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(John 7)  Water Unlimited

(John 7) Water Unlimited

by Stephen Davey
Series: Sermons in John
Ref: John 7

The most important question you can ever ask and answer in this world is "who is Jesus Christ?" The second most important question follows right along with the first: "Who is Jesus Christ to you?" How you answer those questions will not only determine how you live in this world, but how you will live in the next one.


Water Unlimited

John 7

7:1.  And after these things Jesus was walking in Galilee; for he was unwilling to walk in Judea, becuase the Jews were seeking to kill Him.

2.  Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand.

You need to understand that this was one of the three festivals that was obligatory - any Jewish male who lived within 15 miles of Jerusalem was required to attend.  It might have been a burden, but instead it was a time of harvest celebration.   It was also a memorial of God's provision while their forefathers lived in the desert after leaving Egypt, when Pharoah finally let them go.

As part of the memorial the people made little booths of palm branches where they slept under the stars for seven nights - a reminder of what their forefathers lived like as runaway slaves.

It was time of special celebration, and the city of Jerusalem swelled to overflowing with the masses of men, women and children who took part in this feast time.

7:3.  His brothers therefore said to Him, "Depart  from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may behold Your works which you are doing.

Now you may have noticed the mention of brothers; in fact, Matthew 13 gives us the names of Jesus' 4 brothers.  It goes on, without naming them, to inform us that he also had more than one sister.  Now since Jesus was born of a virgin, he would not be considered Joseph's natural son, but would be considered as Joseph's legal son; making the rest of the children His half-brothers and half-sisters.

The view that Mary remained a perpetual virgin is not Biblical.  In fact both Matthew and Mark tell us that Joseph and Mary went on to have at least 7 more children!  Bless their hearts! 

Now the Bible records the bad feelings between Jesus and the rest of the tribe.

Look at verse 5. - For not even his brothers were believing in Him.

They thought he was a fraud...a fake...a power/popularity hungry young man.  How do I know that?

verse 4 gives us the clues - (they said to him...) "For no one does anything in secret, when he himself seeks to be known publicly.

C'mon, if you really want the spotlight, stop hanging out in the shadows of insignificant Galilee - head for the big city of Jersulem!

In other words - they are accusing Jesus of just wanting to be known.

Secondly, they are doubting the credibility of Jesus' miracles...

4b. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.

There isn't anything more painful than being considered by your own family members as a little disconected with reality! 

            "All that Christianity stuff - man, did you turn into some kind of fanatic or what?!"

Or worse yet, the attitude of - "Well, I guess if you need Jesus,  if you're a little weak, that's nice - but I'm capable of living without crutches"

And you wish they knew as you knew - Jesus Christ is not a crutch - He is the cure! 

Allow me to pull from this passage two Principles of Encouragement from the example of Jesus Christ:

Principle #1

!if you're encountering family pressure, remember how Jesus handled it.  TWO WAYS:

                        -Jesus never retaliated in like manner - back off!  I know you're just mocking me - you're no saint yourself.  If anybody needed the Messiah you guys are definitely in need!  He didn't reveal their inconsistencies even though they tried to uncover his.

            key phrase - 4b. "For no one does anything in secret, when he

himself seeks to be known publicly!"

You know what's tought about being belittled for your faith - you know good and well all the problems that they are having - you know the pride and backbiting, the frustration and materialism...and on and on - "Hey you accuse me of sin, well, let me tell you about yourself.

Jesus could have pointed his finger at his little brother James and said, "James, I know that dirty thought you had yesterday...I know that unkind word you said last week to that man"

            You saying I've got problems, well, let me tell you!!!

Jesus never belittled or debate their current religion

You would think that since these were the half brothers of Jesus, children born into the family of Mary and Joseph, that these would be the people that Jesus delivered his most vocal, stirring convicting messages to; has it ever occured to you that there isn't one recorded sermon in the Gospels that Jesus preached to his family.

Surely, he would unload the dump truck of divine knowledge in their front yard about His deity - surely he would perform some private miracles for them to prove that Judaism was a thing of the past!

But what does he do?  He encourages them to go to the feast that He himself is the fulfillment of!

The issue will not be solved by a change in religion - there are a lot of people in church today who will die and go to hell - religious, yes! 


The issue is solved by a personal encounter with the living, victorious, interceding, head of the church - Jesus Christ.

Now I'm not for a moment suggesting that you don't witness to them; do!  Don't preach at them, witness to them in a winsome, loving way that circumvents angry debate and personal attack.

And remember that they are the most difficult people in all the world you will ever witness to. . .so take note of the example of Jesus Christ.

Second Principle of encouragement:  !if you're experiencing family friction becuase of your faith, remember Jesus promised it.

People, have told me, "Christianity can't be the truth, it's split families wide's divided loved ones."

Jesus said it would.

There are individuals in this congregation whov'e come to faith in Christ and I've baptized them according to the biblical pattern of disciples baptism - their families wouldn't come to watch - they accused them of abandoning their heritage, betraying their past.

Listen as Jesus spoke in Luke 12:51 Do you think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to breing peace, but a sword.  For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother in law; and a man's




enemies will be the members of his own family."

