Rivers Of Living Water

James May


by Pastor Jim May

John 7:37-53, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified)

Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. And every man went unto his own house.”


On the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood in the midst of those who had come together for a solemn assembly. It was time for the offering of the bullock upon the fire. This day would require fewer sacrifices than the seven days prior. The Feast of Tabernacles began with the offering of 13 bullocks on the first day and then each day, one less bullock would be offered. But, on this day, the last day, there would be only one offered. In total, there were 70 bullocks offered in the first 6 days, one for each of the 70 known nations of the world. But, on this great day, the greatest day of all, the last day of the feast, only one would be offered, but it was the most important one for the Jews, for this bullock would be sacrificed on behalf of their own nation.


On this last day, things would differ greatly from the previous 6. On this day there would be a special prayer made, a feast that was greater than those of the previous six days, a different song of worship would be sung, a special blessing invoked from God Jehovah, and a very special offering would be given.


On this day also, there would be a special ceremony, according to Jewish tradition and law. There would be an offering of water to be poured out unto the Lord.


Here is how the water offering ceremony would be done. The priests would take a golden pot, draw water out of the Pool of Siloam, then travel through the city to the Water Gate. There they would blow their trumpets, give out a long, loud shout, as the priest would climb to the altar at the gate. Upon that altar were two silver basins. On the west, the basin was filled with water, while the basin on the east was filled with wine.

This ceremony, for the Jews, had a great significance. It was brought down by tradition from the time of Moses upon Mt. Sinai and it was representative of the pouring out of the Holy Ghost upon God’s people.

Even the Prophet Isaiah referred to this ceremony when he said in Chapter 12, verses 2-6,, “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.”


The drawing of the water from the well and pouring it out into the basins at the Water Gate was symbolic of drawing salvation from the wells of God’s mercy and grace, and then allowing God to pour out the “new wine” of the Holy Ghost upon His people and filling the land with His blessings.

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