THE UNIQUE AND LOFTY CLAIMS OF CHRIST STIR UP DIVISION AND BIGOTED OPPOSITION
GATORADE theme from commercials: Is It In You?
I. (:37-39) (UNIQUE AND LOFTY CLAIMS OF CHRIST):
FAITH IN CHRIST UNLEASHES THE ABUNDANT AND FULFILLING MINISTRY OF THE INDWELLING HOLY SPIRIT
A. (:37) Only Jesus Can Truly Satisfy Man’s Deepest Longings
“If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.”
Cf. Is. 55:1ff
B. (:38) Only Jesus Can Provide that Abundant Blessing That Will Spill Over to Others
1. Faith in Christ = Key
“He who believes in Me”
2. Fulfillment of Prophecy = Corroboration
“as the Scripture said”
3. Fullness of Blessing = Goal
“from his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water”
This is what Christ desires for His disciples; not some little trickle of blessing
Morgan: There can be no overflowing life, until the life is filled and satisfied.
Pink: “Out of his belly shall flow.” What is the “belly”? It is that part of man which constantly craves. It is that part which, in his fallen condition, is the natural man’s god—”Whose god is their belly” (Phil. 3:19), said the apostle: styled their “god” because it receives the most care and attention. The “belly” is that part of man which is never really satisfied, for it is constantly crying for something else to appease its cravings. Now the remarkable thing, yea, the blessed thing, is, that not only is the believer himself satisfied, but he overflows with that which satisfies—out of his innermost parts “flow (forth) rivers of living water” The thought indeed is a striking one. It is not merely “from him” shall flow, but “out of his belly shall flow;” that is, from that very part of our constitution which, in the natural man, is never satisfied, there shall be a constant overflow.
C. (:39) Word of Clarification
1. Identity of the “Rivers of Living Water”
“But this He spoke of the Spirit”
2. Timing Issues
“whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified”
no such timing issues to impact us today since Jesus has been glorified; no delay in the giving of the indwelling Spirit
Meyer: The glory of Jesus is ever connected in Scripture with the reign of Jesus. There must be an ascension and an enthronement within; all things must be put under His feet; principalities and powers must own His sway; and when we glorify Jesus in our hearts and lives, setting Him on the throne, then the Spirit fills us with successive waves of power.
II. (:40-52) REACTIONS: DIVISION AND BIGOTED OPPOSITION
A. (:40-44) Differing Opinions on the Part of the Multitude
1. (:40) Getting Warm
“This certainly is the Prophet”
2. (:41a) Very Hot
“This is the Christ”
3. (:41b-42) Distracted and Confused
“Surely the Christ is not going to come from Galilee, is He? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”
4. (:43) Summary of Responses: Division
“So there arose a division in the multitude because of Him.”
5. (:44) Frustrated Opposition
“And some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him.”
B. (:45-49) Bigoted Opposition on the Part of the Religious Leaders
1, (:45-46) Mission Impossible
a. Charged with Capturing Christ
“Why did you not bring Him?”
b. Stymied by Authoritative Presence and Teaching
“Never did a man speak the way this man speaks”
2. (:47-48) Marshalling the Troops –
making sure no one was breaking rank and casting his lot with Christ
a. “You have not also been led astray, have you?”
b. “No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he?”
3. (:49) Making Excuses –
How can you explain the fact that many of the multitude have believed in Him?
“But this multitude which does not know the Law is accursed.”
C. (:50-52) Determined Opposition Despite Word of Caution and Fairness from Nicodemus
1. (:50) Identity of Nicodemus
“Nicodemus said to them (he who came to Him before, being one of them).”
2. (:51) Word of Caution and Fairness
“Our Law does not judge a man, unless it first hears from him and knows what he is doing, does it?”
3. (:52) Determined Opposition – Their mind was made up already
“You are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee.”
Responded with ridicule and contempt; identified Christ with Galilee, not knowing that He had been born in Bethlehem.
Wiersbe: Again, the leaders refused to face facts honestly but passed judgment on the basis of their prejudices and their superficial examination of the facts. It is much easier to label people (and libel people) than to listen to the facts they present.
Stedman: But the point, of course, is, they were sarcastic, pompous, cynical, and calloused in their attitude. This is often the reaction of those who are disturbed by the words of Jesus.
(:53) CONCLUSION: No action able to be taken at this time; Jesus’ time had not yet come
“And everyone went to his home.”