Among the ravages of modern technology is a near epidemic level of depression and suicidal thoughts among Generation Z. As internet speeds, data storage, and the wonders of social media increase so do the feelings of anomie and worthlessness. In fact, they are multiplying exponentially. It’s so counterintuitive! It seems the advertisers would have it right: “Greater technology = Greater connectedness”; and yet, the opposite is true. The more superficially we know others, the more superficially we know ourselves.
While the problem of technology addiction and abuse may be new, what isn’t new is the principle need of men and women of every age: thirst. And the Bible knows it.
Think of the first grumbling of the children of Israel after their release from Egyptian bondage, “What should we drink?” (Exodus 15). Even Moses was subject to the judgment because of the rampant plea for quenched thirst on the part of God’s people.
The topic of thirst is at the center of the Gospel message. Remember the woman at the well? She came at noon, out of shame, to draw water. Yet after meeting Jesus, she finds a far deeper thirst quenched, in fact, John never tells us if she ever gets her water jar filled; it’s not important in light of her true thirst being quenched.
Whether it’s His first miracle, or His last supper, Jesus’ ministry is all about quenching the deepest thirst of every man or woman; the assurance of the unconditional, never-ending acceptance of God. That’s what Exodus 15 is all about. That’s what Proverbs 22:6 is talking about when he says—“Raise up a child on the way of his/her mouth...” That’s what Jesus is all about. And nowhere is that clearer than in His fifth statement from the cross: “I thirst.”
We are going to focus on those words this Sunday in a message simply titled, “I Thirst.” Just like the third word from the cross, “Woman behold your son,” this word is only recorded by John. Maybe that’s because he features water so prominently in his gospel. After decades of reflection of the Gospel he knows the depth of what Jesus is doing on the cross. Think of the timing of this statement. It’s immediately after Jesus has experienced the total separation of His Father’s favor and presence. It’s immediately after He’s been cursed of His Father and damned to hell. It’s not water He needs, it’s oneness with His Father.
There’s so much to hear in this fifth word that corresponds to the deepest need. It’s no Facebook or Instagram post. It’s no catchy tweet. It’s the cry of the Son of God to all who can hear. It’s the principle need of His life and ours.
In preparation for Sunday you may wish to consider the following:
1. How prominent is water in Scripture?
2. What ways are water used as a symbol of a deeper truth?
3. How does the New Testament reveal Jesus’ deity through water?
4. Examine the significance of water in the gospel of John.
5. What is the true meaning of Proverbs 22:6?
6. How does Proverbs 22:6 relate to John 4:10, 14?
7. What is the significance of this fifth word to John?
8. Why does Jesus instruct His disciples to drink all of the cup at the Last Supper, but He doesn’t drink?
9. What does it mean when Jesus says He won’t drink the fruit of the wine until He drinks it anew in His Father’s Kingdom?
10. How does Revelation 3:20 relate?
See you Sunday—Baccalaureate Sunday!