So remember Jesus experienced this truth first-hand!  When those you love, whose approval you long to have, minimize or belittle your faith, you can recall that Jesus felt what you're feeling - he experienced the struggle of rejection from his own family.

So if you're in the middle of it, remember Jesus' kind, winsome example.

Now this family feud has actually expanding into a national debate.

The entire population is talking about this Jesus - the women are sharing the latest stories as they mingle in the market place; the religous leaders are sequestored away trying to strategize against his latest miracle...the common pheasants have within their hearts a swelling hope that perhaps this is the Messiah.

Now you ought to underscore verse 12 and verse 43; for they serve as two bookends between the content of chapter 7.  The chapter opens with grumbling and it ends with division.

Sandwiched in between are at least 7 different views about Jesus Christ.

            !he is only a good man            (v. 12)

            !he is a deciever                                  (v. 12)

            !he is a scholarly teacher                    (v. 15)

            !he is a paranoid lunatic                      (v. 20)

            !he is a great miracle worker (v. 31)

            !he is the prophet                                (v. 40)

            !he is the Messiah                                (v. 41)



I happen to beleive that this chapter includes every possible category of opinion about Jesus Christ and that, within this chapter is your opinion of him, expressed and felt by someone in this chapter 2,000 years ago.

The question is, which opinion is your?!

Now of all the views presented, I want to spend a little time on the first opinion - simply becuase it is the most commonly held one, even to this day, and becuase it is the one opinion that is absolutley impossible to believe. 

Let's begin at verse 10.  But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then he Himself also went up, not publicly, but as it were, in secret.

11.  The Jews therefore were seeking Him at the feast, and were saying, "Where is He?"






12.  And there was much grumbling among the multitudes concerning Him; some were saying, "he is a good man."

Now let's stop here - there are a number of reasons why either Jesus was God or he was a very bad man. . .He cannot be just a good man.  Let me explain quickly why:

 First of all:

            If Jesus Christ was not God, then He was a deluded imposter.

            WHy?  Becuase He claimed to be able to forgive sins.  Now think about that for a moment.  If one of you (have someone stand) stole something from me, that would be a sin.  I might say to you, should you confess it to me, "Okay, I forgive you."  Or suppose someone hits me with their fist, full in the face."  If they apologize, and pay the medical bills, I might say, "That's alright, I've forgiven you."

BUT - what if that person came and stole from you (have another stand), and hit you in the face - you come to me and say, "Stephen, he hit me in the face...he stole from me"  What if I should say, "That's okay, I've forgiven him."  HA!  I have no right to forgive him - he didn't directly sin against me!

Well, here's Jesus Christ claiming the ability and the right to forgive sins committed not only against himself but everyone else in the whole world!

What an incredible claim!  "Son, thy sins are forgiven thee"  He once said.  "Thy sins are forgiven" He said to a woman.  The onlookers said, "Who is this that forgives sins?  Who can fogive sins but God?"  PRECISELY THE POINT - either Jesus was God or he certainly wasn't a good man - He was an imposter.


            If Jesus Christ was not God, then He was an incredible egotist.

On one occasion, they asked Jesus, "Are you greater than our father Abraham?" He answered, "Before Abraham was, I am."

Look at His teaching - who was his primary subject?  HIMSELF! I am the door - I am the way, the truth and the life...why one time, he said that the Old Testament was written mainly about himself.

If He was not God, he was an egomaniac, he was not a good man!

C.S.Lewis wrote, "You can shut Him up for a foo, you can spit at him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  he has not left that open to us.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is the Son of God or else a madman."

Verse 14.  But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach.  15.  The Jews therefore were marveling, saying, "How has this man become learned, having never been educated?"  16.  Jesus therefore answered them, and said, "My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me  (now watch this carefully).  17.  If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself (or, whether I just made it up.)  Did you catch that?  You discernment of the truth of this book hinges on your obedience to the author of this book.

In other words:  Your ability to understand God's Word is related to your availability to obey God's will.

And so, many people today will never know the will of God.  WHY?  becuase if they did they wouldn't follow it anyway, so why would God bother to reveal it?!

Go back to the verse again - 17a.  If any man is willing to do His

will...    the word, "Willing" is from the greek text "thelo" and is a very strong word - it means to "seize with the mind" to be resolved".   So ultimately this was a challenge to the Jewish leaders - they believed they "knew the Word of God and the will of God."  Jesus is telling them that they were illiterate.

That's the point of verse 19.  Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you carries out the law.  Why do you seek to kill Me."

Now at this point the crowd jumps in 20.  "You have a demon?  Who seeks to kill You?"  In other words, "You've gone mad - who in the world is trying to kill you?"

But Jesus knew the secret plot - turn back to 5:18.  For this cause therefore the Jews (this is a reference to the Jewish leaders, not the Jewish population at large) were seeking all the more to kill Him, becuase He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God."

Let's move ahead to 7:28.  Jesus therefore cried out in the temple, teaching and saying, "You both know Me and know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know.

29.  I know Him; becuase I am from Him, and He sent Me.

Now notice, v. 30.  They were seeking therefore to seize Him, and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

Let's lock him up.

