On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “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.” But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
The last day of the feast is the climax of the Jewish celebration of God’s provision in the Sinai desert. There, the hunger and thirst of Israel were satisfied supernaturally. It’s the perfect time for Jesus to talk about the new supernatural provision.
But this time, He adds a new twist. Not only will your thirst be slaked, but you can slake the thirst of others. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
That is an incredible benefit, if somewhat hard to comprehend. It needs some explaining, and John provides it. Jesus is talking about the Holy Spirit, which will come after He’s glorified.
But that one word—glorified—begins a lesson that may be the most important lesson in all of scripture—that Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection are primarily about God’s glory, not our salvation.
That concept permeates John’s gospel, culminating in Chapter 17, which begins with:
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You.” — John 17:1
Shocking. It’s not all about us.
Humans are going to have a human perspective. We see things through human eyes and will pay more attention to the things that affect us. Jesus’s crucifixion is the key to our justification and, thus, to our salvation. This is the aspect of the gospel we think about most.
But the whole truth is that God’s glory is the central purpose of Jesus’s death and resurrection, and even of our salvation. We should be consumed by gratefulness that we make out so well in God’s magnificent plan.
It didn’t have to be that way.
And part of that plan is that we do more than just receive living water; we can be a source of it for others.
And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. — Revelation 22:1
The gospel gives life just like water does, and regular folks like us are God’s chosen method for delivering life to others.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:
Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.