In our last several texts the Feast of Tabernacles was

in progress at Jerusalem.  The Jewish leaders had plotted to

arrest Jesus as soon as He arrived at Jerusalem to attend

the feast and put Him to death.  What they wanted was to

arrest Him before He got a into a large crowd because Jesus

was still very popular with the great majority of people.

    However, that plan failed.  He did not show up until

about the third or fourth day of the feast and they did not

know that He was around until He was already on the temple

grounds speaking to a crowd of people.

    In our text last Sunday the Jewish leaders decided to go

ahead and order His arrest even in the midst of the crowd.

However, by the time the temple officers arrived to arrest

Him the crowd was greater than ever and the majority of

people were very enthusiastically praising Him as a great

prophet of God and many of them were proclaiming Him to be

the very Christ of God.  Therefore, the temple guards just

took their position around Him, but did not dare to touch

Him.  That was in the middle of the week when the Feast was

about half over.

    In our text today, the scene is still on the temple

grounds, but this is the last day of the week.  We can

assume that Jesus had been there on each of the intervening

days teaching and preaching without interference from the

temple guards.


I.  Some things about the Feast of The Tabernacles


    V. 37, "In the last day, that great day of the feast..."

The wording in this statement poses a minor problem.  The

actual feast with its various ceremonies lasted only seven

days.  However, a special sabbath day always followed the

seven days of the feast and the celebration actually

continued through this special sabbath.  Many Bible scholars

think the events of this text took place on that special

sabbath day.  However, it seems to me that the invitation

which follows indicates that this takes place on the

preceding day.  This would be the seventh day which is the

closing day of the feast itself.

    Listen to this invitation:  (V. 37), "...Jesus stood and

cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and

drink."  Before we examine this invitation, let us take a

few minutes to examine the manner in which the people of

Israel observed the feast.  The Feast of Tabernacles was

designed to commemorate the period of time when the Children

of Israel were in the wilderness journeys between the land

of Egypt and the land of Canaan.  The Lord had instructed

them, through Moses, to build booths or tents out of tree

limbs and to dwell in them during this week of celebration.

It was to be a time of remembrance that God had brought

their forefathers out of Egyptian bondage.

    They were instructed to eat no leavened bread during

this week.  This was in remembrance that the forefathers had

eaten unleavened bread in the first leg of their journey.

After that they were given manna to eat.

    However, there was one ceremony which they were not

commanded to observe.  Never-the-less, this ceremony had

become a traditional part of their annual celebration of the

Feast of Tabernacles.

    Each day the priests would go to the Pool of Siloam,

which was not on the temple grounds, but was out in the city

of Jerusalem.  A priest would take a golden bowl which would

hold about two and a half pints and dip water from the pool

of Siloam.  Then he would very ceremoniously carry that

water to the temple accompanied by the playing of trumpets

and a great crowd of people singing certain Psalms from the

Old Testament.

    It seems that this practiced originated as a result of

Isaiah chapter twelve.  Some of the priests or rabbis of

days gone by had read that passage and decided that it would

be suitable each year to read this passage and to carry

water from this spring to the temple and pour this water

upon the altar of God at the temple.  So this ceremony was

joyously carried out on each of the seven days.  The

trumpets would be sounded, Isaiah chapter twelve would be

read, water would be dipped out of the pool of Siloam and

carried to the temple accompanied by the people singing the

designated psalms.  Once they arrived at the temple, the

water would be poured upon the altar of God.


II.  The event that transpired in our text


    This ceremony had been repeated now for six day prior to

our text.  The seventh and final day of the feast has

arrived.  It was repeated again on this seventh and final

day.   The trumpets sounded signalling for all to be silent

and give attention to the reading of God's word.  Isaiah

chapter twelve was read.

    Before proceeding further, I want us to read that

chapter.  Listen, please to the words of this Scripture.

Our text does not tell us the exact point at which Jesus

cried out and gave His invitation, but I think that it was

most likely right after the priest had finished reading the

chapter and had dipped the golden bowl into the Spring of

Siloam he would lift the bowl high for all to see.

    Then as everyone stood silently with their full

attention focused on that bowl of water a loud cry splits

the air.  It rings throughout that great crowd of people.

It was the voice of Jesus.  The way that I picture the scene

is that He was standing on some elevated place so that

everybody present could see where the voice came from.  It

was the voice of Jesus.  He cried out and said, "...If any

man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink."  Then while

they stood in silence He spoke again.  V.  38, "He that

believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his

belly shall flow rivers of living water."


III.  The invitation that Jesus made to all those people


    Jesus invited all that great crowd of people to come

unto Him and be saved.  This is the same kind of invitation

which He had earlier given the Samaritan woman at Jacob's

well.  He had told that Samaritan woman that if she only

knew who He is that she would ask of Him and He would give

her water that would spring up within her unto everlasting

life.  That is what Jesus was now offering to all this great

crowd of people.  He was offering to them everlasting life.

