MOHAMMED. Christ dealt only with the highest spiritual truth — with ideas and principles of conduct alone. He did not occupy Himself in marking out safe paths for men; He gave them light that they might see their way (Matthew 11:1-5; John 10:24). This is in striking contrast with Mohammed's method. The chances are that if any one had asked him, "Speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me," he would have had a revelation about it. The Koran is full of private direction and legislation, and it is that which has crippled the free development of Mohammedan society. Men go to it, not for principles of guidance, but for particular precepts. With Christ there is always a breadth which transcends the need of the moment, and furnishes a principle which is good for all times. This is the reason for the largeness of the development of Christendom. Christ tells us not what to do, but how to be. Mohammed's words are full of direction. Christ's of inspiration.

(J. Baldwin Brown, B. A.)

David, Jerusalemites, Jesus, Nicodemus
Galilee, Jerusalem, Judea
Belief, Believe, Believers, Believing, Brethren, Brothers, Didn't
1. Jesus reproves the ambition and boldness of his kinsmen;
10. goes up from Galilee to the feast of tabernacles;
14. teaches in the temple.
40. Various opinions of him among the people.
45. The Pharisees are angry that their officers took him not,
50. and chide with Nicodemus for taking his side.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
John 7:5

     8836   unbelief, response

John 7:2-5

     5822   criticism, against believers

John 7:2-10

     5941   secrecy

John 7:3-5

     2545   Christ, opposition to

John 7:3-8

     2535   Christ, family of

September 13 Morning
If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.--JOHN 7:37. My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.--O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is; to see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat;
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

June 9 Morning
Never man spake like this man.--JOHN 7:46. Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.--The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary.--His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend. All bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.--He taught them as one having
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

July 30 Evening
Nicodemus . . . he that came to Jesus by night.--JOHN 7:50. Peter followed him afar off.--Among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.--The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe. Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.--A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

One Saying with Two Meanings
'Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto Him that sent Me. 34. Ye shall seek Me, and shall not find Me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.'--JOHN vii. 33, 34. 'Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me; and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.'--JOHN xiii. 33. No greater contrast can be conceived than that between these two groups to whom such singularly similar words were addressed. The
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Rock and the Water
'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. 38. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.'--JOHN vii. 37,38. The occasion and date of this great saying are carefully given by the Evangelist, because they throw much light on its significance and importance. It was 'on the last day, that great day of the Feast,' that 'Jesus stood and cried.' The Feast
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Fifteenth Day. The Holy Spirit.
But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believed on Him were to receive: for the Holy Spirit was not yet: because Jesus was not yet glorified.'--John vii. 39. 'The Comforter, even the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things.'--John xiv. 26. 'God chose you to salvation in sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth.'--2 Thess. ii. 13. (See 1 Pet. i. 2.) It has sometimes been said, that while the Holiness of God stands out more prominently
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The Transfiguration: an Emergency Measure. Matthew 16:28-17:1-8. Mark 9:1-8. Luke 9:27-36.
God in Sore Straits: the darkest hour save one, fugitive, John 7:1. ban, John 9:22, 34. pushing, Matthew 15:1. Mark 7:1.--the danger zone, "withdrew," Matthew 4:12. 12:15. 14:13. 15:21. Tabernacles, John 7:32. 8:59.--Galileans desert, John 6:60-66.--the inner circle infected, John 6:67-71.--God needs men. Fire and anvil for Leaders: mental strength--seasoned leadership--Simon and Peter. An Irresistible Plan: alone with the twelve--the changed plan, Matthew 16:18-21.--Peter's stupid boldness,
S. D. Gordon—Quiet Talks about Jesus

On the Words of the Gospel of John vii. 6, Etc. , Where Jesus Said that He was not Going up unto the Feast, and Notwithstanding Went
1. I Purpose by the Lord's assistance to treat of this section [3961] of the Gospel which has just been read; nor is there a little difficulty here, lest the truth be endangered, and falsehood glory. Not that either the truth can perish, nor falsehood triumph. Now hearken for a while what difficulty this lesson has; and being made attentive by the propounding of the difficulty, pray that I may be sufficient for its solution. "The Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand;" [3962] these it seems are
Saint Augustine—sermons on selected lessons of the new testament

Upon Our Lord's SermonOn the Mount
Discourse 10 "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then thou shalt see clearly to
John Wesley—Sermons on Several Occasions

"Let any Man Come. "
[7] "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. He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."--John 7:37-38. THE text which heads this paper contains one of those mighty sayings of Christ which deserve to be printed in letters of gold. All the stars in heaven are bright and beautiful; yet even a child can see that "one star differeth from another in glory"
John Charles Ryle—The Upper Room: Being a Few Truths for the Times

Author's Preface.
I did not write this little work with the thought of its being given to the public. It was prepared for the help of a few Christians who were desirous of loving God with the whole heart. But so many have requested copies of it, because of the benefit they have derived from its perusal, that I have been asked to publish it. I have left it in its natural simplicity. I do not condemn the opinions of any: on the contrary, I esteem those which are held by others, and submit all that I have written to
Jeanne Marie Bouvières—A Short Method Of Prayer And Spiritual Torrents

