John 7:32-36,40-44-When the Pharisees became aware that there were people who were beginning to speculate that Jesus just might actually be the Messiah…they decided to stop these conjectures before they went any further…so they sent officers to arrest Him. To make matters worse for them, they misunderstood what Jesus said concerning His leaving. He was speaking of the fact that a time would come when He would go to Heaven…they would look and look for Him, but not be able to find Him. They thought that He meant that they would look for Him and not find Him because He had left Israel and gone to another country, a gentile country…and that there, He would continue to spread His message among the Jews and the gentiles who lived there. The subject matter of the discussions of the people is found in verses 40-44…some saying that Jesus could be the “Prophet” (i.e.-a prophet like Moses; Deuteronomy 18:15,18); others said that He was the “Christ” (Messiah); others said that He could not be the Messiah since Jesus came from Galilee and prophecy said that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem (evidently they were unaware that Bethlehem was His birthplace).
John 7:37-39-Jesus describes the Holy Spirit as “rivers of living water” (:38-39). After drinking the water that man offers, you will eventually become thirsty, again. And, you have to obtain the water by your own continuous efforts. However, when you drink of the water that God offers, the Holy Spirit, you will never thirst again (He will thoroughly and completely satisfy all of your spiritual longings and needs), and God supplies it to you, you don’t have to work for it (earn it, deserve it, obtain it), yourself. Compare this to what Jesus told the woman at Jacob’s well (4:13-14).
7:37-39 Though it is not mentioned in the O.T., the Jews had a ceremony of carrying water from the Pool of Siloam pouring it into a silver basin by the altar of burnt offering each day for the first seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles. On the eighth day this was not done, making Christ’s offer of the water of eternal life from Himself even more startling. (Ryrie Study Bible, 7:37-39)
It is interesting to note in the Gospel of John what a prominent place water played in the ministry of Jesus …
- 1:26ff John baptized Him in water
- 2:1ff His first miracle involved water
- 3:1ff His conversation with Nicodemus involved water
- 4:5ff His conversation with the woman at Jacob’s well involved water
- 5:1ff The miracle at the Pool of Bethesda involved water
- 6:16ff The miracle of Jesus walking on the water
- 7:37ff Jesus’ explanation of the life in the Spirit involved water
- 13:1ff Jesus washed His disciples’ feet in water
- 19:34 When the soldier pierced His side with a spear water flowed out
- 21:7 When Peter recognized Jesus on the shore of the Sea of Galilee after the resurrection he jumped into the water
John 7:45-53-The chief priests had earlier sent officers to arrest Jesus (:32)…but they came back without Him. When asked why they said, “Never did a man speak the way this man speaks” (:46). The Pharisees chastised them for allowing Jesus to influence them with His false teaching. They reprimanded them by saying that none of “the rulers or Pharisees have believed in Him” (:48). Actually, a number of them had begun to believe in Him (cf. 12:42)…among them was Nicodemus, who carefully tried to protect Jesus but was rebuffed. Notice that Nicodemus tried to approach the problem of Jesus through the content of His teaching. “Our Law does not judge…” (:51). But the Pharisees, knowing that Jesus had done nothing against the Law, attacked His character. And in doing so, they also attacked the character of Nicodemus…suggesting that anyone who would defend Jesus must be of the same character (:52). Isn’t that a common practice even today? When there is a disagreement…when someone cannot make a compelling argument based on the other person’s content, they attack the other person’s character. The Pharisees despised the common people because they did not practice the Law to the degree and standards that they did. They referred to the common people as “this multitude”…a derogatory term literally meaning “people of the land”…meaning that they were just common, uneducated, and unqualified people, unfit to make such theological determinations as were required in circumstances such as these.
7:43 So there arose a division. John records three divisions regarding Christ: here concerning His person; in 9:16 concerning His power; and in 10:19 concerning His passion. (Ryrie Study Bible, 7:43)
Prayer: Lord, Your Holy Spirit has been given to us, today. We can be nothing without Him. We can do nothing without Him. Please, Lord, let the Holy Spirit flood into my life like a river of living water! I don’t want a trickle of water. I don’t want a creek, or a stream, or even a river. I want flood waters! Please Lord…fill me to overflowing.