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Lent reflection Cover Image

The font of grace, John 7:37-52

20th Mar 2019

37 On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, 38 and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.40 When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, “This is really the prophet.” 41 Others said, “This is the Messiah.” But some asked, “Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? 42 Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?” 43 So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44 Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.45 Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why did you not arrest him?” 46 The police answered, “Never has anyone spoken like this!” 47 Then the Pharisees replied, “Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? 48 Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus before, and who was one of them, asked, 51 “Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?” 52 They replied, “Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.” (NRSV)

The Provenance of Jesus

great wave  The Great Wave by Hokusai  1829


It is impossible to ignore the impact of water in our lives, we can’t live without it that’s a fact!

This woodblock print by the artist Hokusai depicts water in a vibrant and visual form.

Jesus uses the imagery of “living water” to reveal his heart’s desire, that any who are spiritually thirsty might drink and retain the water he offers through the Holy Spirit. To the Samaritan woman at the well, his water would be an endless source of life for her, as it is for us.

For the disciples in the boat, the storm threatens to overcome them and is calmed in an instant by Jesus, Hokusai visually shows us the power of the water as the little boats are thrown around the waves.

Jesus’s ministry of healing and teaching was well known and a challenge to those in authority. Finding himself in the firing line again he steps aside from the accusations and questioning from the religious police, the Pharisees and “others” by reinforcing what he has said before.

Yet they still try to discredit him. It’s a human instinct to want proof before we can believe and this is also true in the field of art. The value of a piece of work is directly related to its provenance, its history; who owned it and line of successive owners, and if the artist can be verified as the true artist.

The provenance of Jesus is clearly described in Matthew 1 chapter 16 “and Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Messiah”

Even with written proof of his place of birth and lineage the Pharisees are determined to undermine, even devalue Jesus, by quoting law and proclaiming him guilty. They know the power of what He is promising to those who follow Him.

Our faith assures us of a personal relationship with Jesus through this living water.  Even when we are dry and thirsty we read His words to receive our new flow of revelation, healing and love. He offers us the chance to be born again of water and spirit!

He promises us enough for ourselves and more that will overflow to others. “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says”

Mo Trudel, St John's Trustee