Lesson 7:
The Need of the Thirsty—Life’s Quenching

Bible reading
You may find it helpful to also read the entire case found in John 7:1-52.

John 7:37-39
37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
38 He who believes into Me, as the Scripture said, out of his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.
39 But this He said concerning the Spirit, whom those who believed into Him were about to receive; for the Spirit was not yet, because Jesus had not yet been glorified.


In this case in John chapter 7, we see that mankind is thirsty and is seeking after many things to quench his thirst. However, all the enjoyment in the human life will eventually come to a “last day.” At this point in our lives, when all the enjoyment of human life has run out, we are willing to receive the Lord who presents Himself to us as living water. This living water is the Lord Himself as the life-giving Spirit. 

Bible study reading
Please prayerfully read through the following portions of ministry related to this lesson.

The thought that the Lord is our food and water is seen throughout the Scriptures. For example, in Genesis 2 the tree of life is a picture of the Lord as our life supply of food. Beside the tree of life in Genesis 2 there is the river of water, which is a portrait of the Lord bringing us the rivers of living water. In other words, this pictures the Lord’s purpose in the creation of man—man must eat and drink. If he fails to eat, he will become hungry, and if he fails to drink, he will become thirsty. The Lord is the food to satisfy our hunger, and He has the living water to quench our thirst. (Life-study of John, msg. 17, section 1)

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood and cried out to the thirsty ones (7:37-39). The last day signifies the ending of all the enjoyment of any success in human life. Regardless of the kind of success you have, there will be a last day.

While the people were being dismissed on the last day of the feast, the Lord stood up and cried, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink” (7:37). The people were not satisfied. The things that they were enjoying during the past seven days had failed to quench their thirst. If they would come and drink of Christ, they would have rivers of living water flowing out from within their innermost being. The living water is the Holy Spirit who will flow out of the smitten rock.

As we shall see, when the Lord spoke these words, the Holy Spirit was “not yet,” because the Lord had not yet been smitten and had not yet been glorified (7:39). What does it mean for the Lord to be glorified? It simply means that He was to be resurrected (Luke 24:26). The Lord was transfigured from His frail body into a glorious Spirit by means of His death and resurrection. Before the cross, the Lord was the rock, but He was not yet smitten or crucified on the cross. When He was crucified and resurrected, the living water flowed out of Him and into us in order to quench our thirst. At the last day of your feast—at the end of your rejoicing and enjoyment when you still feel thirsty—you must come to this Jesus and receive the living water to quench your thirst. (Life-study of John, msg. 18, section 2)

Lesson help

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Going deeper
Please read or listen to these materials for an in-depth study of this lesson.

Further reading:
Life-study of John, msg. 18
Calling on the Name of the Lord

Radio broadcast link:
Broadcast 24, The Need of the Thirsty—Life’s Quenching (2)
(Click the link above and select Broadcast 24)

Footnotes from Recovery Version of the New Testament:
John 7:37, footnote 1
John 7:38, footnotes 1-2
John 7:39, footnote 1

Questions for personal or corporate study:
References in parentheses indicate readings or broadcasts that may be helpful in answering the questions.
  • What is the significance of the “last day”?
  • What process did the Lord go through to become the Spirit to make the way for us to receive Him as living water? (Life-study of John, msg. 18, section 3)
  • Consider a personal experience of the Lord presenting Himself to you as living water that was able to quench your thirst.
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Next week

The Need of Those under the Bondage of Sin—Life’s Setting Free

The six cases in John chapters 3–7 unveil the positive functions of Christ meeting all of man’s needs through regenerating, satisfying, healing, enlivening, feeding, and quenching. Next week we will see that this life also delivers us from negative things. In John chapter 8 the life of the Lord Jesus is able to set free one who is bound and trapped in sin. 

We highly recommend using the printed Life-study messages as a tool to explore this lesson. There are over 1,900 Life-study messages in total, and this amazing resource expands and develops this lesson in greater detail.

View Life-study of the Bible resources on our website
Works Cited

Lee, Witness. Life-study of John. Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1985.

All verses and excerpts © 2021 Living Stream Ministry.
Used by permission. Reproduction is prohibited. 
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