Lectionary Year A
May 19, 2002
John 20:19-23 or 7:37-39
Pentecost Sunday


John 7:37-39


This pericope is part of an extended narrative descibing the events of the Festival of Booths. In the pericope, Jesus stands up and makes a declarative statement about himself, using on Old Testament reference to lend credibility to his own self-witness.


--What does it mean, the last and greatest day of the festival? Is this also an allusion to the "last day" when Jesus returns?
--What is the context of the OT allusion? What does it mean to have rivers of living water flowing from within onesself? Does the literal Greek "from the belly" have any insight to the meaning of the phrase? What else comes from the belly in a literal and/or figurative sense?
--When the scripture reads, "as yet there was no Spirit," surely this does not mean that the Spirit lacked preexistence, or does it?
-- This passage makes me think of that song "I've got a river of life." The words are taken from Luke 4 and Matthew 11:2-6. "I've got a river of life flowing out of me. Makes the lame to walk and the blind to see. Opens prison doors, sets the captive free. I've got a river of life flowing out of me!"
--Is the river of life the Holy Spirit? What does it mean to receive the Holy Spirit, as in the appearance stories, and especially in the Pentecost story? What about today?

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