Why seize Him?  Becuase He was claiming to be equal with God.

Now the next paragraph, verses 30-36, include a prophetic warning:

v. 33.  hesus therefore said, "For a little while longer I am with you, then I go to Him who sent Me, you shall seek Me, and shall not find Me; and where I am, you cannot come."

But didn't Jesus say, "Seek and you will find?"  Matthew 7:7

Now He says, "you will seek and not find?"  The balance came from the pen of the Prophet Isaiah who wrote, "Seek the Lord while he may be found."

Here is a nation, embroiled over the debate about whether or not to accept Christ's claims. . .Jesus warns them, "One day it will be too late."

You are clinging to the law - one day the law will judge you as lawbreakers instead of save you!

You think you are safe - one day the law will condemn you.

Many years ago, toward the end of the 12th centruy, Scotland's great king Robert the Bruce was being chased by English soldiers.  They were almost upon him, so when he realized that he was not making the speed he should he left the path and darted through the thisck forest, hoping to excape.  Robert ran mile after mile.  But then, just as he was telling himself that perhaps he had escaped the vnegeance of King Edward, he heard a sound that made his bloodrun col.  It was the baying of his own blood-hounds.  The English, fearing that they would lose him in the thicket, had let loose his own bloodhounds, putting them on his own track.  The animals which were supposed to protect their master faithfully were actually going to bring about his capture and death.  Despeate now and exhausted, he stumbled suddenly upon a clear mountain stream, several feet deep.  At once he plunged in, allowing it to sweep him several miles downstream, and then he came out on the other side of the forest, where he hid and listened as the hounds came barking and baying to the waters edge.  The were able to go no further.  The scent was gone...Robert had escaped. 

The law, which is supposed to do us good, actually, in the end, actually betrays us.   My friend - you think you are safe - your church will save you - your works, your morality, your ethics.  One day they will, like baying bloodhounds, hunt you down.

You will be lost until you plunge into that one stream which will wash out the scent of sin forever.

Had I been Jesus, I would have gathered up my robe and stormed away after delivering the warning...yet Jesus isn't finished.  Something amazingly wonderful is about to happen.

37.  Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and

cried out, saying, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and


I want you to get this picture - water was a very significant part of this feast.  Every day during this festival the priest would take a golden pitcher and parade throught the streets of Jerusalem until he reached the pool of Siloam.  He would fill the pitcher with water and then walk back through the Water Gate while the people following along would chant Isaiah 12:3 - "With joy you will draw water from the wells of asalvation."

The water would then be carried up to the Temple altar and poured out on the altar as a symbol of the water gushing from the rock in the wilderness that gave life to the Israelites. 

On the last day of the feast, which is the context here, the people would gather their palm branches from which they had constructed their little booths and they would parade through the streets as the priest went to get water - when they returned they all marched around the altar 7 times and then poured the water; along with praise was the prayer which went, "O bring now then salvation."

With that as a background, suddenly the air is pierced by the voice of Jesus who stood v. 37 and cried out, "If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.  In other words, God is answering your prayer!  He is bringing your salvation - just as the early Israelites were saved by drinking from the water, so Christ offer the water of eternal life."

This is an open invitation. . .The drink of eternal water is offered

Notice verse 38.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, "From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water."

            !it's a reference to Christ, the smitten rock  (Ps. 78)

            !it's a challenge to recieve the gift of eternal life

                        I think the implication is even more than that:          

            !it's a promise of fulfillment and satisfaction

Look at verse 39.  But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to recieve. . .

Now if you combine this commentary with the unique phrase, "innermost being" I think you'll get the picture.

Your translation of innermost being may read, belly - that's synonomous with the Hebrew idea of kidney - that was there seat of emotion, and feeling.  Our American seat of emotion and feeling is the heart.  Aren't you glad it's not the kidney?

Imagine, you wouldn't call her your sweetheart but your sweetkidney.  you'd send her a card that reads, "I love you with all my kidneys". . ."This message is from my kidney to yours"

Not the Jew - the place where satisfaction was felt, where longing were felt, where emotion and love emanated was the belly.

Jesus says, "You take a drink of living water and, just as the water goes into your belly, so the Spirit will come in and fill up your deepest longings; he will satisfy your greatest needs.

Well . . .the chapter ends like it started - there is debate and discussion . . . The Decision Are Varied

he is a prophet - let's follow Him around (v. 40) he is the Christ -let's invite him in (41) he is an imposter - let's lock him up (44)

he is a great teacher - let's hear him out (v. 46)

Well, we've catalogued a lot of opinions about Jesus, what's you'rs.  He's a good man?  He's a good teacher?  He's deluded...he's a crutch. . .he's my Messiah.

We have a gentlemen in our church who's Jewish mother was captured and deported to live in Auschiwtz concentration camp during Hitler's reign of terror...

If Abraham Lincoln or George Washington or Thomas Jefferson were to walk in here, we would rise out of respect; if Jesus Christ were to walk into this auditorium this morning, we would kneel...

While the invitation is open, will you come and drink of this fountain of life...THE WATER IS UNLIMITED. . . but the time isn't, for right now, there is still some left!

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