Is it possible to have crazy fun and still have a meaningful Bible study lesson? If you were in class this week, I think you would have to say, “YES!”
SPORTS DAY was a lot of fun as we had cheerleaders, pom poms, twirlers, special cheers for J-E-S-U-S and sports music. [Thank you, Lisa Brettman for writing and teaching us Jesus cheers!] For some people, football or sports are their religion. We need to be more excited about our F-A-I-T-H than we are about sports!
And, by the way, it’s biblical to celebrate our faith. We saw in John 7 that the Jewish people (including Jesus) traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Booths (or Tabernacles or Sukkot) every year. This is a feast with its roots back in Leviticus 23:33-44. Trumpets are blown – think marching band. Pom poms are shaken – lulav and etrog. Here’s the Jewish video I showed if you want to watch it again. If you go to youtube, there are MANY videos- some funny, some serious, but they all teach you something about Sukkot. You can also learn how to make a sukkah (booth). I like this one: Do You Want to Build the Sukkah? (Frozen parody).
Back to John 7. Jesus went privately to the Feast of Booths (Sukkot) and mid-way through the festival week, He began to teach. The Jewish leaders and the common people began to debate His character (7:10-13), His doctrine (7:14-18), His works (7:19-24), His origin (7:25-31) and His warning (7:32-36). There was a division among the people between those who believed and those who rejected Him as Messiah.
7:37-38 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'”
7:37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”
[The seventh day of the feast was a great day of celebration. Each morning of the feast, at the time of the sacrifice, the priests would draw water in a golden vessel from the Pool of Siloam and carry it to the temple to be poured out. This commemorated the wonderful supply of water God gave the Jews in the wilderness. Moses struck the rock with his staff and water poured out (Exodus 17:1-7). This seventh day was known as “The Great Hosannah” and climaxed the feast. On the eighth day, the priests would go to the pool, but not fill their vessel. It would commemorate the time when the water stopped flowing and they came into the Promised Land. The priests would take the empty vessels to the temple altar and pour, but nothing would come out. They would then read the Hallel Psalms and this Messianic prophesy from Isaiah 44: 3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
The people would then bow down and say, “Oh let Messiah come that He may pour out His water upon us. [Hello! The Messiah is here!] Read verses 37-38 again. 37 On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” It takes little imagination to grasp what must have happened when Jesus cried out, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink!” (v. 37) as the priests poured out the water. “Come to me and drink” alluded to the theme of many Bible passages that talk about the Messiah’s life-giving blessings: Is. 12:2-3; 44:3-4; 55:1; 58:11.
Christ was the Rock out of which the waters flowed (Ex 17:1-7; 1 Corinthians 10: 1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.
This invitation of Christ caused quite a stir among the people. (He still stirs people up!) And “They went each to his own house (7:53).
And each of us went home also. Each of us must decide if we believe Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world or reject Him.
What will you do with Jesus?
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