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
I. RECOGNIZING THE FOUNTAIN OF
LIVING WATER (VERSES 37, 38)
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).
II. THE REWARDS OF THE FOUNTAIN OF
LIVING WATER (VERSE 38)
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
III. RECEIVING THE FOUNTAIN OF
LIVING WATER (VERSE 37)
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
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
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.