Despite a toxic audience of hostility, unbelief and hatred, Jesus extends an invitation to anyone to receive from him an extraordinary gift, as he is faithful to his Father will. Jesus, full of truth and grace
Truth- people at the feast - the attitude of people to whom the invitation goes out
Grace- the gift offered to anyone despite their attitude to Jesus
TRUTH- people at the feast- ‘the world hates me’
On the last and greatest day of this very popular feast Jesus will get up and invite “anyone who is thirsty to come to me and drink.”
Who is his audience? Who will be hearing these words – anyone…come to me.
Leading up the Jesus big announcement John is very clear as to the attitude to Jesus of the festival goers
Jews- specifically Jewish leaders...
vs 1- looking to kill him, so he has been avoiding Judea
vs. 23 - Still angry at him for healing the man on Sabbath…when first read plans to kill him in
5:18 Jewish leaders are looking out for him at the feast- presumably to get him, later they send guards to arrest him, twice it says they tried to seize him, but none lay a hand on him.
Brothers- “even his own brothers did not believe him” They urge Jesus to go up to the feast and make a spectacle of himself amongst everyone… campaigning.
World- the world hates me
Later- “good man”, “no he deceives people, quack, charlatan”, many with misunderstanding about who Jesus is, where is he from… they just don’t get it.
Confused to toxic audience. These are the people who are at the feast. His polling in Jerusalem would not be terrible great. His campaign manager would be wanting a different approach from Jesus. What is the cause of this hostility and hatred?
The truth. Jesus speaks the truth.
vs. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me…because I testify that its works are evil.
That is campaign killer, if Jesus is trying to win votes. Hatred is because Jesus speaks the truth about the world…evil.
People don’t like being told that. When having conversations with people, speaking the gospel be careful…
Careful 1: Not to deny the truth and what the bible says about mankind- not dilute it, not sugar coat it. We’re OK, really.
Careful 2: Explain biblical evil- because when hear evil – think of serial killers, and Hitlers etc. Any many people from are not like that, but Jesus testifying that world is evil, and so must we is primarily in relation to God.
John 3:19 evil is anti-God, rebel against God- good society people, inspirational, hard-working, kind, helpful, but evil as they have no desire for God, to submit to him, to worship him and thank him.
We must speak the truth, Jesus was sent to speak the truth to the world, we must be accurate so people rightly understand why Jesus, the Bible says the world is evil. Don’t dilute it, but don’t inaccurate.
Warning for congregations like us Hebrews 3:12.
But Jesus speaking the truth – means hatred and it will cost him his life, seeking to kill him
So it is into this toxic audience at the festival- hostile, hatred, unbelief, Jesus deliberately goes.
This makes his declaration all the more astounding in 37-39.
This is his GRACE
The great day, the reason Jesus has gone up to the feast despite the danger, is to proclaim “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scriptures has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit , whom those who believed in him were later to receive (GIFT!!!)
Not sure how you handle nay-sayers, objectors, opponents… not on Christmas card list. Not invite them to your party, invite them into your life.
In this toxic hostile environment Jesus yells out an invitation to receive from Him the gift, the out pouring of the Holy Spirit. Jesus grace extends offer of gift to all people.
In the context of chapter 7 the word “Anyone” is astounding- speaking to the Jewish leaders who want to kill him, to his brothers (they are there) who don’t believe him, to the world who hate- anyone come and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Offering a gift.
That is the gospel- that is why it is good news, God in Christ still invites and offers a gift.
Extent of the hostility magnifies the grace of God
The gift of the Holy Spirit is the reality that God is doing a new thing.
John 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life, flesh counts for nothing , no help at all.
Our fallen nature means we can’t submit to God, please him hostile to him.
People described at the feast and us without Christ- incapable. It’s not in me. How do we move?
Spirit brings the dead to life- spiritual life. Empowers new way to live, to be alive to God.
This is the good news. Yes sin forgiven, but empowered to live for God by the Spirit.
Rangitikei River- volume of water, power, consistent, no break, continuous flow.
Jesus describes the person who receives the Spirit has having rivers of spiritual life in them. God himself empowering us, enabling us.
The Spirit poured out onto our lives – we are capable of walking with God, having fellowship with Him. Go from hostility to wanting to have fellowship with God. Is that how you understand Christian life?
The Holy Spirit who was Jesus closest companion and empowered him, likewise indwells us and enable and empowers us.
2 Peter 1:4 participate in the divine nature—power, capable to for true life and godliness.
What a gift!! What grace to invite the hating world to receive. Have you come to Jesus Christ to receive life, to receive the Holy Spirit who makes you alive to God?
Notice the Spirit is given after Jesus is glorified- cross, resurrection, return to the glory with the Father- he pours put the Holy Spirit on the church in Acts 2 day of Pentecost- another festival.
At the cross, Jesus said “I thirst.” The very one who said “ if thirsty come to me and drink” and who has rivers of living water to give…now says “I thirst” Jesus was dealing to our evil deeds in his own body.
Col 1:21 he removes the barrier between us and God, cleanses us so after his resurrection and retutn to glory, the Holy Spirit whom he poured out, can come and dwell in us.
The sacrifices were made to remove impurity, make the unclean clean so that then they can go into the presence of God and God can meet with them.
This is the gospel, life from God, life with God.
Through Jesus full of truth and grace, confronting the truth about our evil, but ready to give the Holy Spirit to live the new way of fellowship with God.