Waters of Life

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JOHN - The Light Shines in the Darkness
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to John
PART 1 - The Shining of the Divine Light (John 1:1 - 4:54)
C - Christ's First Visit to Jerusalem (John 2:13 - 4:54) -- What is True Worship?
4. Jesus in Samaria (John 4:1–42)

b) Jesus leads his disciples to see the ready harvest (John 4:27-38)

JOHN 4:31-38
31 In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” 33 The disciples therefore said one to 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 Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. 36 He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

After Jesus had delivered the soul of the sinful woman and led her to eternal life, he turned to his disciples to render them similar service. Their thoughts remained worldly on material things. They did not rejoice at what God’s Spirit had done in the woman’s heart. Doubtless food and drink are vital for survival, but there is more essential food than bread, and more powerful satisfaction than water provides. This they had still to understand. They were no better than her, despite their piety in following Jesus, for everyone who is not born from above cannot see the kingdom of God.

Jesus explained to them the meaning of heavenly or spiritual food which satisfies the soul more than any material food. Jesus was satisfied above all in bestowing blessing and doing his Father’s will.

Jesus was God’s apostle. He was freely the Son, but obedient to his Father, doing His will joyfully, for God is love. Whoever dwells in love dwells in God. Christ’s obedience does not mean that he was inferior to the Father, but proves the extent of His love. The Son said that the world salvation was His Father’s work, even though he had carried it out himself. He gave the glory to his Father, just as previously the Father had given all things to the Son. The Father gives prominence to His Son and has seated him at His right hand placing in him all authority in heaven and on earth.

At the well God’s will had been to save this despised woman. It was not only the Jews who had been called to redemption, but all mankind. All were corrupt and hungered for God. Jesus on meeting this woman found in her a maturity, a hunger for pardon in her inner being. A readiness to receive God’s pardon was more apparent in her than in the Jews. Suddenly, he saw before him all humanity as a vast field filled with wheat ripening for the harvest wafted along by the Holy Spirit.

However, the disciples could not see this field symbolizing the world ready for harvest. Jesus had reached Samaria in winter and harvest requires several months to appear. Jesus seems to say, ‘You look at the superficial facts that are obvious. Look at the truths at the core of the human spirit; suppressed questionings, desire for abundant life, the search for God. Today is harvest time. Many are anxious to accept God’s Son as their Savior if the message of salvation is presented to them with wisdom and in love.

You may feel otherwise; all those around me are stubborn, fanatical or blind. That is how the disciples felt; they judged superficially. But Jesus discerned the heart. He did not condemn the sinful woman who had initially treated him as an alien. He did not hesitate to converse with her even though spiritual discourse was beyond her understanding, but spoke simply and clearly to her. So he helped her all the more with the Spirit’s guidance, and awakened in her memories of worship and the majesty of Messiahship, until she became an evangelist. What a change! She was closer to the workings of the Spirit than the pious Nicodemus. Everyone who serves the Lord needs his loving insight of Jesus to see those who hunger for God’s righteousness in their locality. Do not worry about their coarseness and indifference, God loves them; Jesus calls them. Their minds will be enlightened by grace little by little. How long will you stay silent in a world that has so many seekers after God?

When a person turns to Christ, eternal life will be his; joy will fill his heart. Also in heaven there will be rejoicing among the angels over one sinner repenting. After all, God wishes all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. Those who align themselves with God’s will, and carry it through by preaching to others humbly will satisfy their own souls and rejoice. Just as Jesus said of himself, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and fulfill His work."

Jesus ended his message to the disciples saying, "I send you to harvest." The Baptist had already ploughed the arid fields preaching repentance – Jesus is himself the seed of wheat that God planted in the soil already prepared. We harvest today the fruits of his death on the cross. Should Jesus call you to the harvest, recall that this is not your harvest. The work is the Lord’s. The power of Christ ripens in the Spirit’s fruits. We are all unprofitable servants, yet he calls us to share his divine ministry, sometimes in sowing, sometimes in plowing or the reaping. It is good to remember we are not God’s first workers. Many have toiled before us in tears; their prayers are recorded in heaven. You are not better equipped than God’s other servants, nor are you better behaved. You live every moment by His pardoning grace. Learn to obey the Spirit in your service. Serve Him with praise and thanksgiving during the harvest, and magnify your heavenly Father with other harvesters, who cry, ‘Your Kingdom come; yours is the sovereignty, the power and the glory for ever.’ Amen.

c) Evangelism in Samaria (John 4:39–42)

JOHN 4:39-42
39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days. 41 Many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”

Multitudes ran to Jesus from the town, influenced by the woman’s conversion. In them he saw the whitened fields about to be harvested. He spoke to them of faith and life eternal and stayed there two full days. His disciples visited homes as harvesters of souls. Christ’s person and words made a deep mark on the crowds. They realized that God had come in Christ to our sad world to save sinners. These Samaritans were the first to give him the title "Savior of the World" they felt that Jesus did not mean to save his own people, but was bearing all men’s sin. There is no end to the might of his love, even today, he can save and free those in sins’ bondage from Satan’s grip, and preserve those who are freed. He is truly the judge of the world. Caesar in Rome was entitled "Savior and Protector of the World." These Samaritans realized that Jesus was greater than Caesars; he gives his people eternal peace.

PRAYER: We thank you Jesus; you rebuilt the life of this sinful woman, and showed us all, that obedience to the Spirit is better than worship. Free us from delay, so that we may fulfill your will gladly and swiftly, and present your salvation to the wanderers, that they may obtain eternal life by faith in you.


  1. How do we become useful harvesters for Jesus?


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