Yes, we will eventually get past this chapter. In fact, this will be our last look at it as we look at verses 37-39.
On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus probably watched as the priests took water drawn from the stream of Siloah which flowed under the temple mountain and poured it over the altar. With that, a cheer rang out as the people sang,
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. (Isaiah 12:3)
And perhaps at that moment, the people heard another voice ring out. The voice of Jesus calling out,
If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him. (37-38)
Leave it to the Master Teacher to tell the people exactly what this ceremony they had been performing for years really meant. For years, as the people saw this ceremony, they thought of their deliverance from Egypt, and how for years, they had traveled through the desert. How God provided water for them when they thirsted, twice bringing water out of a rock. And through this ceremony, they recalled the joy of their salvation, a salvation that came not through their own efforts, but through the provision of God.
But what they didn’t know was that rock was a picture God was giving them of Christ himself. The apostle Paul wrote,
They (the Israelites) all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. (I Corinthians 10:3-4).
Now Jesus was telling them, “Are you thirsty as the Israelites were in the desert? Do you feel like you’re in a spiritual desert, thirsting for God, and yet somehow not able to find him? Then come to me. Believe in me. (Remember John 6:35?). And if you do, streams of living water will flow through you.”
What did he mean by that? John tells us in the next verse.
By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. (39)
In other words, God himself, the Holy Spirit would come and dwell in each person that came to Jesus and believed in Him. And because of that, our thirst for God would be filled. Not only that, the Holy Spirit would flow out of our lives like a never ending stream of water and touch the lives of the people around us. And so day after day, with joy, we draw from the wells of salvation, not only blessing ourselves, but all those around us.
That’s how we as Christians are to live. Drawing from the Spirit each day the power to live our lives so that we may be made as Christ is, and to share his salvation with everyone we meet. And when we do, we’ll find joy.
Holy Spirit, come and fill me today. Fill me with the joy of your salvation. Fill me with your power that I may become more like Christ with each passing moment. And flow out from me so that others may see you in me and be touched. And not only touched, but saved, as you have saved me. In Jesus name, amen.