Andrew Fountain - If anyone is thirsty

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Sermon Outline - If Anyone is Thirsty

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John 7 – Rivers of Living Water

Going to the Feast of Shelters

A. Hostile leaders at the feast

  1. After this Jesus traveled throughout Galilee. He stayed out of Judea because the Jewish leaders wanted to kill him. 2Now the Jewish Feast of Shelters was near.

B. Jesus’ own brothers don’t believe

  1. So Jesus’ brothers advised him, “Leave here and go to Judea so your disciples may see your miracles that you are performing. 4For no one who seeks to make a reputation for himself does anything in secret. If you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.”
    5(For not even his own brothers believed in him.)
  2. So Jesus replied, “My time has not yet arrived, but for you any time is good!
  3. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me, because I am testifying about it that its deeds are evil.
  4. You go up to the feast yourselves. I am not going up to this feast because my time has not yet fully arrived.”
  5. When he had said this, he remained in Galilee. 10But when his brothers had gone up to the feast, then Jesus himself also went up, not openly but in secret.

A’ Hostile leaders at the feast

  1. So the Jewish leaders were looking for him at the feast, asking, “Where is he?”
  2. There was a lot of grumbling about him among the crowds. Some were saying, “He is a good man,” but others, “He deceives the common people.” 13However, no one spoke openly about him for fear of the Jewish leaders.

Teaching about Jesus’ authority

  1. When the feast was half over, Jesus went up to the temple courts and began to teach. 15Then the Jewish leaders were astonished and said, “How does this man know so much when he has never had formal instruction?”
  2. So Jesus replied, “My teaching is not from me, but from the one who sent me. 17If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know about my teaching, whether it is from God or whether I speak from my own authority. 18The person who speaks on his own authority desires to receive honor for himself; the one who desires the honor of the one who sent him is a man of integrity, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
  3. Hasn’t Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law! Why do you want to kill me?”
  4. The crowd answered, “You’re possessed by a demon! Who is trying to kill you?”
  5. Jesus replied, “I performed one miracle and you are all amazed. 22However, because Moses gave you the practice of circumcision (not that it came from Moses, but from the forefathers), you circumcise a male child on the Sabbath. 23But if a male child is circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses is not broken, why are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?
  6. Do not judge according to external appearance, but judge with right judgment.”

Teaching on Jesus’ identity

A. Jesus cannot be Christ because of his origin

  1. Then some of the residents of Jerusalem began to say, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26Yet here he is, speaking publicly, and they are saying nothing to him. Do the ruling authorities really know that this man is the Christ? 27But we know where this man comes from. Whenever the Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from.”
  2. Then Jesus, while teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “You both know me and know where I come from? And I have not come on my own initiative, but the one who sent me is real. You do not know him, 29but I know him, because I have come from him and he sent me.”

B. Attempted arrest, but some believe

  1. So then they tried to seize Jesus, but no one laid a hand on him, because his time had not yet come.
  2. Yet many of the crowd believed in him and said, “Whenever the Christ comes, he won’t perform more miraculous signs than this man did, will he?”
  3. The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things about Jesus, so the chief priests and the Pharisees sent officers to arrest him.

C. Teaching and response

  1. Then Jesus said, “I will be with you for only a little while longer, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34You will look for me but will not find me, and where I am you cannot come.”
  2. Then the Jewish leaders said to one another, “Where is he going to go that we cannot find him? He is not going to go to the Jewish people dispersed among the Greeks and teach the Greeks, is he? 36What did he mean by saying, ‘You will look for me but will not find me, and where I am you cannot come’?”
  1. On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out,
    “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me,
    and let him drink,
    38the one who believes in me.
    Just as the scripture says, ‘From within him will flow rivers of living water.’”
    39(Now he said this about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were going to receive, for the Spirit had not yet been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.)
  1. When they heard these words, some of the crowd began to say, “This really is the Prophet!” 41Others said, “This is the Christ!” But still others said, “No, for the Christ doesn’t come from Galilee, does he? 42Don’t the scriptures say that the Christ is a descendant of David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
  2. So there was a division in the crowd because of Jesus. 44Some of them were wanting to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.

B’ Failed arrest, and some believe

  1. Then the officers returned to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why didn’t you bring him back with you?” 46The officers replied, “Never did a human being speak like this one!”
  2. Then the Pharisees answered, “You haven’t been deceived too, have you? 48None of the members of the ruling council or the Pharisees have believed in him, have they? 49But this rabble who do not know the law are accursed!”

A’ Jesus cannot be Christ because of his origin

  1. Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before and who was one of the rulers, said, 51“Our law doesn’t condemn a man unless it first hears from him and learns what he is doing, does it?”
  2. They replied, “You aren’t from Galilee too, are you? Investigate carefully and you will see that no prophet comes from Galilee!”



  • To hear Jesus, calling us to come and drink


  1. The Feast of Shelters
  2. Water theology
  3. If Anyone is Thirsty…

1. The Feast

Leviticus 23 —tells us what they did

  1. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, when you gather in the produce of the land, you must celebrate a pilgrim festival of the LORD for seven days. On the first day is a complete rest and on the eighth day is complete rest.
  2. On the first day you must take for yourselves branches from majestic trees—palm branches, branches of leafy trees, and willows of the brook—and you must rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days.

