Everyone’s debating about who Jesus is in John 7. The crowd wonders, “How can we know He’s Messiah?
Where He’s From
The debate at first (and then later) focuses on where Jesus came from – because (as everyone knows) the Messiah can’t possibly come from Galilee (vs. 41, 52). In fact, no one will know where He’s from (vs. 27).
Jesus then says where is ultimately from – which of course proves who He is: “…I am not here on my own authority, but He who sent me is true. You do not know Him, but I know Him because I am from Him and He sent me.” (vs. 28b-29, NIV)
The religious leaders recognize this as a claim to deity and “try to seize” Jesus in order to arrest Him for blasphemy (but it wasn’t the right time, as John is fond of saying).
What He Does
The crowd then shifts the debate from place to works: His miracles prove that Jesus is the Messiah.
And as Nicodemus says later (vs. 51), a person must be judged by His own words and by what He has done. On that basis, it’s pretty clear who Jesus is.
Jesus came from the Father. Jesus performs miracles. Therefore, Jesus is Messiah.
Who He Changes
But the ultimate proof (in this passage)?
On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. vs. 37-39
I tell you, John’s gospel is full of food and drink!
Jesus changes water into wine (the first miracle). He tells the Samaritan woman that she can have the same living water that He offers here. His food is to do the Father’s will (and it’s our bread, too). He feeds 5000 with a few loaves and two fish. And then Jesus tells us that He is the true bread, the bread of God, the bread of life, the living bread – bread that gives eternal life, if only we eat His body and drink His blood (ooh, I still cringe at that metaphor!).
And here we are again: we can erase our eternal thirst when we first recognize that we are thirsty, then believe and drink from God’s mercy and love. As the Holy Spirit fills us, we overflow with that same mercy and love to others.
Is Jesus Messiah? When our lives change, when we overflow with living waters, we’ll know. And so will those who’s thirst we quench.
Today’s Readings: 2 Samuel 16:20-18:33, Psalm 66:16-20, Proverbs 16:31-32, John 7:25-52. See About for what I’m up to with these daily posts. Your daily blogger, Holiday Longing (Reproduce with permission only).