John 7:37b-38 – “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within.”
A metaphor, according to the dictionary is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable.
If you’ve read enough of scripture, especially the Gospels, you know that Jesus spoke to the people using metaphors and parables regularly.
So when Jesus invites us to “come and drink”, he is not suggesting you drink of his bodily fluids. No, he is not a water fountain either, although in an earlier time God did make a fountain appear in a desert. But only if they struck the rock in a certain way (Exodus 17:6).
In this particular story, he was telling his people to drink of his ‘essence’ and that his spirit in them would be equal to ’streams of living water.’
How many people can you think of right now that have placed their hope in things offered by humans here on earth that failed to be real? And after getting themselves all caught up in those promises found that the promise was not going to be delivered?
Hope rises, then falls. Often lower than it did before they began. This is very similar to the way that diets are sold. If you only do x-y-z for a time, you’ll lose all this weight. You’ll look great! Everyone will notice!
We get excited, punish ourselves to follow through and we actually get some results. But we didn’t change our lifestyle. So the weight comes back, often more than before.
Religion tends to promise “miracles” too – but only if you follow to the letter so and so’s plan and do x-y-z. Sound familiar?
If you’ve read my posts before you might already understand that I’m not advocating religion or religious practices on this site. Rather I’m suggesting that you pursue Jesus instead.
He came to offer us life to the fullest. Nowhere will you find Jesus telling us that the only way to find him and the life he promises is by going to church.
I don’t have any issues with the church – it’s just that it’s not required for you to find Jesus.
I doubt many religious leaders would say this but only a few of the 37 miracles that Jesus performed happened in the temple. All of the rest occurred in the streets and towns. While he was among the people who wanted and needed restoration.
And that was Jesus’ only requirement for us. There were two actually, one was to love God and the other was to love other people. Pretty clear and easy to understand in my view.
There was no command to own a fine suit, put on your best shoes and show up in church every Sunday. We were not told to serve on committees and such but to simply love God and to treat others as we hope to be treated.
No metaphor was used and no further explanation was needed. His invitation to drink in all he offered us still stands today. If you don’t believe it – ask him to prove it to you. I think he does by the fact you read this post, but if that’s not enough, “ask, seek and knock” and see what happens when you do.