John 7:37-39

According to John 7:2, the Jews were celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. During this seven-day feast, the Jews lived in booths made of tree branches to commemorate their forefathers’ pilgrimage through the wilderness. On each of these seven days, the High Priest would go to the Pool of Siloam and draw out water in a golden vessel. This water would then be poured onto the altar where the parts of the sacrifice were arranged. As the water was poured out, the people sang to the Lord and shouted for joy.

These seven days were a time of great celebration and worship. The eighth day was called the Great Day of the Feast. On this day, sacrifices were again offered, but there was no singing and no shouting. This was known as a solemn day of repentance before the Lord. Another element was missing on this day—no water was poured out on the eighth day. It was against this backdrop of silence and symbolism that Jesus stood up and proclaimed Himself to be the Fountain of Living Water. When He spoke, thousands were present to hear Him, and everyone who heard Him instantly understood what He meant.


In these two verses, Jesus proclaims Himself to be the fountain where the living water is found. Ellen G. White says that “Christ’s words were the water of life.”1

Throughout the New Testament, water for drinking is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God comes to sinners and shows them their need of salvation (John 16:8). The Holy Spirit applies the Word of God in conviction (John 6:44). The Spirit baptizes new believers into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13). The Spirit seals the believers (Eph. 4:30). The Spirit of God fills believers and uses them for the glory of God (Eph. 5:18).


A. Salvation. The primary benefit of coming to Jesus by faith is being saved by God’s grace. Sinners are condemned and doomed before the Lord (John 3:36; Ps. 9:17); however, when sinners come to Jesus and receive Him by faith, they are saved, delivered from death, and protected from God’s wrath (Rom. 5:9; John 5:24; 10:28).

B. Satisfaction. Notice that it is from the “belly” that these “rivers of living waters” flow (see King James Version). The belly is that part of us that is never satisfied. We feed it and soon after, it cries out for more. Yet, Jesus says that if we come to Him, He will give us satisfaction for our most pressing needs. In this verse, the word “belly” is “used metaphorically for the inner being.”2

C. Strength. The water never abates. It is always there, and it is constantly refreshing the lives of the believers. This living water gives us power, gives us joy, and gives us hope in this world.

D. Service. The Bible makes it clear that the water of life that is placed within us forms a mighty river that flows out from us and touches everyone around us. The Lord is saying that we will be sufficiently satisfied and that He will use us to reach others for His glory! When we are saved and willing in the hand of God, He will allow us to pour forth the living water into the dry desert of this world (Mark 1:17).


John 7:37-39 tells us all about the benefits of coming to Jesus, but it also tells us how to come. Notice how you can receive the fountain of living water.

A. Appetite and thirst. This means to have a conscious desire for something that is not in your possession. Before a person can be saved, he or she must sense a need of salvation. This involves the conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 6:44). When this awareness comes, the sinner can turn to Jesus for salvation.

If you are full of the world and sense no need for God, you will not come to Him (Prov. 27:7). But, when your soul is empty and your heart is hungry, even the bitterness of conviction feels sweet and the path to Jesus seems a blessed thing. What a difference a thirsty heart makes in your life!

Is your heart thirsty today? Do you long for true peace in your heart? Have you been searching everywhere for things that simply do not and cannot satisfy your soul? Why not come to Jesus today? He makes all the difference in your life. He says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me . . .” (verse 37).

B. Approach. Come. Jesus invites all who are thirsty to come to Him. Notice several aspects of Christ’s cry that great day.

1. An invitation: “Come” (Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17)

2. Availability: “Any man” (John 6:37; 1 John 5:1; Rom. 10:13)

3. Access: The way is open to Jesus! His well is never dry. If you will only come to Him, He will demonstrate His great saving power in your life. He loves you more than you could ever know (Jer. 31:3; Rom. 8:38, 39). All He requires is that you come to Him (Matt. 11:28).

C. Appropriation; drink. If I am thirsty, I can satisfy my thirst with water, but water will quench my thirst only if I drink it. I can pour water into a glass, but the water does me no good if it stays in the glass. It is only when I place the glass to my lips, tilt the glass, and allow the water to enter my body that I receive its benefits.

It’s the same with Jesus. He is available to save you if you see the need. He longs to help you and wants to redeem you from sin. But no one is ever saved until Jesus is received into his or her heart and life (Rev. 3:20; John 3:16; 6:47; Rom. 10:9, 10). Remember, believing is not an attitude of the mind; it is an exercise of the heart.


Where do you stand in regards to salvation? You may be a church member, faithful in attendance. You may be a visitor today. You may be someone who is considered by others to be wicked and beyond hope. Whatever your situation, rest assured that if you will leave your place and come to Jesus Christ, He will save you by His power and give you everlasting life. All that is required of you is that you come and believe on Him (John 7:38).

1 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, 454.

2 Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, 5:982.