The feast of tabernacles celebrated God providing shelter for the Israelites in the wilderness, after He brought them out of Egyptian captivity (Leviticus 23:33-43). The last day of the feast, the great day, symbolized the entrance into the Promised Land. On each of the seven preceding days water was drawn from the pool of Siloam and the priests poured it on the altar as the singers chanted Isaiah 12:3. On the eighth day they stopped the literal water.
Jesus took this opportunity to figuratively apply the promise of blessings to Himself (Isaiah 44:3, 55:1, 58:11). He is inviting people to “drink” from Him to satisfy their “thirst” and the result would be that “living water” would be “flowing” out of them. He says to them all, “Does anyone want true relief, the true, living water, from a source that will never dry up?”
This is Jesus speaking of the coming of the Holy Spirit upon all believers (1 Corinthians 12:13). This was inaugurated at Pentecost, and the narratives in Acts 2, 8, 10 and 19 are the fulfillment of what Jesus had promised in Acts 1:8. Jews (Acts 2), the hated, half-breed Samaritans (Acts 8), the Gentiles (Acts 10), and the disciples of John the Baptist, people in the transitional period between the OT and the NT Church (Acts 19), all were included in the manifestation of unity and spread of the Gospel.
What does this mean (Acts 2:12)? Not only are all people groups potentially included, but all gender, age, and social groups are as well (Acts 2:17-18). The invitation is to all, “If anyone thirsts… Whoever believes in me.” Everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Acts 2:21 / Romans 10:13).
The Holy Spirit makes Jesus real to us and slakes our spiritual thirst (Matthew 5:6, 11:28). His power can continue to flood our lives in a faithful witness. Whatever you may be looking for to fill up your life, the truth is that all other things will not last. Their satisfaction is only partial, and temporary. Jesus is the only thing that can satisfy the eternal thirst of the soul.