John 4:27-42- The Bountiful Harvest

Explanation- Upon the disciples return, they were ‘marveled’ to find their Master speaking with a woman. Let alone a woman of Samarian descent. This type of conduct would have conflicted with the modern methods of spiritual teachers. During this time, women in general were not treated with the same respect and dignity as they are today. They were thought of as lesser and incompetent. Dr. William Varner in his book ‘The Messiah: Revealed, Rejected, Received’ comments on the way women were treated during this time by those of religious persuasion. He delivers four key points concerning the treatment of women during this time,

“1. Women were to be shunned in public social contact… 2. Women were not to be publicly taught the Torah… 3. Women were restricted from orally communicating the Torah to others, even to children… 4. Women had no right to bear public witness in a judicial case.”[1]

Contrary to this oppressive approach, Christ treated women with respect, dignity, and value. He held no man or woman to be lesser or greater than another and presented the message of salvation without discrimination. Let it also be known that this was not the custom for treatment of women prescribed in the Torah or taught by Moses in the Old Testament. These were doctrines of men that were popularized by the wicked teachers of Christ’s day.

This woman, upon encountering the Messiah, leaves her water pot to go tell others about Jesus! Isn’t this the story of many of us who first encountered Christ? When the reality of His nature is pressed upon our hearts and we receive the gift of eternal life, is it not our joy to urgently tell all of the treasure we have found? In like manner, this woman sets out on her first evangelistic mission!

In the woman’s absence, a powerful lesson is given to the disciples. Christ, who had been wearied and hungered, has now been filled with spiritual manna! In a fascinating display of heavenly wisdom, He uses this instance to convey to His disciples the importance and reward of soul winning. The time is now! There is no place for hesitation, let those who labor in the Lord make their way to the fields and reap the bountiful soul harvest! Not only would the disciples be fishers of men, but they would also be gatherers of souls in the heavenly harvest! This truly is our spiritual food, namely, to do the will of the Father in heaven!

At this point we see the crowds coming unto Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. She has gone into the field to sow the seed of good news, and now the harvest has come to the Reaper. Certainly, they were drawn in by the woman’s testimony, but upon hearing the very words of Christ they have come to believe for themselves!

Application- As we glean from this passage, let us take hold of this key truth. It is not our place to force men into belief. We are simply called to go into the field and sow the seeds of gospel truth. Like the woman at the well, we are to beckon men to come unto Christ. We are to share of His goodness and grace with all who have ears to hear. If the Lord so chooses, He will breathe life upon those words and activate the gift of faith in men’s hearts so that they too may believe. Let us not grow weary in preaching the good news. Though we may see little fruit with our own eyes, we may trust that the Lord will use our feeble efforts to draw men unto His kingdom! Thus, they too may come to believe for themselves the reality of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ!

 

[1] Varner, William C. The Messiah: Revealed, Rejected, Received. Author House, 2004, 182-183.