By Robert Guenther
We are continuing our review of the Gospel of John chapter four by looking further into the divine appointment the Lord had to meet a woman of Samaria at Jacob’s well. We find that the Lord used this woman’s testimony to lead others to believe that he was the Christ of God.
Vs. 30: Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him. These are the men that she had spoken to in the previous verse. Her testimony was believed and acted upon by faith by these men.
Vs. 31: In the mean while His disciples prayed Him saying, “Master eat.” I think the disciples are getting hungry and they believe that He should eat to keep up His strength. What they did not seem to understand was that the Lord had something more important on His mind than eating.
Vs. 32: But He said unto them,“I have meat to eat that you know not of.” The Lord is not speaking about physical food, but rather a figure, to explain the work of bringing others life by partaking of Him. This figure is like the one about the “Living Water” that we read about earlier.
Vs. 33: Therefore said the disciples one to another, “Hath any man brought Him ought to eat.” Our next verse explains that this figure to be doing the Father’s will.
Vs. 34: Jesus saith unto them, “My meat is do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work. Just like eating physical food brings us fulfillment, satisfaction and sustains life in us, Christ found that doing the Father’s will brought the same type of benefits to Himself in a spiritual way.
Vs.35: Say not ye, `There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest?’ behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. The Lord is using yet another analogy concerning harvesting a crop of wheat that they were familiar with. He is stating that there is no need to wait any longer for this crop to come to maturity as it is reading to reap now. He is of course speaking about the Samaritans who are coming unto Him to see if He is the Christ.
Vs. 36: And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. Our Lord has many laborers (some are planters and others are reapers) and both are necessary to complete the work that the Lord is doing. Both should rejoice.
Vs. 37: And herein is thatsaying true, `One soweth and another reapeth.’ May each of us have a similar attitude when it comes to doing our service unto our Lord. We are not all given the same talents or abilities. We are not all asked to do the same work. But we can all find contentment in being His workmanship.
Vs.38: I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.” This verse reveals again the joint effort of those who sow seed (plant the basic truths about the Lord into the young believers mind) and those who reap the benefits of this planting by leading these into a deeper knowledge of God’s truth. Both workers are necessary to bring about the desired fruit (mature worker for God).
Vs. 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.” We are always amazed when God uses a person’s own testimony to bring others to a saving knowledge of Christ. I am more convinced that Jesus Christ had this meeting (divine appointment) not just for this woman’s sake, but for the others who needed to believe in the Christ of God. Awesome!
Vs. 40: So when the Samaritans were come unto Him they besought Him that He would tarry with them: and He abode there two days. I am not sure of the spiritual significance of the two days mentioned here. In Dr. Bullinger’s note he suggest we look at the note on verse 43 (7th sign in Appendix 176) to find that the two days could be the time (two thousand years) in which Israel has been divorced and set aside without a Husband. It is certainly possible that we are currently living during this time period as we look at the nation of Israel’s condition today.
Vs. 41: And many more believed because of His own word; It is certainly possible that some of these Samaritans did not know this woman and her testimony would not have meant much to them. So the Lord uses His own words to bring them life.
Vs.42: 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. This verse does not reflect poorly on this woman’s testimony. But it does show us that God will use His own Word to bring others to Himself.
Vs. 43: Now after two days He departed thence, and went into Galilee. Our Lord’s work was finished and He needed to move on. We already alluded to the significance of the two days before. But by application, I believe that we need to take advantage of opportunities when they come our way.
Vs 44: (For Jesus Himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in His own country.) Is the Lord giving those who did not believe Him an excuse for not accepting the truth? Or should this verse encourage us to share the truth and leave the results up to the Lord who knows us best.