In John 7:37-40, Jesus invites the thirsty to come and drink. Thirst represents a deep desire for something, which for those who do not yet know the truth, is a thirst for understanding. They are seekers. Even those claiming faith and knowledge of the gospel still experience the thirst because their faith is incomplete, and they seek true faith.
When Jesus tells people to come and drink, He suddenly says, “Whoever believes in me…” In other words, for Jesus to believe is to come to Him and drink Him (cf. John 6:35, 53-56). At that time, people believed in the law. Pharisees and Scribes taught people to believe that their works of the law could earn them salvation. However, no one can earn salvation through the works of the law (Romans 3:28; Galatians 2:10-11). The false belief created in the seekers a thirst for true salvation. To the thirsty, what Jesus says is to believe in Him, not their own works of the law.
Jesus continues those who believe in Jesus will have living water, the Holy Spirit, flowing from within them like a river (John 7:39). This means faith in Jesus satisfies the thirst at the moment and forever. So, how is this related to believing in Jesus? What does this tell us about faith?
To believe in Jesus is to fully trust and rely on Him, to entrust one’s entire life to Him, just as Jesus entrusted Himself to God (1 Peter 2:23). It is about denying one’s own thoughts, emotions, plans, and expectations and living according to Jesus’ teachings, His will, and His example. That is the faith Jesus teaches, abiding in Him and He in the believers (John 6:56).
When one believes in Jesus in this way, the Holy Spirit flows from within like a river, overflowing with the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). The satisfaction from following one’s own works of the law cannot compare to the abundance of fulfillment from overflowing with the fruits of the Spirit. Therefore, the thirst for salvation is satisfied, and this is the only way to find true satisfaction.
In conclusion, what is important is to drink Jesus, which means to believe in Him just as Jesus teaches, trusting and relying on Him with our entire lives. Jesus is the only source that can truly satisfy our thirst for salvation.
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