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Journey Through The Gospel of John: 4:27-38

Updated: Nov 20, 2021



John 4:27-29

27 At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?”

28 So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and *said to the men,

29 “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?”

30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.

31 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 were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?”

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, and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest.

36 “Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.

37 “For in this case the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’

38 “I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.”

Commentary

Jesus actions had really gone against two cultural norms: He spoke with a woman in public and He spoke with a Samaritan woman. Jesus was not concerned about cultural norms or about His own personal reputation. He came to seek and save those who were lost. This woman who had a questionable past that caused her to be shunned by many needed Jesus. She needed Him to restore the brokenness in her life.

The disciples in their limited understanding are filled with many questions as they find Jesus speaking to this woman. But Jesus through His life taught the disciples many things. These men were being continually changed as they spent time with Jesus and walked with Him.

This woman left her water pot. Her water pot can symbolize her focus on physical water and life itself. This woman had come to meet the Christ. Her leaving her water pot there also showed that she planned to return. She ran into the town and because of her past most likely knew where the men would be. But in her excitement from meeting Jesus she says “come see a man who told me all things that I ever did”. In her conversation with Jesus He clearly doesn’t reveal every aspect of her life. But from what He did tell her, she knew that this was no ordinary man.

She then asks the question “could this be the Christ”. Even the Samaritans were looking for the Messiah. Because of what Jesus had revealed to her and her interaction with Him, the understanding that this could truly be the long awaited Messiah became a reality in her mind and heart. From this statement she has gotten the attention of many. From her words they make their way to come and see this man she speaks of.

How many of us are truly excited to tell others about Jesus. Sometimes as we grow in Christ our excitement for telling others about Jesus may wane. But if we are truly abiding in Christ and reflecting on all that Jesus has done for us, the greatest message we have is what Jesus has personally done for us. Oftentimes the greatest way for us to share Christ with others is to share our own personal testimony. Some may argue with the truth and validity of the bible, but what they can’t argue with is the impact that Jesus Christ has made in our lives.

The disciples concerned with Jesus and His physical needs tell Him to eat. One of the things you come to understand in studying the life of Jesus is that He was continually walking from place to place. Ministry would have taken an incredible tool on His body. Here we see the full humanity of Jesus in not only asking the woman for a drink from the well but also His disciples telling Him to eat.

But Jesus responds with something much deeper. Not speaking about physical food but accomplishing and doing the will of His Father. In everything Jesus did on the earth He was surrendered to the will of the Father and focused on the will of the Father. If we simply had this same attitude and disposition, many of the things that trip us up would no longer trip us up. One of the keys to victorious Christian living is a laser focus on the will of the Father. Like a horse who has blinders on, we must be focused on the will of the Father alone. Satan is the author of confusion and distraction. Many Christians fight with one another and even become divided because they are focused on things that have no eternal value. But our sole desire as a follower of Jesus should be to be exactly like Him. This is possible through the work and person of the Holy Spirit within us. But the key is surrender.

Jesus says “life up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest”. Jesus is speaking of the Samaritans who in a few moments will arrive and give their lives to Christ. They will come to saving faith in Jesus. This all began with the encounter of Jesus at the well. Everything Jesus spoke into the life of a woman was simply a seed that the Holy Spirit was working on. Oftentimes we may become discouraged if we share something about God and His kingdom with someone and the person doesn’t make a decision for Christ. But here Jesus shows the relationship between the one who sows and the one who reaps. But in a short period of time the disciples would encounter a harvest that they themselves had not worked for. But Jesus was always teaching the disciples about building the kingdom properly because when His earthly ministry was entrusted to them they would carry on the work of the kingdom on the earth.

Jesus speaks of receiving wages for those who reap and gathering fruit for eternal life. Jesus is speaking of the Samaritans who would come to saving faith. Jesus points out that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. Christianity is a team effort. We will never know the impact of our lives on this earth and all the seeds we have sown until we stand before the Lord some day.

I often laugh when I hear people pridefully claim they have led someone to Christ. We in ourselves don’t lead people to Christ. But graciously the Holy Spirit chooses to use us. But if someone does make a decision to follow Christ, someone has already planted the seed that the Holy Spirit has been watering. We should never underestimate the power of planting the seed of God’s word into the heart of a person. The greatest gift any parent can give to their child is to sow the word of God daily into their lives. For in due time there will be a harvest.

One sows and another reaps. On every team every position is important. As a former football coach many people when they come to games simply focus on positions like the quarterback or the running back because these are often the glory positions that get all the attention. But every member of a football team is vital to the success of the team. Even the guys that are on the practice squad who are playing the role of the opposing team and preparing the team for its opposition.

This is the same with those who sow and those who reap. Often those who sow are not seen and often may feel overlooked. But their faithfulness to sow is vital to the ability of those who reap the kingdom. It is a foolish thing to believe that whatever we are accomplishing for God and His kingdom has anything to do with us. God in His grace has saved us, equipped us, enabled us, empowered us, given us divine appointment, and prepared the hearts of those who would receive. All we have done is said yes and responded in obedience. There will be great rewards for obedience and faithfulness in God’s kingdom, but it is utter foolishness to think that anything accomplished on this earth for God and His kingdom has anything to do with us.

Jesus says “I sent you to reap for which you have not labored”. Jesus through His interaction with the woman had set in motion the events that led the town to come and hear the gospel message. As this woman with a checkered past ran into town and exclaimed to the people “come hear a man who told me everything” and also posed the question “could this be the Messiah” it set the stage for a great harvest. The disciples questioned why Jesus not only spoke to a woman publicly but also a Samaritan woman. But Jesus taught the disciples something very important here. When God is accomplishing His purposes often to our own understanding it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. But we are called to follow His leading. In everything Jesus did He was surrendered to the leading and will of the Father through the Holy Spirit. When we simply follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and walk in obedience to the Father’s will is when kingdom increases and purpose happens.


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