The Promise – Part 5
"Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2 NIV)
Jesus was at the Festival of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, watching the high priest as he ceremonially poured out water as an offering to God in remembrance of the Lord’s provision of water and bread to his people when they were in the wilderness. Jesus had something more than physical water in mind, however, when he invited all who were thirsty to come to him and drink. He meant the invitation for all those who were dissatisfied, who had a longing in their hearts for something more, who felt the void within that only God could fill, who were thirsting for joy and peace. Then he made a promise that was almost too good to be true: “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” No wonder some of the people who heard him said, “He’s the Prophet,” while others said, “He’s the Messiah”; for only God could fulfill such a promise.
Unfortunately, some folks don’t want to respond to Jesus’ invitation, because they don’t want to admit they’re empty. They’re too proud to say they don’t have peace— the kind that comes even when things are not going well, the kind that transcends all understanding, the kind only Jesus can give, even when you have to wipe away tears because of the loss of a loved one. The same goes for joy. When you have the joy that Jesus gives—joy unspeakable and full of glory—you don’t need a drug or alcohol in order to escape your unhappy state, because the joy of the Lord isn’t dependent upon your circumstances. Some might say it’s religious fanaticism to talk this way. To those, I would say, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!” That’s what millions and millions of people have done over the centuries: they were empty and they put their trust in Jesus and had their lives changed. Was that all an accident? Nobody psyched them; nobody deceived them. They didn’t go into two years of training as a person would do in a cult. No, when you have Jesus, you find out: “This is what I was made for. I thought I was made to play basketball or be a teacher or a mom or dad”; and all those things have a place in your life, but they will never satisfy. The Old Testament puts it this way: "Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2). That’s why Jesus made his invitation then, and why he is still making it today.
To be continued...
Read Isaiah 55:1-3.