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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Gospels

Chapter 66 - John 7:37 - Come and Drink Light & Truth: The Gospels by Bonar, Horatius




Come And Drink.


"In the last day, that great day of tile feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."-John 7:37.



     Here we note, (1.) the time; (2.) the place; (3.) the giver; (4.) the gift; (5.) the persons; (6.) the love.

     I. The time. The last and great day of the feast of tabernacles; when Israel's joy was fullest; at least in appearance and expression; just when men would have thought there was least need of any other joy; and no propriety in diverting their minds from the scene before them; when many days of religious service would have seemed quite enough to fill them. Just then the voice is heard and the message strikes on their ear, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink."

     II. The place. Jerusalem,-the temple. What need of anything else than what that temple afforded. Was not David's experience still true, "How amiable are thy tabernacles"; "I was glad when they said to me." Besides, the temple was now filled with crowds; and a scene was enacting in its courts of striking aspect. The Levite was now bringing in the water from Siloam in the golden pitcher, or pouring it on the sacrifice; and Israel was about to burst forth in one loud shout of joy. Imposing scene and place!

     III. The giver. It is the Son of God who stands up in the midst of these ten thousands; with something in his hand for them; something which he counts worthy of their acceptance. The giver is divine and heavenly; not merely a prophet or teacher sent from God, but the Son of God himself; who knew what they needed, and what He had to give; who saw into their hearts; had sounded their depths of emptiness; had measured the intensity of their thirst. He is himself God's gift; yet He is also giver; the dispenser of a fullness which is absolutely infinite. To himself he turns their eye,-here as always elsewhere. "Come unto me." They were dealing with other things or persons; he bids them deal with himself. Feasts, altars, sacrifices, doctrines, ceremonies, were all in vain; they must deal with himself.

     IV. The gift. Living water; something wherewith to quench their thirst; the Holy Spirit.  Here is a gift in Christ's hands for them; a divine gift from a divine giver; a gift sufficient to fill the soul of the emptiest, to quench the thirst of the thirstiest; a gift not only great enough to fill them, but to overflow upon others; a gift personal, infinite, free. There are two gifts of God which stand aloft and alone in their priceless greatness,-the gift of his Son, the gift of his Spirit; both of these presented to man, pressed upon him "If thou knewest the gift of God, thou wouldst have asked and he would have given thee living water."

     V. The Persons. Who are they who need this living water? Not heathens; not profane and irreligious; but Jews; religious Jews; engaged in the worship of God, at one of their most joyful feasts. This is remarkable. In the fourth chapter it is to the Samaritan that he presents the cup of living water. In the book of the Revelation, it is offered indiscriminately to all, Jew and Gentile. So also in the fifty-fifth of Isaiah. But here it is to the Jew, the religious Jew. He is the thirsty one, he needs living water. His rites, and feasts, and sacrifices cannot fill him, nor quench his thirst. He has still a deep void within,-an intense thirst, which calls for something more spiritual and divine. It is not then to the idolatrous pagan that the Lord speaks; not merely to the lover of pleasure or lust; the heedless sinner. It is to the men who frequent the sanctuary,-who pray and praise outwardly; who go to the Lord's table. It is to them He speaks. Perhaps the thirstiest of our race are to be found among our so-called religious men,-and I do not mean the hypocrite or Pharisee,-but those who, with devout conscientiousness, attend to what are called religious duties in all their parts. They go through the whole round and routine of service, but they are not happy. They are still thirsty and weary. This external religiousness helps to pacify conscience, but it does not make them happy. Sabbath comes after Sabbath, and finds them in their place in the sanctuary, but they are not happy. It is a form or a performance; an empty vessel. They are just where they were. There are multitudes of such in our day; in our churches; at our communion tables, To them Jesus speaks, "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink." Duties, ceremonies, and performances cannot make you happy. They are a weariness. They leave you often more thirsty than before. But deal with Jesus, as God's gift, as the dispenser of God's gift,-you will find in Him the fountain of living water.

     VI. The love. It is all love, from first to last. In love Jesus stands up and speaks. In love He presents the full vessel of living water, and presses it to their parched lips. Here is the love that passeth knowledge; love yearning over unhappy man, and pitying his unhappiness. Come ye to the waters! Come, and quench your thirst. Come, and be full!  Come, and be happy for evermore!