God told Moses that when the time was right, He would send a powerful prophet with a ministry similar to Moses. They were to listen very carefully to the One God would send:
15The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him… 18I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19).
The people of Israel understood that the Prophet, the Messiah when He came, would do similar miracles as Moses did. They expected bread from heaven just as in the time of Moses, but Christ said that the true bread from Heaven was Himself (John 6:32-33). John's Gospel gives Israel and us Gentiles another proof that Jesus is the prophet spoken of by Moses. Just as Moses brought them water out of a rock when hit by his staff (Exodus 17:5-6), Paul the apostle told us the Rock being struck to bring forth water was an analogy or picture language of Christ crucified and being the giver of the water of life, i.e., the Spirit of God poured out upon them. Paul wrote:
2They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3They all ate the same spiritual food 4and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ (1 Corinthians 10:3-4).
When Moses brought forth water from the rock, it was a picture of what Jesus would do at the cross. Christ would be struck just as Moses hit the Rock and typified by water, the Spirit would be poured out on the Day of Pentecost just as various prophets foretold (Joel 2:28, Isaiah 44:3, Ezekiel 36:26-27). Here’s what Jesus said at the Feast of Tabernacles:
37On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. 40On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.” 41Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43Thus the people were divided because of Jesus (John 7:37-43).
On the eighth day of the Feast of Tabernacles, with thousands of people looking on, the High Priest went down to the Pool of Siloam and filled up a two-pint golden pitcher and carried it back into the center of the crowd that stood before the altar of the temple. The crowd would circle the altar seven times in remembrance of the walls of Jericho being brought down, and then, with the whole event accompanied by the singing of various Psalms, the chief priest would pour the water before the altar as a prophetic sign that the Jewish people were ready for the water of life to be poured out. It was at that exact time of the pouring out that Jesus spoke the words written above.
Six hundred years previous to Jesus, the prophet Ezekiel spoke of a time when out from under the threshold of the temple, a river of life would flow toward the east that would start ankle-deep, become knee-deep, and would eventually become so deep it would lift people off their feet and carry them along in its path (Ezekiel 47:1-9). Wherever this river flowed, it would bring life, fruit, and healing. This river would descend to the Dead Sea (a picture of people outside of Christ), and its effect would be to bring forth all kinds of life and fish in the Dead Sea (Ezekiel 47:8-9). The pouring out of the water spoke of their expectation that, perhaps in their day, the river of life would begin to flow as the pitcher was poured out. While we still think in terms of literal fulfillment, the Holy Spirit points us to Jesus, the true Temple out of whom the Spirit of God is poured out. To keep this a four-minute read, let’s talk more about this tomorrow. Keith Thomas
Shortened from the more extended study at the following link: To All Who Are Thirsty