Jn.7:37-39 – Then on the most important day of the feast, the last day, Jesus stood and shouted out to the crowds—“All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink! Believe in me so that rivers of living water will burst out from within you, flowing from your innermost being, just like the Scripture says!”
Jesus was prophesying about the Holy Spirit that believers were being prepared to receive. But the Holy Spirit had not yet been poured out upon them, because Jesus had not yet been unveiled in his full splendor.
“If any one is thirsty,” or as the Passion Translation says, “All you thirsty ones, come to me! Come to me and drink!” this is the familiar cry of the spiritually desperate. Jesus is the inevitable destination for those hungry for God. This passage finally brings us to the end of our search. The source of this river that our hearts long for is Christ seated at the right hand of the Father. The availability of the Holy Spirit to us is a result of the cross, the resurrection, and His ascension to the right hand of God. The glory flows out from Him to all the thirsty ones in our world. Here are some observations from the Passion Notes on this passage.
“This splendor included the splendor of the cross, the splendor of his resurrection, and the glory of his ascension into heaven. Just as water poured out of the rock that was struck by Moses, so from the wounded side of Jesus living water poured out to heal, save, and bring life to everyone who believes. The Holy Spirit poured out of Christ and into the church at Pentecost.”
Back in the 1800’s Dr. Livingstone, a Scottish missionary, famously searched for the source of the Nile River in East Africa. The Nile flows hundreds of miles north from East Africa into the Mediterranean Sea. While visiting Uganda a number of years ago I was taken to what today is believed to be the source of the Nile River. It flows out of Lake Victoria, supplied by underground springs. What a beautiful picture of the spiritual river that flows out to the thirsty today. The source is secret. The river is abundant. The River of God flows from Christ, only seen by those who have been given eyes to see. The river then flows out of the deep springs in our innermost being, quenching the thirst of all those that come to Him.