Jesus continues to teach about His relationship with God, about His upcoming ascension into heaven, and about the future ministry of the Spirit. Some are amazed and are ready to accept Him as the Messiah, but many more are confused. They misunderstand Jesus’ own lineage and birth, and they have a different idea about the origins of the Messiah. In the midst of all the confusion Jesus manages to stay free, perhaps with some supernatural help, but certainly because the soldiers themselves are amazed at His teaching. Nicodemus attempts to defend Jesus to his contemporaries, but is ridiculed by them.
This all happens during the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths. This is a seven day feast that celebrated the fact that God led the Israelites for 40 years during their wilderness wanderings, where He sustained them with mana, quail, and water while they lived in tents. There was a tradition that, during the time of Jesus’ ministry, a golden container of water was carried from the pool of Siloam in the south side of the city up to the temple mount in the north. As the procession came into the inner court, three trumpet blasts rang out to mark the joy of the occasion and people recited Isaiah 12:2-3.
“Look, God is my deliverer! I will trust in him and not fear. For the LORD gives me strength and protects me; he has become my deliverer. Joyfully you will draw water from the springs of deliverance.” (or, “wells of salvation”)
This is the context for Jesus’ saying, “On the last day of the feast, the greatest day, Jesus stood up and shouted out, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. Just as the scripture says, “From within him will flow rivers of living water.”’”
Awesome, isn’t it?!?!? Not just the circumstances, but the fact that we have the Spirit of God living in us!