#4 (THE "INVITATION FROM GOD" SERIES)
"COME AND DRINK!"
TEXT: Jn. 7:37-39; 4:5-26; 6:53-66; Isa. 44:3, 55:1; I Cor. 10:4
INTRO: Most of us take water for granted, at least until we become thirsty! We don't usually think much about water because we can turn a tap and have all the fresh water in the world. But you realize how important water is when you get really thirsty and can't get a glass of water! Suddenly all you can think about is water! Your whole body craves it, every thought is about it, and your body aches for it!
When one thinks of the desert your brain gets pictures of barrenness. Yet, when a rain comes to the desert all manner of life springs forth even if for just a short time, it can suddenly become a great garden of life when its thirst has been met for a time! Jesus uses this image to make an invitation to all people: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink." (NIV)
PROP SENT: The Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ will satisfy the thirsty soul, He is the water of life and He will give Himself freely to all who are thirsty!
I. TERRIBLE DRYNESS Jn. 4:5-26; I Cor. 10:4; Isa. 44:3; 55:1
A. Desert! Jn. 4:5-26; I Cor. 10:4
1. Here is a woman at a well, Jesus is tired and thirsty and so asks her for a drink.
a. Of course she is shocked that He would do so, she being a Samaritan and He being a Jew – Jews did not fraternize with Samaritans normally, much less a female one!
b. Jesus of course uses this opportunity to talk to this woman who is living in sin about "living water" that He can give her to satisfy her real thirst!
c. Like most people she assumes He meant water from this world, she would be happy not to have to come to this well all the time!
d. She was only thinking about her physical thirst while Jesus is trying to introduce her to a spiritual thirst!
2. Once she realizes who Jesus is she gladly partakes of this "living water," and sure enough her joy sends her into the city shouting for people to come and get a drink of “living water” themselves!
a. She had been living in the desert for a long time, how wonderful to have her real thirst met – it had satisfied so immediately that she dropped her bucket and left it at the well when she ran into town to shout about this new “living water” found in Christ! John 4:28 “Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people…” She had found a source of water greater than physical water!
b. She was so filled that she overflowed, a nice thing to do when in the desert! Once she spread the word quite a few from the town came out and got a drink as well!
3. Remember Israel in the desert? They had quite a few problems with water and thirst, many times they got very thirsty ... and God faithfully sent them water.
a. Paul mentioned this as a lesson for us in 1 COR. 10:4.
b. Israel all ate the heavenly food and drank the heavenly water that came from a rock, one that Paul says traveled with them, and that rock he calls Christ.
c. Jewish legend says that a rock traveled with Israel throughout the desert and supplied fresh water for them. Paul may be referring to this legend and the fact of that water he identifies as Christ -- the source of living water!
d. Here Paul warns however that even though they all partook of the same spiritual benefits they didn't all find the promise land, this was a warning to believers today that we must be careful not to just take those spiritual blessings for granted, to only drink once … we must continue to drink this “living water” daily!
4. Smart people build near water!
ILLUS: IN IHE EARLY DAYS OF SETTLING THE WEST THE EARLY SETTLERS ALWAYS BUILT ON RIVERS OR NEAR WATER. ANY ONE WHO BUILT AWAY FROM WATER WAS CONSIDERED A FOOL! WATER MEANT LIFE ... IT STILL DOES! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
B. Desire Isa. 44:3; 55:1
1. Dryness creates thirst, thirst is a desire.
a. It is clear that many times God allowed Israel’s spiritual dryness to take place to provoke a thirst for God again!
b. One of the warnings God had given Israel was about forsaking the covenant with God, if they did the heavens would be shut up and would not give forth rain.
c. This was not just to inflict pain for pain's sake on His people but to remind them of dryness in their soul! The physical was meant to remind them of the spiritual!
d. It also showed them that material blessings were only appreciated when they first had focused on spiritual things!
2. Our craving for water can be much greater than our craving for food, we cannot live as long without water as we can without food!
a. To neglect God for even a short time can create a thirsty soul.
b. Dryness destroys life quickly ... look at the deserts, that’s how they became so barren – no water, no life!
c. No Christ, no water of life for the soul – just barrenness!
