“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.”
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus, yet His birth is only the beginning. Today’s passage, from the last chapter in Revelation, comes after John’s emphasis on the importance of Christ’s return. He reminds the reader that, in the midst of uncertain times, Christ offers salvation to all who will “Come.” This offer is extended to all people through the Spirit and the Church. And WE are the church.
Do you remember Christ’s invitation to the woman at the well in John 4? Jewish readers would have caught something significant in the setting of this conversation that most of us miss. When a Hebrew author wanted to signify the beginning of a relationship leading to marriage, the author would have the couple meet at a well. The Old Testament does too. You have Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, and Moses and Zipporah. These stories always followed a particular order:
- Encounter at the well
- Water is drawn
- The women go and share the news of their encounter
- The man is invited into the woman’s home and a meal is shared with her family.
In John’s gospel, Jesus stopped on his journey at a well in Samaria where he encountered a woman.
Here’s the twist. He offered her not just water but “living water,” a life in connection with Himself. His words were unusual. He spoke of living water. He brought up her five previous husbands as well as her current living situation, not to mention that she was from a people despised by the Jews. To any Jewish reader, it would be obvious that there would be no marriage here, not to someone so undeserving. But the “well” pattern continued. The Samaritan woman went to tell others about this man who knew everything about her, yet offered her living water, a way to never be thirsty again.
The “marriage” we witness in John 4 is the bond between the Messiah and His bride, those who choose to join themselves with Him. Let’s read the Scripture in Revelation again. “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” The imagery in this verse is so beautiful, so full of hope. Its position, at the end of John’s description of the trials believers were facing and would face, reminded them that the Church is bonded to Him. We are united with Him. And that is the good news we get to share with all who will hear. It’s a beautiful invitation to ALL people, from the Holy Spirit and the Church. It’s an invitation for us to invite others to unite with Christ.
What part of this verse stands out to you?
- Is it His invitation to come?
- His reminder that you are united with Him and not alone?
- His expectation that we are to reach out and extend His invitation to all?
Who are you inviting to come?
Highlight – what words or phrases jump out at you?
Explain – what does the passage mean?
Apply – how does the passage intersect with your life today?
Respond – how is God leading you to respond?
April Price, Jon’s wife