The Living Water
‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.’ -john vii. 37.
THE Invitation could not have been given in any wider form. Neither could it have been iven in any form which so certainly concentrates 1 its light and warmth on one point, that point yourself!
First, there is the grand sweep of the ‘any’ man, instead of amplifying this into a list of all possible varieties of ‘rich or poor, old or young,’ and soon, st never mind about these usual human paraphrases, which may-or may not seem to include you, id come face to face with the magnificently simple word of our Lord, ‘Any !’ and know that it means ‘you !’ for you cannot possibly get outside of this eat circle, described by the hand of Infinite Love, you cannot possibly say it does not include you. Words mean nothing, if this word does not mean at you, whose eyes now rest upon it, are included id intended. To you the Lord Jesus says, ‘Let m come unto Me.’
But another word is appended which seems at st sight to be a limitation. ‘If any man thirst, let him come.’1 Is it a limitation? Ask your own heart! Is there any one who does not thirst?’ In other words, is there any one who can say before God who searches the heart,3 ‘I am satisfied. I have no sense of thirst, no nameless craving’? Are you satisfied? I do not mean, are you tolerably contented and comfortable on the whole and in a general way when things are at their best? But, satisfied!—the deep under-the-surface rest and complete satisfaction of the very heart, the filling of its emptiness, the stilling of all its cravings; and this not during the false frothing of excitement or business, but when you are alone, when you lie awake in the night, when you are shut away from any fictitious filling of your cup, and when the broken cisterns have leaked out,* as they will, and do, and must,—are you satisfied then? Verily, He who knew what was in man6 knew that He was not narrowing the invitation when He said, ‘Let him that is athirst, come !’6
Did you ever think why it is so utterly hopeless and useless to try to quench that inner thirst with anything but the living water, ‘the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ’ ?7 He has said plainly and positively that you shall not succeed !8 He hath said, ‘Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again.” You see there is no chance for you, for His word cannot be broken, and He says you ‘shall thirst again.’10 There are only two issues of that perpetual thirst.
1 Rev. xxi. 6. 2 Ps. cvii. 5. 3 Ezek. xi. 5.
4 Jer. ii. 13. 5 John ii. 25. 6 Rev. xxii. 17.
‘ Phil. i. 19. 8 John vii. 39. 9 John iv. 13. 10 John x. 35.
One is the unanswered entreaty for a drop of water, only so much as the tip of a finger may bear, not to quench the unquenchable thirst, but only to cool a flame-tormented tongue.1 The other, the only other, is, ‘Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” And lest our slow perceptions should fail to grasp the fact in the figure, the Lord Jesus repeats the promise, and says, ‘He that believeth on Me shall never thirst.” Never! for ‘ He satisfieth the longing soul.’*
‘Let him come unto Me, and drink.’5 You see there is only this one way of drinking of the living water: you must come to Jesus Himself, personally and really. Knowing all about it is not enough. Consulting Christian friends, and reading good books, and doing any amount of religious duties and exercising any amount of self-denial, will not stay the more or less conscious heart-thirst. The Lord says not a word about any channels; He only says, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.’ And ‘Whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.’6 Will not you come?
1 Luke xvi. 24. 2 John iv. 14. 3 John vi. 35.
* Ps. cvii. 9. SJohnvii. 37. 6 Rev. xxii. 17.