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The Scriptorium

The Offer of Living Water

Jesus is the Fount of every blessing.

The Gospel of John: John 7.37-52

Read and meditate on John 7.25-27.
Jesus was the Master at making the most of every opportunity.

the great day of the feast, Jesus began
to cry out, saying, “Anyone who thirsts
should come to Me and drink. 38If in your hearts
you trust in Me, then as the Scriptures say,
out from your heart will flow this very day
the living water, like a river.”

- John 7.37, 38

1.  For seven days during the Feast of Tabernacles, the priests filled large jugs of water, retrieved from the pool of Siloam (Jn. 9.7), and poured them out on the temple steps, reminding the people of God’s provision in the Wilderness, and invoking Isaiah’s promise of water from the wells of salvation (Is. 12.1-4; Bible History Online). Why is water such a powerful symbol of salvation? Complete this prayer: Lord, when I was thirsty for life, You quenched my parched soul with the Gospel, and now I…

2.  As this was happening, the people would sing Psalms 113-118. Read through these psalms. What made them appropriate to accompany this symbolic pouring out of water? Lord, we sing in church, but I don’t sing much otherwise. Yet You have given us wonderful words for singing Your praises. Help me to…

3.  On the last day of the feast, the great day, the priests did not pour out water, and declared by not doing so that the promise was fulfilled, since the people were now in the land. Water, salvation, promise, fulfillment, the land: Can you see why Jesus was waiting for this moment? Explain. Lord, You are so amazing! I want to be an effective witness for You, so…

4.  At just this moment, Jesus stepped forward and declared, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” What was He saying? What was He claiming about Himself? You are the Well of Salvation, the Promise of God, my Savior, my Provider, my…

5.  Put yourself in that crowd – those people, the priests, the religious leaders. What do you think your immediate response would have been to hearing Jesus say this? Why? Bring together into one the prayers you composed for questions 1-4.

“Hold on to the gift but acknowledge the giver. When the Lord promised he was going to give his Spirit, he said, ‘If anyone is thirsty let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, rivers of living water will flow from his belly.’ Where does this river in you come from? Remember your former dryness. I mean, if you had not been dry, you would not have been thirsty. If you had not been thirsty, you would not have drunk. What do I mean when I say: if you had not been thirsty, you would not have believed in Christ? Unless you had discovered how empty you were, you would not have believed in Christ. Before saying ‘rivers of living water will flow from his belly,’ he first said, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come and drink.’ The reason you will have a river of living water is that you drink. You do not drink if you are not thirsty.” Augustine (354-430 AD)

Because the Gospel is true, it marshals truth from everyday experience to impose itself on the minds and hearts of people. Jesus proclaimed His message into an atmosphere focused on the grace and promises of God. How can we become more effective at using all truth to magnify Jesus and proclaim His Good News?

Closing Prayer
I will extol You, my God, O King;
And I will bless Your name forever and ever.
Every day I will bless You,
And I will praise Your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised;
And His greatness is unsearchable.
One generation shall praise Your works to another,
And shall declare Your mighty acts.
I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty,
And on Your wondrous works.
Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts,
And I will declare Your greatness.
They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness,
And shall sing of Your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and full of compassion,
Slow to anger and great in mercy.
The LORD is good to all,
And His tender mercies are over all His works.
All Your works shall praise You, O LORD,
And Your saints shall bless You.
They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom,
And talk of Your power,
To make known to the sons of men His mighty acts,
And the glorious majesty of His kingdom.

Psalm 145.1-12

Psalm 145.1-12 (Brother James’ Air: The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want)
I will extol You, God, My King, and ever praise Your Name!
I bless You, Lord, for everything, each day, and e’er the same!
Great are You, Lord, my praise I bring; unsearchable Your fame!

To ev’ry generation we Your wondrous works shall tell.
The splendor of Your majesty we contemplate full well.
We speak of all Your mighty deeds and all Your greatness tell!

Then shall we all the glorious fame of Your great goodness sing –
Your righteousness, Your gracious Name, Your mercy; praise we bring!
Your steadfast love remains the same, mercy our covering.

Your works shall thank You; all Your saints shall bless and praise You, Lord.
Your reign we bless without restraint; Your power fills our words.
Our children we shall educate in all Your splendor, Lord.

T. M. Moore

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Jesus is the Centerpiece of all Scripture, as He Himself explained (Jn. 5.39). But how can we learn to see Him there? How do the primary themes of Scripture revolve around Jesus? Our online course,
Introduction to Biblical Theology, shows you how best to get at, get into, and get with the Word of God, so that you can grow more consistently in the Lord. It’s free, and you can study at your own pace. For more information or to register, click here.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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