Isaiah 12:3 had said, "Therefore with joy ye shall draw

water out of the wells of salvation."

    What Jesus wanted those people to know was that their

ceremony would not provide salvation of the soul.  No man

would be saved because water was drawn from the well of

Siloam.  There was only one well which could provide for

them the salvation of the soul.  That well was Jesus.  They

could come to Jesus and drink the water --- spiritual water

--- that would spring up unto everlasting life.

    And the way by which any man could get that salvation

was by placing his faith in Jesus as the Christ of God.

That is, he was to believe in Jesus as the Savior of the

world.  He was to believe in Jesus and trust Him as his own

Savior.  He was to trust Jesus to save him and take him to


    Jesus said that this is as the Scripture has said.  He

was not quoting from any particular Old Testament Scripture.

Rather, this was the what the all of the Old Testament in

general teaches.  Let me cite you to an example.  In the

Twenty-third Psalm David said, "The Lord is my Shepherd."

Then in that same psalm David said, "I will dwell in the

house of the Lord forever."  Get that.  He said, "I will

dwell with Him forever." He had placed his faith in the

coming Christ as his Shepherd.  He was depending on the

Shepherd to take care of his soul.  With faith in that Great

Shepherd, he said, "I will dwell in the Lord's house

forever."  He was trusting in the Lord to save His soul and

take it to heaven to be with the Lord.

    Jesus extended to all that great crowd an invitation to

be saved.  He invited all the masses of people with whom He

was still popular to look to Him as more than just a miracle

healer.  He wanted them to see Him as the Savior and to

believe in Him and be saved.

    He invited all those who saw Him as a prophet and

teacher from God to see Him as more than just a prophet and

teacher.  He wanted them to know that He is the Christ of

God, the very Son of God.  He is the Savior of lost men,

women, boys and girls.  He wanted them to believe in Him ---

to trust in Him --- and be saved.  He wanted them all to be


    He invited all those local people who had voiced strong

opposition to Him and had attempted to capture Him to look

to Him by faith and be saved.  He wanted them all to be


    He invited all of His opponents, including the Jewish

leaders who wanted to kill Him, to look to Him by faith and

be saved.


IV.  The invitation that Jesus makes today to this



    Even today, Jesus uses this passage of Scripture and

this preaching to invite all of you to be saved.  Jesus

knows that all mankind is guilty of sin and all mankind

needs to be saved.  The greatest burden that a human being

can carry is the burden of his own guilt of sin.

    This morning if your throat were parched in thirst for

literal water and if I were to hold up a pitcher of water

and call upon you to come and drink, I do not think that

anyone would hesitate to come and drink.  Listen to me, the

thirst for spiritual water is just as real.  The desire to

have your sins pardoned and to relieve the burden on the

heart can be just as strong -- even stronger -- than the

thirst for literal water.  If you are here this morning with

a desire for your own sins to be forgiven --if you are here

with a thirst for cleansing -- if you are here with burning

desire -- a burning thirst -- for the salvation of your

soul, then I am going to invite you to come and place your

faith in Jesus Christ and be saved.

    Jesus made you a great promise.  He promised that if you

believe in Him as the Christ of God, as the Savior of your

soul, you will be saved.  You will have a river of living

water to flow from within you.  Jesus, in the text, said,

"...out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."  He

was talking about spiritual water.  He was talking about

this spiritual water coming from within your innermost

being.  Jesus, in the text, used the word "belly." The Greek

word which here is translated "belly" carries the idea of

the very innermost part of your being.  It is really talking

about the inner man, the spirit man.  You will be born again

and there will be a new inner man -- an new spirit man

dwelling within you.  You will be saved.  Jesus told the

Samaritan woman that this inner spiritual water would spring

up unto everlasting life.  That is the promise that Jesus

makes to you today.




    Will you come today and place your faith in Jesus Christ

and be saved.  I want you to listen to the words of Jesus

again.  I want you to envision that scene as He cried out to

that crowd of people and invited them to come and drink.  I

want you also to envision Him as He sits now on the throne

of God in heaven today and envision Him crying out to you

today.  Jesus want you to be saved.  No matter what you have

done, He wants to cleanse you of your sin and save your

soul.  Want you come today and place your faith in Him as

your Savior?

    If you are already saved, He is interested in your life

here on earth.  He wants to be your Shepherd to guide you

and help you and take care of you.  He wants to make your

life worth living.  Won't you come to Him and surrender your

life to Him and let Him have His way with your life.  Jesus

loves you.  He loved you when you were lost in sin.  He

loves you today.  Won't you come?