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.
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.
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