If you are a searcher—having never found the reality of Jesus Christ in your life—pay attention. Jesus shows us how to come to him.
“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me” (John 5:39). The presupposition of all the verses is the thirst for which the incarnation of God in Christ is the answer. The thirst quencher is Jesus Christ himself. Jesus has promised eternal and abundant life.
Within the heart of every man, every woman and every child is a gnawing thirst for something beyond this world, something beyond the day-to-day rut, beyond the neon signs. The trouble is that most folks have not defined, much less found, anything that quenches the thirst. We all struggle. Why couldn’t you sleep last night? Why do you pale when anyone talks about death? Why the terrible guilt? Why are you running? Why the awesome fear? Sound familiar…?
A college senior said, “I am 23-years-old and I have lived through enough experiences to be old. I am fed up with life.” One of Britain’s top social leaders said, “I have everything to live for and I have lost all desire to live.” A man left a suicide note that simply stated, “I am tired of trying to find enough to fill up 24 hours a day.”
Each one of us experiences that thirst. Here is the good news: thirst presupposes water.
Jesus is the tap from which living water flows. Jesus of Nazareth makes five absolute claims about himself: Jesus says that…he is precisely like God (John 5:19); God has shown him the work of God (John 5:20); God has ordained that he (Jesus) be given the authority to grant eternal life (John 5:21); God has ordained that he (Jesus) be given the authority for ultimate judgment of man (John 5:22); and finally, the ultimate purpose of God is that all men everywhere grant precisely the same honor to the Son as they do to the Father (John 5:23).
If you are really thirsty—deep down, dry soul thirsty—may I present to you Jesus of Nazareth. He is “the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him” (John 14:6). If you are thirsty, having trouble finding the way, he is the Way. If you are thirsty, having trouble finding the truth, he is the Truth. If you are thirsty, having trouble finding the abundant life, he is the Life.
Not too long ago, I talked to a new Christian of only a few weeks. I asked him, “What was it like when you received Christ? What did you feel?” He answered, “I felt like I was coming home.” God the Father has planted a desire for Home. God the Father also plants the thirst, so that when you taste the water, you might know.
Jesus gives four specific witnesses to the five specific claims that he has just made.
Jesus offers the witness of the Father. That test is still applicable in our time. I have a Jewish friend who was in a hospital room when someone told him about Christ. My friend said, “I prayed, ‘God, I know you. Someday, if Jesus is like you and maybe even the Messiah…I don’t want to offend you because you are my God, but if Jesus is the Messiah and your Son, make it real to me and do it now, because I want to accept him.’” Later on, he told me with a grin from ear to ear, “It’s true. It’s true.”
Jesus offers the witness of others. There are several other Scriptures that give witness to Christ, but here he includes John the Baptist: “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth” (John 5:33).
Other witnesses to Christ: Clement of Alexandria said, “He has changed sunset into sunrise.” Mark Rutherford said, “Last night Jesus came into my prison cell and every stone was shining like a ruby.” My own witness: Christ is bigger than any doubt I have ever had. He is more loving than any hate and more forgiving than any sin.
Jesus offers the witness of his works…and he is still working. There are 333 prophecies in the Old Covenant that were literally fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Do you know the odds of that? One in 83 billion! The point is this: Jesus makes some amazing claims and then he says, “Check them out.”
It’s the tragedy of those who turn away from the true tap—Jesus Christ. Jesus points to the tragedy several times: “I…whom He sent, Him you do not believe” (John 5:39); “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:40); “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me…” (John 5:43); “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47).
Christ is bigger than any doubt I have ever had. He is more loving than any hate and more forgiving than any sin.
The worst part of being a Christian is once having tasted that water and once having your thirst quenched forever, you see thirsty people all around you who simply will not drink. They just walk away. All of the begging and pleading in the world can only lead them to the water, not make them drink. If you are thirsty, what prevents you from drinking? It is your sin? There is no sin so great that Christ’s death will not cover it. It is your doubts? There is no doubt so great that his presence will not banish it. Is it your possessions? There is no possession even compared to the life he gives.
What do you do? Just go to God and tell him that you are thirsty. You must go to him as you are. You can make no deals. You can make no demands. You can plead no purity. Just tell him that you are thirsty.
Time To Draw Away
Read John 3:16 & Revelation 3:20
Are you thirsty for living water? Run to Jesus. He is waiting for you with open arms. His salvation, forgiveness, acceptance and love are yours. It is all grace.