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Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday October 7, John 7.31-39

John 7.31-39

31Yet many in the crowd believed in him and were saying, ‘When the Messiah comes, will he do more signs than this man has done?’

Officers Are Sent to Arrest Jesus

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd muttering such things about him, and the chief priests and Pharisees sent temple police to arrest him. 33Jesus then said, ‘I will be with you a little while longer, and then I am going to him who sent me. 34You will search for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.’ 35The Jews said to one another, ‘Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? 36What does he mean by saying, “You will search for me and you will not find me” and, “Where I am, you cannot come”?’

Rivers of Living Water

37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.” ’ 39Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Thoughts: The festival of booths or Sukkot was a harvest festival.  It lasts 9 days and at one time it may have been one of the most important holidays in ancient Israel.  It start 15 days after Yom Kippur.  Jesus is spending a good deal of time in Jerusalem at it is at this last moment of the festival that apparently Jesus feels the need to proclaim himself to be the life giving water.  Similar to his proclamation about being the bread, here again what happened in ancient Israel---the giving of manna and the giving of water--are precursors to what is now happening in Jesus.  One thing I find quite strange is the remark about there 'as yet there was no Spirit."   What can this mean?  We hear about the Spirit of the Lord in the Old Testament and also in the New Testament prior to the death of Jesus--so what does John mean?   I can only imagine that he means the Spirit of the Living Christ, that is the one specifically known as Jesus who destroys the power of death.   John doean' always make it easy, does he!

Questions:  Did you notice that the leaders send the Temple police to arrest him---but that they don't!   No story is given, I think it was simply, "not his time!"  People have said that either Jesus is who he says he is, or the greatest deranged lunatic of all time.  What about today's reading would make you resonate with that saying?

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