In John chapter 7, Jesus arrives at the Jerusalem temple during the Feast of Booths and says, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” When the authorities asked the guards why they didn’t arrest Jesus, they replied by saying, “No one ever spoke like this man!” What was so significant about Jesus’ words uttered at this particular festival? Shane Rosenthal discusses this with New Testament scholar Andreas Kostenberger, author of Encountering John: The Gospel in Historical, Literary and Theological Perspective.
Andreas Köstenberger: Jesus is the fulfillment of the very essence of all those religious festivals whether it’s Passover, whether it’s tabernacle. Basically, salvation history culminates in his very own person and he is the fulfillment. So, I think implicitly, there’s also the sense that Judaism, which is built on that festival calendar in the Old Testament, is now finding its fulfillment in Jesus the Messiah, even though tragically, the Jewish leaders refuse to accept that.
Term to Learn
True faith is not only a certain knowledge, whereby I hold for truth all that God has revealed to us in his word, but also an assured confidence, which the Holy Ghost works by the gospel, in my heart; that not only the others, but to me also, remission of sin, everlasting righteousness and salvation, are freely given by God, merely of grace, only for the sake of Christ’s merits.
(The Heidelberg Catechism, Question 21, “What is true faith?”)
The Reformers were unanimous and explicit in teaching that justifying faith does not justify by any meritorious or inherent efficacy of its own, but only as the instrument for receiving or laying hold on what God has provided in the merits of Christ. They regarded this faith primarily as a gift of God and only secondarily as an activity of man in dependence on God.
(Adapted from Louis Berkhof’s Systematic Theology)