September 21, 2008
Salvation is occurring in the most unlikely of places with the most unlikely people. Jesus’ disciples return from town to see him speaking with a disreputable Samaritan woman. They are amazed. Not only did “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (John 4:9), but they certainly didn’t waste their time teaching women. Yet, Jesus’ time is well spent. This woman calls all of her friends to come to Jesus.
Jesus uses the woman’s example to teach the disciples something very important about their duty here on earth. First, he tells them that the work of the Kingdom is more important than anything else. They wonder if he is hungry, since he has not eaten. He tells them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work” (John 4:34). There is a need in life that is even greater than our need for food, and that need is to do the things that God has called us to do.
Second, Jesus tells them more about what God calls them to do. They are to be witnesses of him to all people. He tells them, “the fields are white for harvest” (John 4:35). Even the Samaritans are ready to hear about the good news of salvation. The woman had gone to get her friends. Jesus had sowed the seed of the gospel into her heart, and that seed was beginning to bear fruit. As she went to get her friends, she had already become a sower herself, and the harvest of the souls of men would soon be reaped. This entire age, from the time of Jesus until the time he returns, is like what we see in this story. The harvest of this age is so plentiful that the sower can barely get the seed onto the ground before the reaper is ready to harvest the grain, and so the “sower and reaper may rejoice together” (John 4:36).
When the Samaritans return, the harvest is completed. They hear from Jesus themselves, and they express true faith in him. They profess “we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world” (John 4:42). Their profession should be ours as well. He is the Savior of the world, and our duty is to make him known throughout the entire world.