Answer to Mr. W's Sixth Objection.
6. and lastly, Let us consider the intrinsick absurdities, and incredibilities of the several stories of these three miracles, p. 36.--As to Jairus's daughter, and her resurrection from the dead, St. Hilary [13] hints, that there was no such person as Jairus;--and he gives this reason, and a good reason it is, why he thought so, because it is elsewhere intimated in the gospel that none of the rulers of the synagogues confessedly believ'd on Jesus, John vii. 48. and xii. 42. St. John's words in the
Nathaniel Lardner—A Vindication of Three of Our Blessed Saviour's Miracles

Want of Universality in the Knowledge and Reception of Christianity, and of Greater Clearness in the Evidence.
Or, a Revelation which really came from God, the proof, it has been said, would in all ages be so public and manifest, that no part of the human species would remain ignorant of it, no understanding could fail of being convinced by it. The advocates of Christianity do not pretend that the evidence of their religion possesses these qualities. They do not deny that we can conceive it to be within the compass of divine power to have communicated to the World a higher degree of assurance, and to have
William Paley—Evidences of Christianity

Our Historical Scriptures were Attacked by the Early Adversaries of Christianity...
Our historical Scriptures were attacked by the early adversaries of Christianity, as containing the accounts upon which the Religion was founded. Near the middle of the second century, Celsus, a heathen philosopher, wrote a professed treatise against Christianity. To this treatise Origen, who came about fifty years after him, published an answer, in which he frequently recites his adversary's words and arguments. The work of Celsus is lost; but that of Origen remains. Origen appears to have given
William Paley—Evidences of Christianity

Rejection of Christianity.
We acknowledge that the Christian religion, although it converted great numbers, did not produce an universal, or even a general conviction in the minds of men of the age and countries in which it appeared. And this want of a more complete and extensive success is called the rejection of the Christian history and miracles; and has been thought by some to form a strong objection to the reality of the facts which the history contains. The matter of the objection divides itself into two parts; as it
William Paley—Evidences of Christianity

In the Temple at the Feast of Tabernacles.
(October, a.d. 29.) ^D John VII. 11-52. ^d 11 The Jews therefore sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? [It was now eighteen months since Jesus had visited Jerusalem, at which time he had healed the impotent man at Bethesda. His fame and prolonged obscurity made his enemies anxious for him to again expose himself in their midst. John here used the word "Jews" as a designation for the Jerusalemites, who, as enemies of Christ, were to be distinguished from the multitudes who were in doubt
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Jesus' Brothers Advise Him to Go to Jerusalem.
(Galilee, Probably Capernaum.) ^D John VII. 2-9. ^d 2 Now the feast of the Jews, the feast of tabernacles, was at hand. [The first verse of this chapter tells us that Jesus kept away from Judæa because the Jews sought for his life. See page 393. This keeping away or seclusion began at the Passover season, and led Jesus not only to keep away from Judæa, but even to hover upon the outskirts of Galilee itself. This seclusion is described in Sections LXV.-LXXI. We now turn back to take up
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Story of the Adulteress.
(Jerusalem.) ^D John VII. 53-VIII. 11. [This section is wanting in nearly all older manuscripts, but Jerome (a.d. 346-420) says that in his time it was contained in "many Greek and Latin manuscripts," and these must have been as good or better than the best manuscripts we now possess. But whether we regard it as part of John's narrative or not, scholars very generally accept it as a genuine piece of history.] ^d 53 And they went every man unto his own house [confused by the question of Nicodemus,
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

How to Know the Will of God
"If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God."--JOHN vii. 17. THERE is an experience which becomes more and more familiar to every one who is trying to follow Christ--a feeling of the growing loneliness of his Christian life. It comes from a sense of the peculiarly personal interest which Christ takes in him, which sometimes seems so strong as almost to make him feel that his life is being detached from all the other lives around him, that it is being drawn out
Henry Drummond—The Ideal Life

In the Last, the Great Day of the Feast'
IT was the last, the great day of the Feast,' and Jesus was once more in the Temple. We can scarcely doubt that it was the concluding day of the Feast, and not, as most modern writers suppose, its Octave, which, in Rabbinic language, was regarded as a festival by itself.' [3987] [3988] But such solemn interest attaches to the Feast, and this occurrence on its last day, that we must try to realise the scene. We have here the only Old Testament type yet unfilfilled; the only Jewish festival which has
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The Journey to Jerusalem - Chronological Arrangement of the Last Part of the Gospel-Narratives - First Incidents by the Way.
THE part in the Evangelic History which we have now reached has this peculiarity and difficulty, that the events are now recorded by only one of the Evangelists. The section in St. Luke's Gospel from chapter ix. 51 to chapter xviii. 14 stands absolutely alone. From the circumstance that St. Luke omits throughout his narrative all notation of time or place, the difficulty of arranging here the chronological succession of events is so great, that we can only suggest what seems most probable, without
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

At the Feast of Tabernacles - First Discourse in the Temple
IT was Chol ha Moed - as the non-sacred part of the festive week, the half-holy days were called. [3949] Jerusalem, the City of Solemnities, the City of Palaces, the City of beauty and glory, wore quite another than its usual aspect; other, even, than when its streets were thronged by festive pilgrims during the Passover-week, or at Pentecost. For this was pre-eminently the Feast for foreign pilgrims, coming from the farthest distance, whose Temple-contributions were then received and counted. [3950]
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

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