On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink”.
The scene portrayed in today’s verse is more radical than it appears at first glance. It was during the feast of Tabernacles, one of the most important Jewish feasts, when Jesus made this bold declaration. The priests were singing from Isaiah, “With joy we draw waters from the well of salvation”. If it was like most religious services, they were singing about joy but sadness and ritual ruled the day. Jesus stood up in the temple and began to shout, “If any one is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink!” The cry was filled with passion and compassion. Hurting man was thirsty, religion could never quench this thirst. Living water was the only thing that would do. Martin Luther spoke about this spiritual thirst in his day, check it out.
“Those who are thirsty have a comforting preacher in Christ himself. He shows them where they can quench their thirst—in him, the Lord Christ. But first we must ask, “What kind of thirst is this?” Only then will we understand what Christ means by drinking and how we can quench our thirst. This thirst is not a physical thirst that can be satisfied by drinking beer and wine. Rather, it’s a spiritual thirst—a thirst of the soul. It’s the desire of a sad, miserable, frightened, and battered conscience. It’s the desire of a despairing and terrified heart that wants to know how it stands before God. The thirsty are the timid and fainthearted people who feel their sinfulness and the weaknesses of their spirit, soul, and body. They study God’s warnings. They fear the Lord God and take note of his law, anger, judgment, death, and other punishments. This fear is true thirst. Naturally, those with fears, temptations, and needs are very thirsty because of their anxiety. Their tongues become dry. They become feverish, and their fears dehydrate them. This fear is what creates spiritual thirst.”
So are you one of those thirsty ones? Have you tried to satisfy your thirst drinking from the wells of the pleasures of this life? Have you tried to cleanse your conscience at the wells of religion. Both of those wells will leave you dry and thirsty. Jesus is still crying out to whosoever will. His voice is filled with acceptance, love, and urgency. Come and drink and find rest for your soul.