ILLUS: I HAVE SEEN DOCUMENTARIES ON THE AFRICAN DESERTS. THEY ARE FORBIDDING AND BARREN LANDSCAPES, THEY APPEAR DEVOID OF ANY LIFE WHATSOEVER. VERY FEW ATTEMPT TO LIVE IN THE DESERTS; IT IS NOT CONDUCIVE TO LIFE! AN INTERESTING THING HAPPENS HOWEVER WHEN AN UNUSUAL RAIN STORM HITS, LITERALLY WITHIN HOURS THE AFRICAN DESERT COMES ALIVE WITH A CARPET OF PLANT LIFE AND FLOWERS, REPTILES THAT HAVEN'T BEEN SEEN FOR YEARS ESCAPE FROM THE GROUND WHERE THEY HAVE HID IN A STATE OF HIBERNATION, IT CAN LOOK LIKE THE GARDEN OF EDEN FOR A WEEK OR SO UNTIL THE LACK OF WATER AGAIN RETURNS THE AREA TO DEVASTATION AND LACK OF LIFE AGAIN. IT ONLY TAKES A LITTLE WATER TO TRANSFORM THE WHOLE AREA FROM DEATH TO LIFE! HOW MUCH MORE WILL CHRIST AS THE LIVING WATER TRANSFORM THE SOUL THAT IS THIRSTY! – SOURCE UNKNOWN
3. Here in Isa. 44:3 God says He will pour water upon him that is thirsty and floods upon dry ground!
4. He again offers this invitation in Isa. 55:1 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters ...”
5. To receive, one just has to be thirsty -- this is desire! The well is never dry for those who come to God!
II. TIME TO DRINK Jn. 6:53-66; 7:37-39
A. Discipleship 6:53-66
1. Jesus explains to the crowd that in order for them to know life in Him they would have to “eat His flesh and drink his blood!”
a. They could hardly believe their ears! Jesus seemed to be talking about cannibalism!
b. The idea of eating His flesh and drinking his blood seemed crazy, but of course Jesus wasn't talking about actually eating His flesh and literally drinking His blood, He was talking about His sacrifice on the cross and accepting it.
c. This is the whole concept of communion today, the bread represents His broken body, and the blood represents the new life we have in Him through His shed blood on Calvary!
d. Jesus makes the offer in no uncertain terms, there can be no life for them if they don't eat and drink Him – if they don’t receive Him and their supply!
2. This was a tough call, and indeed in verse 66 it states that after Jesus explained the meaning of this call many lost interest in Him, "after this hard saying, many of his disciples no longer followed him!"
a. They were not that hungry or that thirsty!
b. And so they turned away from the only source of life they could have known!
c. They decided to settle for physical bread and water rather than satisfy their soul’s spiritual hunger and thirst!
3. Their thirst was not great enough and so they remained barren and dead!
ILLUS: SEVERAL YEARS AGO WHEN A GREAT EARTHQUAKE HIT SOVIET ARMENIA 55,000 VICTIMS MADE UP ONE OF THE WORST EARTHQUAKES IN THE HISTORY OF THAT PART OF THE WORLD. IN ONE COLLAPSED BUILDING A WOMAN NAMED SUSANNA PETROYSAN WAS BURIED ALIVE, HER YOUNG DAUGHTER WAS ALSO STILL ALIVE BUT TRAPPED NEAR HER. SHE HEARD HER DAUGHTER'S PLEAS AS TIME WENT BY; "MOMMY, I'M SO THIRSTY ... I WANT A DRINK" BUT THERE WAS NOTHING SHE COULD DO AS THEY WERE TRAPPED BENEARTH TONS OF STEEL AND CONCRETE. THE BODY OF HER SISTER IN LAW LAY NEAR BY ALSO. THEY HAD GONE TO VISIT HER TO TRY ON DRESSES ON DECEMBER 7, 1988 WHEN THIS QUAKE HIT! AGAIN SHE HEARD HER DAUGHTER PLEAD, "MOMMY I NEED A DRINK, PLEASE GIVE ME SOMETHING!" THERE WAS NOTHING TO GIVE HER HOWEVER, SHE DIDN'T KNOW HOW LONG THEY HAD BEEN UNCONSCIOUS, OR HOW LONG BEFORE RESCUE CREWS MIGHT FIND THEM, BUT THERE WAS NOTHING TO GIVE HER THIRSTY DAUGHTER. SHE WAS TRAPPED FLAT ON HER BACK AS WAS HER DAUGHTER. THERE WAS BUT 18 INCHES OF SPACE ABOVE HER. FEELING AROUND IN THE DARKNESS SHE FOUND A JAR OF BLACKBERRY JAM, AND SO GAVE THE ENTIRE CONTENTS TO HER DAUGHTER TO SATISFY HER HUNGER AND THIRST. IT TOO WAS GONE BY THE SECOND DAY HOWEVER. AGAIN THE PLEAS CAME FROM HER DAUGHTER FOR SOMETHING TO DRINK, SHE WAS SO THIRSTY! SHE KNEW HER DAUGHTER WOULD DIE OF THIRST BEFORE SHE WOULD IF