Come, All Who Thirst

Haftarah Reading: Re'eh (Isa. 54:11-55:5)
Gospel Reading: John 6; 7:37-39
Commentary by: Matthew Day

Come. Come all you who hunger and thirst. Come Baptists, come Catholics, come Pentecostals, come Messianics. Come two house, one house, Sacred namers, HaShem-ers, traditional, and non-traditional. Come mainstream, come fringe. Come radical, come ordinary. Come healthy, come sick. Come if you are fraught with the questions of life; come, if you're just trying survive day to day. Young or old, newly married or long-time married or single, rich or poor.

We reach out to many different things to fill the craving within us. To us in the modern age, things like Netflix or a hobby or a career have become particularly popular. Some in reaction turn to things like counter-culture radicalism or children and family. To us in the Messianic movement, we hear knowledge and study, or end times drama and prepping, or legalistic observance of the commandments (that is, allowing observance to go past simple obedience in response to the Gospel to becoming our identity and righteousness) – each calling with the promise to satisfy. Some hear the calling from Judaism who seems to have it all together, or Atheism that seems to finally be rid of the shackles of religion. That's not to say that there's not a place for each of these things or that they don't have elements of truth to them. But, do they really satisfy the deep longing within us?

John 6 gives us a hard saying of Yeshua. It was a hard saying to the Jews of that time. It remains a hard saying for us today. The bread of Moses does not satisfy. Neither the miraculous provision of food nor the Torah sate our hunger and thirst. Moses died. Joshua died. David died. Solomon died. More than that, the nation of Israel died, unable to escape the grips of sin and death embedded within our hearts. They tried. They tried so hard. The Kingdom had reached its fullness under Solomon, and still it fell. Ezra and Nehemiah rebuilt the wall and renewed the Covenant, but still Israel failed to follow through. The Maccabees overthrew the Syrian oppression. They did to Greece what so many of the zealots wanted to do to Rome. But, did it do them any good? They still fell back into schisms and hatred. Being the chosen people didn't cure them of being human, broken and shackled by the desires of the flesh. Only Yeshua can satisfy our hunger and thirst.

It sounds so cliche. We've heard a million times from the pulpit. "Jesus this, and Jesus that. Everything Jesus." We got tired of hearing it because it sounded so flat. Where is the depth? Where are the living waters? Because we were sold a shallow Gospel under the name of Jesus, we turned from the one thing that could truly give life to other things. Not that we ever denied Messiah. Just that we put Him on the back burner.

How can we rediscover this life? How can we taste the bread that leads to eternal life? Yeshua said, "Believe in me," but what does that mean? He said, "Eat my flesh; drink my blood"...what?!?

In these words, we find an allusion to the Last Supper, where Yeshua raised the bread and the cup saying, "This is my body, broken for you...this is my blood of the new covenant, shed for the forgiveness of sins." (Matt. 26:26-29, 1 Cor. 11:23-26). Understand the metaphor here: the work of Messiah on the cross is not just some one-time conversion. It is our daily food and drink. Take up your cross daily (Luke 9:23). Paul declared, "I die every day!" (1 Cor. 15:31). He shares in Messiah's sufferings that He might also share in His resurrection (Phil. 3:10-11).

I ask you, where do you identify with the cross?

Do you suffer under the injustice of this world? Yeshua stands with you with scarred hands.

Do you falter under the weight of the wrongs that you have done? Yeshua paid the price.

Are you afraid of messing up, trying so hard not to falter in your obedience to the king? Even on the cross, Yeshua prays for our hearts to be softened to know the grace of God.

Are you trusting in your own righteousness? Realize that we all participated in the sin that nailed our God to the cross. Even so, He cries out, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Are you lost in utter hopelessness? Not even death could hold our King, the one who has drawn near to us.

I spent a decade looking for the root and foundation of faith. Even when I stumbled upon the answer in a small campus ministry, it took me several years to come to grips with the power of the Gospel. But, it all started with one thing. An invitation: Come. All you who hunger and thirst. You who feel like you have it all together. You who are broken to pieces. Come all who are seeking life. Come, taste and see that the Lord is good.