I love this chapter in the book of John as it shows a glimpse of the human side of Jesus. It begins with a conversation between Jesus and His disciples, as they try to coax Him into attending a big Jewish party/festival. Jesus plays it cool and tells them He’s not coming and that they should go ahead without him.
But then, Jesus decides the party might be too-good-to-miss and snuck out and followed his mates to the festival, albeit out of the public view so that no one would recognize him. Mid way through the festival, Jesus jumps on on stage and starts teaching, sharing truth which then turns to outright rebuking the people over their love of the “law”.
So much for staying incognito Jesus. lol.
On the last day of the festival in verse 37, it says that Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink!"
We’ve gone from… in the shadows, to light teaching, then rebuking, all the way to SHOUTING. It makes me wonder why? What would cause Jesus to get so riled up that he jumps on the stage to get the mic?
The answer is simple: Love and compassion. The festival was full of people believing lies, building their lives upon rules and rituals handed down from religious rulers who sought to control and manipulate them. So Jesus, in His love and compassion couldn’t sit there in the shadows and watch people wither in their souls. He got up and declared the truth to people who would listen and that truth set many of them free.
I love at the end of this chapter, the Pharisees are mad when the soldiers failed to arrest Jesus because they were mesmerized by his teaching. Then Nicodemus, one of the most respected Pharisees steps up to defend Jesus and is ridiculed by the rest. Footnote: Nicodemus appears later in scripture with Joseph as he tenderly helps wrap and bury the body of Jesus. The truth sets people free!
As believers we carry this message of truth. I’m remind that I should have the same love and compassion as Jesus did and should boldly share the message of the Gospel so that others my find the freedom and forgiveness that I’ve been given. I hear Jesus’ words echo in my heart “Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink!”.
May we lead the thirsty to Jesus!