In this passage, Jesus is speaking – no shouting – at the Feast of Tabernacles, a feast that celebrated the ways God provided for the people of Israel as they wandered through the wilderness, when Moses struck the rock and out came living water, as God guided them to the Promised Land (Ex. 17:1-7).
It is important to remember that before the building of the temple in Jerusalem, the one Solomon built, the people worshipped in a tent, called a tabernacle, moving from place to place. There was no standing still.
In this scene, Jesus is reminding the people of this moment in Israel’s history, and he is sharing how this water can be like the Holy Spirit flowing through them, and that, by believing in him, they can receive the Spirit, and that if they block this
water it is akin to blocking the Spirit (7:38).
In other words, the whole goal of the Christian life is to stay open to the flow of the Spirit – not to hinder the Spirit.
Therefore, beneath all the roles we play, and all the responsibilities we have, beneath all the things we do – there is this stream of living water that brings together all the different parts of our lives into a whole, bringing forth life itself. That stream of living water is the Spirit of Christ himself who seeks to live in us if we receive him and believe in him.
This is what Jesus is shouting! He is crying out this message to all who have ears
to hear. How may we have the ears to receive what he shares? Amen.
Pastor Andy Kinsey