Jesus’ invitation to the thirsty, By Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg
Bible Study Material on John 7:37-53

Introduction and Background Information
The eighth day of the feast was a great day of celebration. (The eighth day was one of “solemn assembly”—Leviticus 23:36 and Numbers 29:35). Each morning of the feast, at the time of the sacrifice, the priests would draw water in a golden vessel from the Pool of Siloam and carry it to the temple to be poured out. This symbolized the wonderful supply of water God gave the Jews in the wilderness. This eighth day was known as “The Great Hosanna” and climaxed the feast.

It was the day when no water was poured out on the rock but the people prayed for continued rain. Thus, on the last and greatest day of the Feast, the day water was not poured out, it takes little imagination to grasp what must have happened when Jesus cried out, “If any one thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”

Jesus as the living Rock
Jesus was the Rock out of which the waters flowed (Exodus 17:1-7; 1 Corinthians 10:4). He died on the cross that the Spirit of life might be given to save thirsty sinners. By promising to give the Holy Spirit to all who believed, Jesus was claiming to be the Messiah, for that was something only the Christ could do. In the Bible, water for cleansing symbolizes the Word of God (John 13:1-17; 15:3). The water for drinking represents the Spirit of God (John 7:37-38).

Instead of heeding Jesus’ gracious invitation to come, the people argued. And there was division among them. For some believed in him, some rejected Him (Matthew 10:31-39 and Luke 12:51-52.) The soldiers could not arrest Jesus because his word gripped them (verse 46). Since the Jewish leaders rejected Christ, they shut the door of salvation to those who followed their bad example (Matthew 23:13).

Nicodemus – A changed life  is possible
Nicodemus enters the picture again. And this time we see him defending Jesus’ legal privileges. In John 3, he was in the darkness of confusion. But here he is experiencing conviction, willing to give Jesus a fair chance. Because of this, Nicodemus learned the truth. Willingness to obey the Word is the secret of learning God’s truth (verse 17). In John 19, we see Nicodemus confessing and openly identifying with Jesus. How did he come to make this decision? He studied the Word and asked for God to teach him. The rulers told him, “Search and look!” and that is just what he did. Anyone who will read and obey the Word of God will move out of darkness into God’s marvelous light.

Conclusion
Jesus invites the thirsty to come and drink. Those who seek eternal life are invited to believe in Jesus and to receive what he offers. Spiritual thirst serves as a picture of one of our greatest physical needs, which is our need for water. That implies that our greatest spiritual need is for Jesus and the new birth that he gives through his Spirit when we believe in him.

Questions

1. Jesus was the living rock from which the water flowed. Explain
2. What does water for cleansing symbolize in the Bible?
3. Are you thirsty? If so, how does your soul thirst for God?
4. Why did the people find it difficult to heed Jesus’ invitation?
5. How does Nicodemus’ changed life encourage

The Uniqueness of Jesus, by Rev. John Kwasi Fosu

Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg

Bible Study Material on John 7:10-36

Introduction and Background Information
The feeding of the 5000 and the healing of the paralyzed man (5:1-9, 7:23) had aroused the interest of the crowd. Because Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders said he was not from God. They called him demon-possessed (verse 20) and even talked about killing him. But God’s time was not ready (verse 30). The people debated on five different areas of Jesus’ life at the feast. Interestingly, these five topics relate to the uniqueness of Jesus.

Jesus was unique in character (verses 10-13)
Some of the people called Jesus “good,” and others said he was a “deceiver.” Why were they confused? Because they feared the Jewish leaders. Proverbs 29:25 warns that “Fear of man will prove to be a snare.” Jesus’ character was so spotless that when they finally did arrest him, they had to get false witnesses to speak against him. Interestingly, Pilate, Judas and even a Roman soldier all pronounced Jesus faultless.

Jesus was unique in his doctrine (verses 14-18)
The Jews were amazed at Jesus’ spiritual knowledge because he had never attended their schools or studied with a rabbi. Education is a blessing, but it is better to be taught by God than to borrow the ideas of people. Jesus’ doctrine comes from heaven. People’s teaching comes from ‘darkened mind.’ Paul warns of “what is falsely called “knowledge [science]” (1 Timothy 6:20). Verse 17 says, “If any one chooses to do God’s will ….” A willingness to choose (obey) is the secret of learning God’s truth.

Jesus was unique in his works (verses 19-24)
They pretended to defend the Law by accusing him of working on the Sabbath. But He showed that their desire to kill him was contrary to the very Law they revered. The Jewish were very inconsistent as they opposed Jesus and rejected his Word! To them a person could be circumcised on the Sabbath, but he could not be healed on the Sabbath! This judgment seems to be based on appearance and not truth.

Jesus was unique in his origin (verses 25-31)
Verse 27 is not a contradiction of verse 42. The Jews knew where Jesus would be born [Bethlehem], but they also knew that his birth would be supernatural (Isaiah 7:14). In other words, they would not know Jesus’ origin. Jesus was born of the virgin Mary, but the Jews would not believe this. John 8:41 suggests that they accused Jesus of being born in sin. Mary’s condition before she married Joseph would perhaps make people say this. In verses 28-29, Jesus affirms that He was sent from the Father and that if they knew the Father, they would know the Son.

Jesus is unique in his warning (verses 32-36)
The “little while” that Jesus spoke of lasted about six months. It is important that people seek the Lord “while he may be found” (Isaiah 55:6). Many lost sinners who reject Jesus today will seek him tomorrow and Jesus will be gone from them (Proverbs 1:24-28). The Jews were ignorant of spiritual truth and thought he was talking about going to the Jews scattered among the nations. Because they were unwilling to obey the truth, they could not know the truth.

Conclusion and Application
People differ in their perspectives about others. And so Jesus encountered different opinions of people about him. Worthy of note is the fact that Jesus was not moved by the wrong opinion of the people about his character, teachings, works and origin. Neither did he make a strenuous attempt to defend himself. Since people are entitled to their opinions about us, it is important to remember that maintaining focus on God’s call and plan for our lives should remain our priority.

Questions
1. Under what condition can fear of people change our perspective about Jesus’ character?
2. State one way that a person can learn God’s truth?
3. How is Jesus unique in origin?
4. Why are you sometimes so concerned about people’s opinion about you?