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.
Read Chapter 7
Alcuin of York
He promised the Holy Spirit to the Apostles before the Ascension; He gave it to them in fiery tongues, after the Ascension. The Evangelist’s words, Which they that believe in Him should receive, refer to this.
The feast was then going on, which is called scenopegia, i.e. building of tents.
For there is an inner thirst, because there is an inner man: and the inner man of a certainty loves more than the outer. So then if we thirst, let us go not on our feet, but on our affections, not by change of place, but by love.
The belly of the inner man, is the heart’s conscience. Let him drink from that water, and his conscience is quickened and purified; he drinks in the whole fountain, nay, becomes the very fountain itself. But what is that fountain, and what is that river, which flows from the belly of the inner man? The love of his neighbor. If any one, who drinks of the water, thinks that it is meant to satisfy himself alone, out of his belly there does not flow living water. But if he does good to his neighbor, the stream is not dried up, but flows.
What kind of drink it was, to which our Lord invited them, the Evangelist next explains; But this He spoke of the Spirit, which they that believe on ...
1. Among the dissensions and doubtings of the Jews concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, among other things which He said, by which some were confounded, others taught: On the last day of that feast (for it was then that these things were done) which is called the feast of tabernacles; that is, the building of tents, of which feast you remember, my beloved, that we have already discoursed, the Lord Jesus Christ calls, not by speaking in any way soever, but by crying aloud, that whoso thirsts may come to Him. If we thirst, let us come; and not by our feet, but by our affections; let us come, not by removing from our place, but by loving. Although, according to the inner man, he that loves does also move from a place. But it is one thing to move with the body, another thing to move with the heart: he migrates with the body who changes his place by a motion of the body; he migrates with the heart who changes his affection by a motion of the heart. If you love one thing, and loved another thin...
But in the last day, the great day of the feast, &c. This was called the day of the assembly or gathering, when the people in a body went to the temple. Christ therefore wished to implant in the people, as they were departing, not merely a longing for Himself, and doubts respecting His religion, but to bring it keenly home to them, just as a preacher should do at the end of his discourse "Since they were going home," says S. Chrysostom, "He gives them saving food for their journey."
Symbolically. The feast of tabernacles was joyful, and thus a type of the resurrection and joy of the blessed, to which Christ just before said He was going. So S. Cyril.
If any one thirst for his own salvation, and a happy and blessed eternity (for these we should especially thirst for and desire, as the highest good), "let him come to Me," i.e, believe in Me, and draw from Me Gospel truth, yea the Holy Spirit Himself, with all His gifts and virtues, for He will lead him to heavenly glory, where all his ...
"And that it might be more evident that the Lord is speaking there, not of the cup, but of baptism, the Scripture adds, saying, "But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive.".
He that believeth on me, as the Scripture saith, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water."
We must search well in this too, what it is the most wise Evangelist is hinting with some extreme great care, calling the last day of the feast great, or what it was that induced our Lord Jesus Christ, as of some needful reason and belonging to the time, to say on it to the Jews, If any man thirst let him come unto Me and drink. For He might have used other words, such as, I am the Light, I am the Truth. But turning His explanation to the matters of believing, He hath introduced the word, let him drink, as something |543 necessary and due to the matters of the feast. And the aim in what is before us I will endeavour briefly to say.
When therefore God was ordering what belongs to the feast of tabernacles, He says thus unto Moses, On the fifteenth day of the seventh month a feast of tabernacles unto the Lord, and ye shall offer whole burnt sacrifices and sacrifices seven days, and the first day shall be notable holy. Then after enjoining besides the mode of the sacrifices, He added ag...
When sacred preaching flows from the soul of the faithful, rivers of living water, as it were, run down from the bellies of believers. For what are the entrails of the belly but the inner part of the mind; i.e. a right intention, a holy desire, humility towards God, mercy toward man.
1. They who come to the divine preaching and give heed to the faith, must manifest the desire of thirsty men for water, and kindle in themselves a similar longing; so will they be able also very carefully to retain what is said. For as thirsty men, when they have taken a bowl, eagerly drain it and then desist, so too they who hear the divine oracles if they receive them thirsting, will never be weary until they have drunk them up. For to show that men ought ever to thirst and hunger, Blessed, It says, are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness Matthew 5:6; and here Christ says, If any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink. What He says is of this kind, I draw no man to Me by necessity and constraint; but if any has great zeal, if any is inflamed with desire, him I call.
But why has the Evangelist remarked that it was on the last day, that great day? For both the first day and the last were great, while the intermediate days they spent rather in enjoyment. Wherefore ...
The feast being over, and the people about to return home, our Lord gives them provisions for the way: On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come to Me, and drink.
Which lasted seven days. The firstand last days were the most important; In the last day, that great day of the feast, says the Evangelist. Those between were given chiefly to amusements. He did not then make the offeron the first day, or the second, or the third, lest amidst the excitements that were going on, people should let it slip from their minds, He cried out, on account of the great multitude of people present.
If any thirsts: as if to say, I use no compulsion or violence: I but if any have the desire strong enough, let him come.
He is speaking of spiritual drink, as His next words show: He that believes in Me, as the Scripture truth said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But where here does the Scripture say this? No where. What th...