Reaping a Harvest {John 4}

11:30 PM



By Lisa Thayer

I’ve written about this woman at the well before, and every time I learn something new.  This is a picture of our miserable condition without Jesus.  This is another story of our blindness and the amazing grace Jesus offers. 

John begin his chapter by telling us that Jesus ‘had’ to go through Samaria (v. 4).  John tells us that Jesus had a purpose to go through Samaria instead of around it like most Jews would to avoid this area.  Most Jews has such disdain for this group of ‘half-breeds.’

Jesus not only purposely went to Samaria, He sat on the well where a woman would come to collect water.  We’re read before that it was typical for women to collect water, but not at this time of day – at noon in Samaria it was H.O.T.

Jesus didn’t leave Judea because of the Pharisees.  He left because He had a purpose to enter a land and reap a harvest.  He had an appointment to keep and He entered this place with salvation in mind.

During His encounter with this woman, Jesus offers her living water.  A faith in Jesus quenches your thirst.  Faith in Christ fills every single parched area in your life.  You will ‘never thirst’ because a spring of faith with keep rising every time there is a difficulty in your life.  Jesus can dig deep into our most secret parts of our hearts and minds and remove them and fill them with His life giving water.  I have often said that all our empty holes can be filled with Jesus. 

Jesus points out that worship is not limited to location.  He lets us know that whatever mountain or building we go to worship does not matter to Him if you are not a true worshipper of the Father in Spirit. (v. 23)  True faith is knowing the Messiah (vs. 25-26)

“Yet all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”  John 1:12

I began today with mentioning that Jesus’ purpose was to reap a harvest.

“I sent you to reap what you have not worked for.  Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.  Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony.  “He told me everything I ever did.  So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days.  And because of his words many more became believers.”  (John 4:38-42)

These so-called ‘half-breed’ people came from their town to hear Jesus.  I think there are moments in our lives when we hear someone say they’ve come to know Jesus and if they have a scandalous background, we have a difficult time believing them.  Sometimes we are hesitant because we’ve been scammed before and so it’s difficult to believe these people.  But why did Jesus come into this world?

 “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believes stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”  (John 3:17-18)

Shouldn’t we be more aware of spiritual awakenings in others?

Jesus reveals that His is sustained to finish God’s work by finishing God’s work.  (v. 35-36)  The work God gave Jesus was to give eternal life!  (v. 34)  Jesus gives life because He is life (John 14:6).  Jesus is our food – He is living water and bread from heaven.  He doesn’t just eat food.  He is food!  He doesn’t just get life.  He gives life!

Who are the reaper and the sower here?  I think it is Jesus and the Samaritan woman.  Jesus has been sowing with His word and gathering fruit for eternal life as the great reaper.  And the woman has been sowing with her word to the townspeople.  That’s why the story returns in verse 39-42 to the testimony of the woman and the testimony of Jesus.  Remember, the townspeople believed because of her word, and then more believed because of Jesus’ word.  This is the labor of “others” that the disciples enter into.  “Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”  (v. 38b) 


This unlikely woman becomes the means of an unlikely people turning to the Jewish Messiah, even though they were not full-blooded Jews.  This is not just a familiar story for us to read.  This is an example of who we are and what we are to do with the life we’ve been given.

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