Haggai 2

  1. On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the LORD spoke again through the prophet Haggai:
  2. Moreover, the LORD who rules over all says: ‘In just a little while I will once again shake the sky and the earth, the sea and the dry ground.
  3. I will also shake up all the nations, and they will offer their treasures; then I will fill this temple with glory,‘says the LORD who rules over all.
  4. ‘The silver and gold will be mine,‘says the LORD who rules over all.
  5. ‘The future splendor of this temple will be greater than that of former times,’ the LORD who rules over all declares, ‘and in this place I will give peace.’ ”

Isaiah 12

  1. At that time you will say:
    “I praise you, O LORD,
    for even though you were angry with me,
    your anger subsided, and you consoled me.
  2. Look, God is my deliverer!
    I will trust in him and not fear.
    For the LORD gives me strength and protects me;
    he has become my deliverer.”
  3. Joyfully you will draw water
    from the springs of deliverance.

2. Water theology

  • -The theme of Water had strong roots in the Jewish minds
  • -Remember when the Israelites were brought out of captivity in Egypt,
  • -and after a few days in the desert they had run out of water... What happens? you DIE!
  • God provided water from a rock
    • -Ex 17:3–6 – Moses struck the rock
    • -Num 20:2–13 – Moses struck the rock when told to speak to it.
  • This theme of God providing water from a rock is taken up in the songs of Israel:
    • Ps 78:15,16 “He brought streams out of the rock… rivers of water…”
    • Ps 105:41 “…opened rock and waters gushed out…”
      • it was a symbol of freedom and of new life
  • The Apostle Paul says that this rock was a picture of Christ
    • 1 Cor 10:4b “For they were all drinking from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.”
  • Then the idea is picked up by the prophets: there will be a new Exodus… -explain

Isaiah 48

  1. Leave Babylon!
    Flee from the Babylonians!
    Announce it with a shout of joy!
    Make this known!
    Proclaim it throughout the earth!
    Say, ‘The LORD protects his servant Jacob.
  2. They do not thirst as he leads them through dry regions;
    he makes water flow out of a rock for them;
    he splits open a rock and water flows out.’
  • Isaiah 48:20,21 —from Babylon
    • But never any water coming out of Babylon—there was something more it was pointing to.
    • There was a level of excitement in the prophecies —pointing to that!
  • Joel 3:18 —rivers of water

Joel 3

  1. On that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine,
    and the hills will flow with milk.
    All the dry stream beds of Judah will flow with water.
    A spring will flow out from the temple of the LORD,
    watering the Valley of Acacia Trees.
  • Then look at Joel 2:28… —Can you see the connection? (Pentecost)

Joel 2

  1. After all of this
    I will pour out my Spirit on all kinds of people.
    Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
    Your elderly will have revelatory dreams;
    your young men will see prophetic visions.

2c. Water theology cont’d

  • It is also linked with the idea of a new creation (rivers in garden of Eden)
    • Water is a symbol of this new creation.
  • Summary: Streams of water = salvation – as in the Exodus
  • Read John 7:38,39
  • Now read: Isaiah 44:1–3

Isaiah 44

  1. “Now, listen, Jacob my servant,
    Israel whom I have chosen!”
  2. This is what the LORD, the one who made you, says —
    the one who formed you in the womb and helps you:
    “Don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,
    Jeshurun, whom I have chosen!
  3. For I will pour water on the parched ground
    and cause streams to flow on the dry land.
    I will pour my Spirit on your offspring
    and my blessing on your children.

Summary of ideas:

  • feast of Tents:
    • looked back to Moses, wilderness
    • freedom from slavery
    • God’s supernatural provision
  • Streams of water:
    • Salvation, God’s Spirit
  • Promise of pouring out
    • new Exodus

4. Context in John

  • Jesus constantly connects himself with the Wilderness.
  • He is the New Moses—greater than Moses—ready to lead them out of captivity.
  • John 3:14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up.”
  • John 5:46,47 “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.”
  • John 6:1ff. feeding of the 5000
    • -then they asked for bread and implied that Moses had given them Mana
  • John 6:31–35 “it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but my Father is giving you the true bread from heaven.”
  • then in our own chapter, chapter 7

4b. John 7—One greater than Moses

  1. Jesus replied, “I performed one miracle and you are all amazed.
  2. However, because Moses gave you the practice of circumcision… you circumcise a male child on the Sabbath.
  3. But if a male child is circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses is not broken, why are you angry with me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?

4c. Greater than Moses

  • Moses led them out of slavery
    • Jesus is the new Moses
  • Moses gave them water from a rock
    • But Jesus Christ is the Rock
  • Moses gave them manna
    • But Jesus is the bread from heaven
  • Moses lifted up a serpent
    • But Jesus is the one who was lifted up

3. If Anyone is Thirsty…

Jesus is proclaming the Gospel

  • Come to ME
  • I will lead you out of slavery
  • “If anyone thirsts, come to me!”

Isaiah 55:1–2

  1. Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
  2. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
  • Revelation 22
  1. The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
  • Pray for everyone who is thirsty for more

Updated on 2019-12-08 by Andrew Fountain