“The person who comes to Me, I shall equip, not only to be refreshed and satisfied and to quench his own thirst, but also to become a sturdy, earthen vessel, endowed with the Holy Spirit and with gifts that enable him to give consolation and strength to many other people and to serve them, as he was served by Me.” Martin Luther on John 7:37-39 (1483-1546).
Jesus makes a free, gracious, and significant promise in John 7:37-39. All anyone need do is come to him, believe in him, trust him, and he will not only refresh and satisfy, but he will also make that person into a source of refreshment, consolation, and strength for others.
What’s interesting is that Jesus makes this promise in the midst of great opposition, resistance, and rejection. As Jesus reveals himself in John 7, he is rejected and dismissed. In this rejection, we gain insight into the “world’s religion.” That’s not just the religion of those who, unlike me, do not follow Christ. It’s the deeply held religion and faith of all those in the world – including me!
During Lent, we turn our attention to our ongoing sin, rebellion, and unbelief. We remind ourselves of our daily and desperate need for all of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So, take some time to read and reflect on John 7:1-39. There’s a lot going on in the passage, the Feast of Booths, references to Moses, Jesus’ biological family, the people, the Jews, and the religious leaders with their police force. As you read, try to reflect and mediate on the following aspects of the beliefs, demands, and expectations of those who are rejecting Jesus. Here we see the very things that dry up both our own personal spiritual vitality and our ability to be “living water” for the world around us.
- 7:1-13 Success-ism (including popularity & relevance)
- 7:14-24 Elitism (being validated/affirmed by worldly standards)
- 7:25-36 Secularism (trusting more in earthly ways that we can understand and measure than the spiritual and miraculous)
As you identify with, confess, and repent of these things, open yourself to hear and receive the promise of God in John 7:37-39. As Martin Luther summarized Jesus’ promise:
“The person who comes to Me, I shall equip, not only to be refreshed and satisfied and to quench his own thirst, but also to become a sturdy, earthen vessel, endowed with the Holy Spirit and with gifts that enable him to give consolation and strength to many other people and to serve them, as he was served by Me.”
I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday.
Yours in Christ,