The Jews had been up to the feast of tabernacles at Jerusalem. They had gone through all the rites and ceremonies of their now empty religion. They had done all that they knew to do. They had done all that their religious leaders told them to do. But their religion had left them thirsty. And "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him COME UNTO ME and drink" (John 7:37). Has your religion left you thirsty? Come to Christ this day and drink of the life-giving Fountain.
PATIENCE HAD HER PEFECT WORK IN THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. Until the last day of the feast, he pleaded with those unbelieving Jews, even as on this day he pleads with us, and waits to be gracious to us. Truly he is a longsuffering Savior to bear with sinners, week after week, year after year, in spite of their provocations, rebellions, and willful unbelief. Wonder of wonders that you who live with your fists shoved, as it were, in the very face of God himself, are still in this land of mercy!
PITY EXPRESSED ITSELF MOST PLAINLY. We are told, "Jesus cried," which implies not only the loudness of his voice, but also the tenderness of his tones. He entreats us to be reconciled to God by him. "We pray you," says the Apostle, "In Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." What earnest, tender, urgent terms these are! How deep must be that love and compassion that makes the Son of God weep over sinners, that causes him, like a mother, to woo his children to his heart. Surely at the call of such a cry our hearts will be made willing to come to him.
PROVISION IS MADE MOST GRACIOUSLY. All that a man can need to quench his soul's thirst is abundantly provided in Christ. To his conscience the atonement brings peace. To his understanding the gospel brings the richest instruction. To his heart the Person of Christ brings the noblest object of affection. To the whole man, the truth as it is in Christ Jesus brings the purest nutrition. Though your soul is utterly famished with thirst, Christ can restore it.
PROCLAMATION IS MADE HOST FREELY. Every thirsty soul is welcome. Come, oh come and welcome to Christ, weary, thirsty sinner! It is not your goodness, but your sinfulness that makes you fit to come. Are you weary with sin, weary with empty religion? Are you thirsty for life? Whoever you are, wherever you are, the invitation is to you. "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink."
PERSONALITY IS DECLARED MOST FULLY. You must come to Christ, not to works, not to priests, not to soul-winners, not to the church, not to the ordinances, not to doctrine. These things will all leave you empty and thirsty. You must come to Christ himself. You must come to that personal, living Redeemer, who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree. The bleeding, dying, risen Savior is the only Star of hope for perishing sinners. Oh, may God give you grace now to come and drink this very day.
No waiting or preparation is even hinted at. Anyone can drink who will drink. A fool, a harlot, a thief, a murderer may drink. The sinfulness of your character does not bar you from this gracious invitation. It only enhances your need. My friend, the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Fountain of hope for your soul. Hear the blessed Redeemer's loving voice as he speaks to each of us, and obey it. Are you thirsty? The Son of God says, "IF ANY MAN THIRST, LET HIM COME UNTO ME AND DRINK." Amen.