Jesus took his stand. He cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.John 7:37 (The Message)
For my relaxation, I have an allotment which I love to go most evenings. I not only work but also just sit and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of being alone in my allotment.
The one thing that has been missing in my allotment for the last few weeks has been rain, yes rain. The ground is hard and almost dusty and I hear myself shouting “come rain!” (by the way, looking out of my office window as I write this, I can see rain. My prayers have been answered. Sorry if that has spoilt your day, you wanted sunshine!).
In the last few days of Jesus’s life, Jesus stands not on an allotment, but in a temple courtyard. There He is watching the religious leaders of Jerusalem pouring out water onto the pavement as a symbolic reminder of the children of Israel when they were in the desert and desperately needed water. Well, the water being poured out symbolised their salvation from Egypt and a deeply satisfied life as they entered the Promised Land.
Seeing this act, Jesus himself shouts out and once more gives an invitation. The invitation is to come and drink. Jesus is asking a question is anyone thirsty? But it is not a question of natural thirst but one of spiritual thirst. Jesus is asking is there anyone dissatisfied with their life? Is there anybody wishing there was more to life than this?
Sadly over the last few days, we have seen scenes in America which surely cannot be ignored where a race of people feel victimised in a country which they call their home. They are surely dissatisfied with the way they are still been treated, even in 2020. Has anything really changed for these people? I am sure they are thirsty for change, I know I am. My greatest hero is Dr Martin Luther King and his amazing speech “I have a dream” still sends shivers down my spine. The question is what has really changed since that amazing speech?
Jesus was saying that to His race also. What has changed for hundreds of years ago you entered the place where you stand (Roman rule did not help). Jesus was and is saying I can bring deep satisfaction into your life if you really want it. You can continue in this religious experience that you are witnessing, or you can have a relationship experience by coming to me. What I have to offer is spiritually satisfying. The Holy Spirit (one exactly like Jesus) will fill your inner being. Ann Graham Lotz has an amazing chapter in her book Just Give Me Jesus. (pages 152-172) referring to this invitation from Jesus (come to me).
Jesus himself lives in us and He promised to help us throughout our whole life, so let me repeat, do you need help in your life? Are you distressed in your life? Do you find decisions you just can’t make? Are you suffering a broken relationship? Are you being falsely accused? Are you being ill-treated as we’ve seen in the last few days? I truly believe Jesus meant what he said. If you are dissatisfied with life and thirsty for something new Jesus will fill you and give your life a real purpose.
I believe as nations we are spiritually dry and this lockdown has seen a real urgency to look once again at what God has to offer. Bibles bought, zoom and YouTube attendances of church services have soared. I believe Jesus can quench that thirst in our world and you, you just have to ask.
This week we have seen Jesus invite you to Come and see, Come and dine, Come and follow, Come and fellowship and Come and be filled with living water (Holy Spirit). What more can Jesus do? Have you taken up any of His invitations, I truly hope you have, or will give it serious consideration.
You see my Jesus loves all people no matter what colour, culture or class. He just simply loves you and desires to fill you. So if you are thirsty for real life as Ann Graham Lotz book says Just Give Me Jesus.