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7. Jesus Teaches at Feast of Tabernacles

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. 2Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. 3His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. 4For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. 5For neither did his brethren believe in him. 6Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. 7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. 8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. 9When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.

10But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11Then the Jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? 12And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. 13Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

14Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. 15And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? 16Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. 17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. 18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. 19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? 20The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? 21Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. 22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. 23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day? 24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. 25Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill? 26But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? 27Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. 28Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. 29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. 30Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. 31And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

32The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. 33Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. 34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. 35Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? 36What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come? 37In 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. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)

40Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. 41Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? 42Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? 43So there was a division among the people because of him. 44And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

45Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? 46The officers answered, Never man spake like this man. 47Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? 48Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? 49But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. 50Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) 51Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? 52They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. 53And every man went unto his own house.

38. He who believeth in me. He now points out the manner of coming, which is, that we must approach, not with the feet, but by faith; or rather, to come is nothing else than to believe, at least, if you define accurately the word believe; as we have already said that we believe in Christ, when we embrace him as he is held out to us in the Gospel, full of power, wisdom, righteousness, purity, life, and all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Besides, he now confirms more plainly and fully the promise which we lately mentioned; for he shows that he has a rich abundance to satisfy us to the full.

Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. The metaphor appears, no doubt, to be somewhat harsh, when he says that rivers of living water shall flow out of the belly of believers; but there can be no doubt as to the meaning, that they who believe shall suffer no want of spiritual blessings. He calls it living water, the fountain of which never grows dry, nor ceases to flow continually. As to the word rivers being in the plural number, I interpret it as denoting the diversified graces of the Spirit, which are necessary for the spiritual life of the soul. In short, the perpetuity, as well as the abundance, of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, 195195     “Des dons et graces du Sainct Esprit.” is here promised to us. Some understand the saying — that waters flow out of the belly of believers — to mean, that he to whom the Spirit has been given makes a part to flow to his brethren, as there ought to be mutual communication between us. But I consider it to be a simpler meaning, that whosoever shall believe in Christ shall have a fountain of life springing up, as it were, in himself, as Christ said formerly,

He who shall drink of this water shall never thirst,
(John 4:14;)

for while ordinary drinking quenches thirst only for a short time, Christ says that by faith we draw the Spirit, that he may become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life

Still he does not say that, on the first day, believers are so fully satisfied with Christ, that ever afterwards they neither hunger nor thirst; but, on the contrary, the enjoyment of Christ kindles a new desire of him. But the meaning is, that the Holy Spirit is like a living and continually flowing fountain in believers; as Paul also declares that he is life in us, (Romans 8:10,) though we still carry about, in the remains of sin, the cause of death. And, indeed, as every one partakes of the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, according to the measure of his faith, we cannot possess a perfect fullness of them in the present life. But believers, while they make progress in faith, continually aspire to fresh additions of the Spirit, so that the first-fruits which they have tasted carry them forward to perpetuity of life. But we are also reminded by it, how small is the capacity of our faith, since the graces of the Spirit scarcely come into us by drops, which would flow like rivers, if we gave due admission to Christ; that is, if faith made us capable of receiving him.

As the Scripture saith. Some confine this to the former clause, and others to the latter clause; for my own part, I extend it to the entire scope of the discourse. Besides, Christ does not here, in my opinion, point out any particular passage of Scripture, but produces a testimony drawn from the ordinary doctrine of the Prophets. For whenever the Lord, promising an abundance of his Spirit, compares it to living waters, he looks principally to the kingdom of Christ, to which he directs the minds of believers. All the predictions of living waters, therefore, have their fulfillment in Christ, because he alone hath opened and displayed the hidden treasures of God. The reason why the graces of the Spirit are poured out on him is,

that we may all draw out of his fullness, (John 1:16.)

Those persons, therefore, whom Christ so kindly and graciously calls, and who wander in every direction, deserve to perish miserably.


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