John chapter 7 is about the very mid-point of Jesus’ ministry. Already the Jewish leadership in Israel want to kill Him, and the majority of His disciples had turned back and rejected Him. He is back in Jerusalem for a Fall feast there. We read that even His 4 brothers, which would include later Bible writers, James and Jude, did not yet believe in Him, says verse 5! Why? An answer could be found in all the many opinions the people held of Him here. With verse 12, we learn that some thought He was a good man, while others held that He was a deceiver. Still others considered Him to be demon-possessed, says verse 20. Some were still questioning whether Jesus could be the Messiah in verse 26. We do read that some concluded that Jesus was, indeed, the Christ, as verses 31 and 41 tell us. We also see that some gave Him enough credence to consider Him the Prophet who was to come, not realizing that the promise of this Prophet was a Messianic prophecy. While verse 41 tells us that some truly had become convinced that Jesus was their Messiah. Yet, even after that pronouncement, some appear to only be confused, in verses 41 and 42. So, what was the one point that Jesus, Himself, wanted to make at this feast? That’s what chapter 7 is really all about!
We can find the key issues of #1, righteousness and its opposite #2, sin with verses 12 and 18, and then 7 and 49, where we even find a hint at #3, judgment. It’s probably a reference to #6, repentance, where we read in verse 17 about anyone choosing to do God’s will, as that almost always entails a turning from choosing to do our own! But, the chapter comes down to 3 of The 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message, beyond the 4 just mentioned. We find 2 keys, the first being in verses 28 and 29, where Jesus identifies Himself as the One sent by God. It is a claim to be their Messiah; the One who came from God. He is #4, the Savior. The second key is prime and pivotal to all the chapter, and that is what is found in verses 37 thru 39. The thirst of which He speaks is spiritual in nature, and is primarily of that thirst for righteousness; to be right before, and in the sight of, God! It is a true spiritual thirst to be good and right; to know and to want God, when nothing else will satisfy! Few ever seem to get to such a place in their lives. Pity. But, for all those who do, Christ’s invitation is to come to Him! And, all that thirst will be quenched, when they drink; which means to, as we find 3 times in the passage, #7, believe upon Him!
Something happens just then. He baptizes that thirsty sinner seeking righteousness with the Holy Spirit in a spiritual #8, New Birth! Jesus is speaking of conversion; of coming to Him, and placing one’s faith in Him, and He, in return, giving the New Birth, which results in a whole new and transformed life! He is the Christ! He gives new life! Believe upon Him, and He will give you the Holy Spirit! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell