The Samaritan Harvest
This week we are going to study John 4:27-42. So let’s read the passage, Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” They went out of the town and were coming to him. Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” John 4:27-42
The Jar Left Behind
In this passage, we see Jesus has just finished telling the Samaritan woman who He was. This was right as His disciples were coming back from buying food and they marveled that He was talking to a Samaritan woman. We see that the disciples were probably about as shocked as the woman was. But the Bible tells us that no one asked Him why He was talking to her. Because they did not realize that He came for all, not just the Jews. That He loves and wants to know all, this was something the disciples struggled with all throughout both Jesus’ and their own ministry. Because the truth of the gospel is for all and that is something we must remember. When the woman finally understood and believed who He was, she was so excited that in her hurry she left behind her jar, but she may have also left it as a gift for Jesus and His disciples. We who desire to tell the whole world should do the same and leave behind all that slows us or is cumbersome in sharing the gospel. We should turn away from the things of this world and seek after Him and Him alone. This is not just for those of us who have recently come to know Him but for all Christians.
She went into town and told everyone to go and see a man that told her everything she had ever done and then asked them, could this be the Christ? She had just met Jesus; she did not have all the answers, but she knew where Jesus was and she knew she wanted everyone to know Him. This is what we should do when we come to Jesus, we should want everyone else to know Him. We do not have to have all the answers, we just need to lead them to Jesus, this can be by telling them about Him from the Bible or by inviting them to church. We need to remember the power of what Jesus did for us. What led the other Samaritans to Jesus was not her perfect presentation, her elegant words, or her persistence, it was the story of her experience with Jesus that drew the Samaritans to go to Jesus along with the working of the Holy Spirit in each of them. There are three possible reasons why she told them to come to see a man who told her everything she had ever done. The first is that she felt like her sin defined everything she had ever done. The second is that Jesus and the Samaritan woman’s conversation about her sins was not completely recorded. The third is she knew that Jesus told her of her deepest sins and so He knew her fully.
We then see that the disciples are talking to Jesus while the Samaritan woman is telling her town about Jesus. The disciples are urging Jesus to eat and Jesus tells them that He had food that they did not know about. This makes the disciples question each other, thinking that one of them brought Him food, everyone was probably looking at Peter, James, and John, Jesus’ inner circle within the disciples. Jesus then said to them that His food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work. This shows Jesus’ love for the Samaritans that His food was doing good for them. The disciples did not think that Jesus would spread the gospel among the Samaritans, showing that Jesus desires things for us that are greater than even His disciples or we could fathom. The reason why Jesus made this work His food was because it was the work of the One who sent Him. His entire purpose for being here was to bring people to Himself and this was of great satisfaction to Him. And today He desires to know you and have a personal relationship with you. He came down from Heaven, became a man, and died on the cross for our sins, became the one and only forever sacrifice for our sins so that we could live forever with Him. If you would like to start your relationship with Him, all you have to do is to admit that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, and confess Him as Lord of your life (Romans 10:9).
Jesus then goes on to tell them not to say “There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” He is telling the disciples that this is where the fields are white and ready for harvest and they will reap even though it was the Pentateuch and the Holy Spirit that sowed the seeds. This is the same today, we may help sow or we may help reap and I believe that in our world today the fields are ripe for harvest. It may not be where we expect, but in some places, the ground is ready for sowing, and in others, the fields are ready for reaping. So, we must be looking and listening for the prompting of the Spirit as to where we need to help reap and where we need to help sow. We then see that many believed in Him because of the Samaritan woman’s testimony, but more believed in Him because of Jesus’ word and that Jesus stayed with them for two more days. This is something we must keep in mind that our words are sometimes adequate for sharing the gospel, but His Word always fulfills the purposes for which He sends them out to do (Isaiah 55:11). The last verse in this passage tells us that the Samaritans told the woman that it is no longer her words that caused them to believe for they heard for themselves and believe that He was truly the Savior of the World. So this week, know that He has sent us just as the Father has sent Him into the world and that our mission is to go unto all nations and make disciples. Also, know that no matter what you have done or who you are, He wants to know you and He also can use you to reach the world.
Check out the other blogs in this series A Study through the Gospel of John