“On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”
Jesus proclaimed his statement during the Festival of Booths or Tabernacles. During this festival, each Israelite family was supposed to construct a booth and live in it for a week (Lev 23:42–43). This was a tangible reminder to the Israelites that when they prospered in the Promised Land, they should not forget God who delivered them from slavery in Egypt and provided everything they needed in the wilderness, especially water.
Some Jews celebrating the Festival might not realise the true meaning of the festivities. They might have forgotten their God or were just paying lips service. Some might be struggling with the Law and genuinely seeking the Messiah. Jesus’ statement could mean to invite all of them to ponder deeper questions: who is Jesus? Is he another prophet who warns us against disobeying the Law? Or is he the true Messiah who has fulfilled the Law and can satisfy the thirst of our souls?
It is good to ponder these questions for ourselves too, whether you are Christian or not:
• Do I realise what my true thirst is?
• What drives me to do what I do?
• Do I trust Jesus for an abundant life, or systems for a predictable outcome?
Jesus is the best drink to quench our thirst!
And we are given much more than that. “The one who believes in me, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.” (John 7:38). We will not only have our deepest desires satisfied; through the Holy Spirit we will also have streams of living water to bless other people. What an abundant life we can have! Let us take steps to pray for insight into ourselves and release the remaining portions of life which we cannot trust Jesus for. Let us also learn to listen to the Holy Spirit and practice serving others from His living stream.
Ray Leung 🙏