John 7:25–52: The Living Water of Jesus
Jesus does not permit neutrality. Either we love him or we hate him, but with Jesus, there can be no third option of mere toleration. In the earlier parts of Jesus’ ministry, it may have seemed for a time that such a third way might offer the best of both worlds—enjoying ongoing fascination with the extraordinary signs of a wonder-worker, while nevertheless remaining aloof enough to avoid losing respectability in society. The closer Jesus gets to the cross, the clearer he becomes about his identity in a way that draws those who love him increasingly close and simultaneously drives those who hate him increasingly far away. The reason for this is that Jesus has come on a very specific mission, to accomplish a very specific purpose, and demanding a very specific response. John 7:25-52 demonstrates that the Father sent the Son to give the Spirit to believers.
1. Is there any way to know God apart from Jesus? Why or why not? What about the relationship of Jesus to the Father helps to explain your answer to this question?
2. What makes the “third way” of following Jesus from a distance so attractive? If you are honest, does this “third way” describe your own relationship to Jesus?
3. What does your own thirst look like? How might Jesus quench it? What would it mean for rivers of living water to flow out of you? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in your life?
4. Practically, what does the inability of the temple officers to arrest Jesus mean for your life? What does the persistent rejection of the Jewish religious leaders teach you about the nature of evangelism?