Psalm 23: 1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. 3 He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
The LORD Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd. He meets the needs of each and every one of His sheep. When we think the grass is greener on the other side it’s a mere illusion. The pasture He makes us lie down in are eternal (2nd Cor. 4: 18 “while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”). The verse I’m about to share in reference to “He leads me beside quiet waters” is one of the most controversial passages in The New Testament. In some churches, it’s not addressed at all. This may be due to a lack of understanding of the text, or they just refuse to divert from their attention from that particular denominations view on the matter of The Holy Spirit.
John 7: 37 “Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
For the sake of context, I want to include notes from Jamieson-Fausset-Brown’s Commentary: “the last day, that great day of the feast — the eighth (Lev_23:39). It was a sabbath, the last feast day of the year, and distinguished by very remarkable ceremonies. “The generally joyous character of this feast broke out on this day into loud jubilation, particularly at the solemn moment when the priest, as was done on every day of this festival, brought forth, in golden vessels, water from the stream of Siloah, which flowed under the temple-mountain, and solemnly poured it upon the altar. Then the words of Isa.12:3 were sung, With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of Salvation, and thus the symbolical reference of this act, intimated in Joh. 7:39, was expressed” [Olshausen]. So ecstatic was the joy with which this ceremony was performed – accompanied with the sound of trumpets – that it used to be said, “Whoever had not witnessed it had never seen rejoicing at all” [Lightfoot].”
On that day Jesus cried out. One must take note of His Jewish roots. He observed many of the feast, festivals and Holy Convocations. However, if those traditions ran contrary to the commandment of God, His allegiance was always the Will of The Father. He was emphatic about doing and saying whatever His Father commanded Him to do and say. Therefore, if God The Father did not want Him to take part in The Feast of Tabernacles, surely Jesus would have been elsewhere. This day, and at that time, was the perfect opportunity for The LORD to tell everyone within shouting distance “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” Now you must imagine how the priest, who presided over these events, the elders, Pharisees, and religious leaders, must have felt. Who does this guy think He is? How dare this man shout out above all of the trumpets and jubilation? In this text He is talking about the baptism into the Holy Spirit. However, no one could receive the Holy Spirit until the glorification of the son of God.
Our churches today have their own spin on preaching and teaching The Word of God. We observe different types of Holy convocations. Nevertheless, our own ways lead to more division. It’s so disheartening watching The Body of Christ dilute itself with doctrines which ultimately tear us apart. Yes, Jesus did attend the Jewish feast and most likely observed The Sabbaths. Let us examine through the eyes of our LORD how putting the cart before the horse is dysfunctional at best:
Mark 2: 23 “And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And He *said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; 26 how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread (Showbread), which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”
There are certain Holydays one church will observe and worship while other churches won’t. However, if the truth be told, and if we search our hearts earnestly, we will see how much we bow more to religious traditions rather than The LORD Himself. There is truly nothing wrong or unclean about these things (Rom. 14). We hold them in such high regard that we can’t see the forest for the trees. Undoubtedly, when Jesus cried out “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” He wanted everyone at the feast and us to realize our error in judgment by treating these things as if they could quench our spiritual thirst. Jesus is the only one who can truly satisfy our empty souls (Psalm 23: He restores my soul…). He transferred our unrighteousness upon Him and made us, not gave us, but made us The Righteousness of God “He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.” Rom. 1:17; in that verse, the words righteousness and just are the same Greek word ‘dikaiosunē’; Rom. 3:21-25; 4:5-6,11 5:17-18; 8:10; 10:10; Those were just a few you may want to look up. The next verse really says it all:
2nd Cor. 5: 17 “17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
This is who we are on our worst day. I think the church at large should be reminded, and tell those who don’t know. Christ has given us right standing in the eyes and presence of Almighty God The Father. It pleased Him to do so. To be continued…
For those of you who shop Amazon, there are a few links to their website on this page. It would truly be a help for the Reach A Hand Children’s Ministry And Orphanage. It would also help me to keep this ministry afloat. It doesn’t cost you any more than going directly to Amazon.com. Thank you for any support you are led to give.