This will be the Wednesday night teaching that I will be doing November 14th 2007.
JOHN PART 12
A SPIRITUAL HARVEST
INTRO: We are continuing with the story of the woman at the well and the conversation she has with Jesus. She is a Samaritan, and Jesus is a Jew. So there was over 500 years of racial prejudice from both sides. The thing is, Jesus doesn’t acknowledge or allow the racial prejudice to get in the way. He speaks to the woman and reveals both the condition of her life as well as revealing who He is and that He is the source of eternal life.
Let’s continue on with this story.
1. The Messianic revelation.
John 4:25-26 ESV – The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” (26) Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”
Jesus has revealed some amazing things to this woman. He has revealed that He is the source of living water. He has revealed the condition of her life. He has revealed that is it not religion, ritual, or the place that true worship to God is found, but it is found in spirit and truth.
Because of this revelation, she now brings the subject of the Messiah (v. 25). Though the Samaritans didn’t accept all of the Old Testament as Scripture, they did accept the Torah – the first 5 books of Moses. And there is a prophecy in the Torah stating concerning a prophet being raised up like Moses and they are to listen to Him – this is a Messianic prophecy.
Deuteronomy 18:15 ESV – The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers – it is to him you shall listen.
The Samaritan concept taught by their teachers at the time of Christ was that a prophet would be raised up like Moses and he would be the Messiah and they should listen to him. The woman has just been listening to Jesus and all what He has said, revealed, and taught. Could He be the One?
Jesus own admission concerning Himself (v. 26). Here we have a clear direct statement from Jesus Himself about who He is. This is also the first time in Scripture that Jesus says this about Himself. Although Jesus avoided admitting to the Jews that He was the Messiah, He told this woman plainly. Now others so far in John have told who Jesus is: Andrew had come to this conclusion concerning Jesus after spending a day with Him (John 1:41); Nathanael had declared Him to be the Son of God and the King of Israel (John 1:49); Nicodemus had stated that Jesus was a teacher from God (John 3:2). Another thing that is so important is realizing who Jesus first revealed this too: A woman, not a man, A Samaritan, not a Jew; An immoral person, not a holy person.
There is a principle that we can learn from this: God’s revelation of Himself is not given out in proportion to how deserving you are, but in accordance with how gracious He is. We tend to think that God only reaches out to those who are good and pure and who never gets ruffled or bothered by the mundane. We tend to think that God speaks to preachers and pastors because it is their job to hear from them, or they are a special type of person. None of us are good enough to hear from Him, so He sent His Son who was good in our place, so that we all might hear from Him.
2. The disciples return.
John 4:27 ESV – 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?”
Here we see the disciples returning from Sychar. Noticed that they marveled that Jesus was talking with this woman. Why? Because of two reasons: (1) She is a Samaritan; (2) She is a woman.
They did not say anything to Jesus concerning this. Quite possibly the reason they chose not to say anything to Him is because they are learning that Jesus is not bound by culture or custom. He reaches out and touches those society and culture says not to touch and reach out too.
3. The woman’s reaction to Jesus.
John 4:28-30 ESV – So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, (29) “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” (30) They went out of the town and were coming to him.
This woman, is a short amount of time, has had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ. This will be shown by her actions.
Let’s contrast two people who came too Jesus so far in John, with the differences and their one similarity. Nicodemus is part of his society; the woman is an outcast to her society. Nicodemus sought out Jesus; Jesus sought out the woman. Nicodemus was serious in his discussion with Jesus; the woman was at times sarcastic and argumentative. Nicodemus was highly educated; the woman has no formal education. Nicodemus was religious and moral; the woman was immoral. They both had one thing in common: they were both sinners in need of a Messiah. What is so interesting is this: Jesus spoke to Nicodemus a ruler in the nation of Israel, and He also spoke with this Samaritan woman, an outcast from a nation of outcasts. He spoke to both individually. Why? Because He is interested in individuals.
The woman goes back into town (v. 28). Some Bibles says she talks to the men others say people. I’d like it to be with the men, but the Greek word, Antropos actually means, mankind, or human beings. So she spoke with those who would listen to her. There is another Greek word, Aner that specifically says men and it is not used here.
The testimony of the woman (v. 29). I personally think that the woman at this time is convinced that Jesus is the Messiah. But she tells the people that He has revealed her life to her, it would be impossible for Him to know this on His own. She gives them this question: “Could this be the Messiah?” And this question will spark interest.
The response of those who heard her testimony (v. 30). They come now to see for themselves. The Greek is interesting here. It is an imperfect tense, which means a continuous action. The started coming and continued to come as word about Jesus was spreading within the town of Sychar.
4. Here comes the harvest!
John 4:31-38 ESV – Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” (32) But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” (33) So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” (34) Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. (35) 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. (36) Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. (37) For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ (38) I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
The disciples had gone into town to get Jesus something to eat, so they urge Him to eat. Jesus told them that He has already eaten, not physical food, but supernatural food. What was the supernatural food Jesus ate, to do God’s will and accomplish His work (vv. 31-34).
Jesus explains the harvest (v. 35). For farmers in Palestine, there is approximately four months between the end of the sowing, and the beginning of the reaping. What Jesus is saying in a spiritual sense, the time for reaping the harvest of souls has arrived for Him. The Samaritans who were coming out, were ready to be harvested. I believe when He is telling them to look at the fields, He was referring to the Samaritans coming out to see Him, they were flocking to Him.
The disciples would share in the reaping process with Jesus, though they did not sow or labor for it (vv. 36-38). They didn’t bring this woman to Jesus, they didn’t converse with her, they didn’t testify with her, but yet, they are going to help reap of harvest of not just this woman, but the entire town as well.
A great principle can be learned here. We may not see the ones that we labor over in prayer and sow seeds in their lives come to Jesus, someone else may lead them, but we are part of the process. We also may be reaping what others have sowed and labored over, while we didn’t. We all share in the process, and God gets the total glory.
CONCL: Next time we will look at the response of the Samaritans to Jesus themselves.