Day Three Hundred Eight, John 7
Today's reading includes some teaching that Jesus does in the Temple at Jerusalem. He had gone to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles, so there were many Jews in the city, and really, there was a lot of talking going on about Jesus. At this point in His ministry, no one was sure what to think of Him. Some believed He was a good man. Others believed He was a liar. Some believed He was a prophet. Some wondered if He could be the Christ. Some think He is crazy or demon-possessed, Himself. He knew that some of the Jewish leaders wanted to arrest and kill Him. Yet He was able to openly speak to the public in the Temple, and no one laid a hand on Him.
What stands out most to me about His teaching is the almost desperate tone that He takes. At one point, the people are discussing whether or not He could be the Christ. "Some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, 'Isn't this the man they are trying to kill? Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Christ? But we know where this man is from; when Christ comes, no one will know where he is from.' Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, 'Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, but I know him, because I am from him and he sent me.'"
I think that Jesus "cried out" because He desperately wanted these people to be able to believe in Him. Indeed, many in the crowd did put their faith in Him. On the last day of the Feast, in fact, Jesus issued this glorious invitation: "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."
"If anyone is thirsty..."
I dunno about you, but I'm thirsty.