SHE DIDN'T GET SOMETHING TO DRINK SOON. SHE FOUND SOME CLOTHE AROUND HER AND WRAPPED HER DAUGHTER THE BEST SHE COULD TO PREVENT DEHYDRATION, THEY WERE WRAPPED FOR 8 DAYS. AS TIME WENT, SHE BEGAN TO HALLUCINATE, AND SHE WAS WAITING FOR DEATH, BUT SHE WANTED HER DAUGHTER TO LIVE ... EACH TIME SHE STARTED TO DRIFT OFF SHE WOULD HEAR HER DAUGHTER CRY AGAIN, "MOMMY, I'M SO THIRSTY, PLEASE GIVE ME SOEMTHING TO DRINK!" SUDDENLY SUSANNA REMEMBERED A TELEVISION PROGRAM SHE HAD WATCHED ABOUT SOME EXPLORER'S IN THE ARTIC WHO WERE DYING OF THIRST. THE ONE COMRADE HAD SLASHED HIS HAND OPENED AND GAVE HIS FRIEND HIS BLOOD TO DRINK! IT HAD SAVED HIS LIFE. WITHOUT WATER, NO FRUIT JUICE, NO LIQUIDS, IT WAS THEN SHE DECIDED TO GIVE HER DAUGHTER HER OWN BLOOD. GROPING AROUND IN THE DARK SHE FOUND A PIECE OF SHATTERED GLASS, SHE SLICED OPEN HER LEFT INDEX FINGER AND GAVE IT TO HER DAUGHTER TO SUCK ON. THE LITTLE GIRL BEGAN TO REVIVE, AND SHE CRIED OUT, “PLEASE MOMMY, SOME MORE, CUT ANOTHER FINGER.” SHE DOESN'T REMEMBER HOW MANY TIMES SHE CUT HERSELF; SHE ONLY KNOWS THAT IF SHE HADN'T HER DAUGHTER WOULD NOT HAVE LIVED! HER BLOOD WAS HER DAUGHTER'S ONLY HOPE ... AND IT BROUGHT LIFE! HOW MUCH MORE DOES THE BLOOD OF JESUS BRING LIFE TO THOSE WHO CRY OUT IN THIRST FOR A SPIRITAUL DRINK!? -- SOURCE UNKNOWN
4. It would be rare indeed to find a disciple that has absolutely no thirst for God!
a. They might be a disciple when things are good but as soon as things get tough or commitment is called for they drift aside however if their thirst is not strong enough!
b. Only the really thirsty keep seeking for something to drink!
5. This call by Jesus to be committed, to be so thirsty for Him that all else is nothing in comparison was too tough for some to hear ... and so they left following Jesus. How about you? How thirsty are you really? When the call for real commitment comes, do you run?
B. Deluge! Jn. 7:37-39
1. This was the last day of the feast of Tabernacles, celebrating the time Israel lived in the desert.
a. Traditionally, on the last day water from the pool of Siloam was offered up as part of the closing ceremonies. It is here and likely at this moment that Jesus stood and made an offer to satisfy a thirst with living water that is better than water from the pool of Siloam!
b. The waters from Siloam were the waters people bathed in for healing, they were waters thought to have special properties ... BUT Jesus offers them better water – living healing water, HIM!
c. Jesus stands and makes His offer, "if anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink."
2. If they thought these few vessels of water from the pool of Siloam could be helpful they hadn't seen the flood of water from Jesus that can meet all their needs!
a. Jesus then adds, "Whoever believes in me as the Scripture has said, ‘streams of living water will flow from within him!’"
b. Jesus offers more than a trickle! He offers a flood!
3. Jesus is promising here that for those who are thirsty they not only will be refreshed they will be overflowing with streams of living water.
a. This is a promise of the Holy Spirit that was to come through Christ's death and resurrection, no longer would the soul of man need to be thirsty!
b. Jesus would open the floodgates of heaven and pour out His Spirit to those who asked!
4. Have you taken the plunge! Are you thirsty? He will satisfy! “COME AND DRINK!”
CONCLUSION: Thirst is a powerful drive! Physical thirst can not match however the powerful thirst of the soul! We are born thirsty, and while we have many different sources to "drink" from there is only one that satisfies the heart, the living waters of Jesus! The invitation by Christ still stands today, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.” Even in the desert you can have a full supply! Has your thirst been met?