The Gospel of John, The Second Interview, Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well, Part VI - John 4:35-42 - Lesson 26
Review: Jesus had just finished a spiritual meal and was rejoicing in his heart.
He had won the woman at the well to himself.
He had meat to eat his disciples knew not of.
They concluded in the usual dull and unspiritual way by wondering where he had gotten the food, the meat that they knew not of.
He tells them where the meat had come from.
The Father had provided it.
The meat that Jesus had spoken of was the meat of doing the Father's will and to finish his work.
In winning the woman to himself he obeyed the Father and did his will and the woman was one more soul toward finishing the task that Jesus was given to do.
He instructs the disciples as we continue in verses 4:35-38
Verses 4:35-38, Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth. I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured , and ye are entered into their labours.
This is the picture. The Lord is instructing his disciples in the lessons of service.
The woman and the men she has told of the Messiah, are seen in the distance approaching the well where the disciples and the Lord Jesus Christ are.
The disciples have returned from the city with the food.
They have concentrated on this mission and have neglected to seek those who will receive Christ.
They have neglected the harvest.
The Samaritans are not, in the disciples thinking, fit to be saved.
The disciples have neglected the important matter of sowing seed.
Perhaps the Lord pointed to the approaching Samaritans as he told the disciples to lift up their eyes.
He told them that there was no need to wait for a harvest.
You don't have to wait four months to see a harvest.
The field to be harvested is coming to you.
Lift up your eyes. the problem is not the field, the problem is the sowers and the reapers.
Where are they?
The field of Samaritans was ready for harvest.
The disciples had overlooked this group because of prejudice against the Samaritans.
The disciples regarded Samaria as a most unlikely field to work in.
At best a field that would take much work, much sowing before any harvest could be done.
They did not take the time or make any effort to tell any Samaritans that the Messiah was at their gates, but the woman at the well was eager to tell her friends that Jesus was here.
Jesus instructs his disciples that they do not know where a heart is in the growing process.
They did not know who seed had been planted in or if a seed had, at all been planted.
They did not know what watering had been done in the heart by others in obedience to the Lord's word.
They did not know that the harvest was ready.
We cannot tell how many months there are to harvest and we cannot tell whose heart is ready.
Only God knows those things and we should not pretend to know these things.
Again the lesson for the servant is that we are to obey the word and sow and water the seed.
We, in the course of sowing and watering, may be given the joy of reaping.
We may enter in to another's labor, another's years of effort and enjoy great blessing by partaking in the joy of seeing souls come to Christ.
But Jesus tells us that both sower and reaper will rejoice together.
How can this be?
The sower may be gone when the harvest is reaped.
The sower may have labored long and hard toward the salvation of souls and never was permitted to see, while on earth, the success that God gave to his efforts.
But Jesus tells us that they shall rejoice together.
This must take place when all is said and done and the harvest is complete.
Rejoicing will take place together in heaven by the sower and the reaper.
You may someday meet the one who sowed the heart that you were given the privilege to reap.
The lesson is that the sowing of the seed is as important as the reaping of the harvest for without the sower there would be no harvest.
So many times the reaper gets attention and glory but in God's planning the sower is equally if not more important
The harvest that Jesus realized in Sychar as a result of his conversation with the woman at the well may have been a result of earlier sowers, earlier servants of the Lord.
The Lord is gracious to note the labours of the sowers and he reminds the disciples of their indebtedness to the witnesses who had gone before.
Their labours will not go unrewarded.
He that sows and he that reaps will be rewarded. Both are of equal importance to the Lord.
The labors of both are necessary if a crop is to be harvested.
Our labors of sowing and reaping will not be in vain in the Lord.
Verse 4:39, And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
The woman had become a fountain of living water flowing out to her neighbors as she testified with power.
Others were coming to receive what she had received.
Would we have voted her most likely to be a witness for Christ?
We do not know the heart of man or woman, boy or girl, and when we exclude people from our witness because of their looks, or their background, or their personality we assume that we have the knowledge of God.
We think we know the heart and therefore withhold the gospel from some.
But she interests the Samaritans of the city by a testimony that this man that she met at the well, knows things about her only the Messiah would know.
It is interesting to note that the Jews believed through miracles and signs but the Samaritans believed through her testimony and the witness of Jesus Christ.
Verses 4:40-42, So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying; for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
The crowd of Samaritans arrived on the scene.
They wanted to know more.
They were now thirsty and they had come to the true well to be satisfied.
Isaiah said, Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters. The woman, by her witness of the Word made flesh, had created a thirst in her neigbors.
Because of her witness they said, Come to our town and receive our hospitality that we may learn more of you.
His own nation repelled him, but the heathens of Samaria invited him. He came unto his own, but his own received him not, but as many as received him to them gave he power to become the sons of God.
Jesus graciously accepts in spite of the many Jewish regulations he would break, visiting homes, eating their food, sleeping in their beds, and teaching them the Word of God.
And many more believed because of his word.
Many in the town that did not come to the well received him also.
The woman used her influence to bring others to Christ.
Once there they believed his word and received him based on his word.
We too have an influence and we too can tell others what Christ has done for us.
Note the effectiveness of a personal testimony of what Jesus has done for you.
Note also that the Samaritans asked for no signs as the Jews did; the Lord performed no miracles in their midst.
Like the Bereans the Samaritans received the word with readiness of mind.
Can we learn a lesson here as we compare the reception that Jesus Christ received in Samaria versus Jerusalem?
The lesson is that those whom we think will be most interested in the things of God are usually the most indifferent, while those we consider as unreachable for the Lord are the very ones who will respond to the gospel message.
God has indeed chosen the weak things, the base things, the despised things of the world to confound the wise.
So many times we continue to minister to our own and our own receive him not.
It is also interesting to note that the title, "the Savior of the World" is first used by the Samaritans in this instance.
They had found not just the Savior of the Jews, but the Savior of the World.
This is the right title for the Lord at this time because it is the first out-reaching of Jesus beyond the borders of Judaism.
Summary of the event at Jacob's Well
In summary this event at Jacob's well that the Lord allows us to witness gives us a primer on service.
1. The requirement of service - a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is required.
2. The spirit of the service - our faithful performance of the will of God.
3. The urgency of service - the fields are white already to harvest.
4. The encouragement for service - we are gathering fruit unto life eternal.
5. The interdependence of the servants - one soweth and another reapeth.
6. The warning for servants - must not be puffed up, because they are entering into the labours of others.
7. The aim of servants - to bring souls into the presence of Christ that they become independent of us and draw directly from him.