Read: John 7:40-44
It’s safe to say that the political discourse in the United States is in a state of complete disarray. Public discourse between politicians tends to be composed of mere personal attacks and no real policy. Everyone and their grandma has a barely-informed and incendiary political opinion to post on Facebook. The right side of the political spectrum slams the left and vice versa. Major news media outlets have obvious biases, making the task of finding out what really happened or was said to be extremely difficult. Our nation becomes easily polarized on any given topic because of this.
Following Jesus’ loaded declaration at the end of the Feast of Booths, we see the Jews do what I just described—polarize. The reactions to Jesus’ claims are varied and radically different.
“This really is the Prophet,” exclaims one group.
“This is the Christ,” says others.
“Is the Christ to come from Galilee?” retorts yet another group.
The crowd is divided over Jesus, varying from some proclaiming Him to be the Christ to others wanting to arrest Him. The Jewish people are not sure what Jesus is saying and are even less certain what they ought to do with Him. This passage marks an interesting shift in some people’s reactions to Jesus though. People had previously speculated that Jesus could be the Messiah in response to the amazing signs that He performed, but His words usually garnered disbelief. In this passage, however, the invitation of Jesus to believe in Him and receive living water draws some of the crowd in, even though it’s not accompanied by any miracle. The words of Jesus speak to a reality they’ve longed for, to a hope beyond what their senses can perceive.
Grab a sheet of paper and a pen and spend two minutes listing the things that you long for. Think along the lines of the following: intimacy, love, acceptance, beauty, security, family, home, etc. When your time is up, look at your list and pray that God will fill these longings. Try simple requests like, “Father, show me your love.” “Father, know me intimately.” “Father, hold me secure.” “Father, I am a part of your holy family.”