I. John 4:27-42 Jesus Can Use Anyone
A. We saw in the previous verses that Jesus reaches out to everyone, now we will see that He can use anyone.
B. Last time we read about how Jesus is going cross cultural in speaking to a Samaritan, more than that he is breaking a social boundary in speaking to a woman… something that Rabbi’s never did.
II. 4:27-30, Jesus uses the most unlikely of people.
A. V27, When the disciples get back they see that Jesus is speaking with a woman, and they are shocked. Although they might have thought “What do you seek?” or “Why are You talking with her?” None of them said it. They are wondering why Jesus is doing this, but they don’t voice it. They might have even judged Jesus a little bit for doing this, but they are going to see how Jesus uses this to save an entire village.
1. Sometimes our motivations aren’t clear to others as to why we do things, but the fruit of our works show if what we did was the work of God or not.
B. V28, The woman left her water pot. This is significant because it meant she didn’t care much anymore for physical water, she had found living water and her thirst was finally quenched. She also was in a huge hurry to share this living water with others, so much so that she left her water pot since it would have only slowed her down. I also think she left it with Jesus because she wanted to bless Jesus, Jesus had ask for a drink and she would leave him a pot. She went to the men because likely that was all who she knew in the city.
1. When we come to know Jesus we can’t help but want to bless Him back and share Him with others.
C. V29, Her testimony was simple. It was just an invitation to come and see the man that knew all about her and that maybe this man was the Christ.
D. V30, All the men came out of the city to see Jesus based on this simple testimony from the most unlikely of sources.
1. God can use anyone. Here was a woman who was known for sleeping around, something extremely shameful in that time and yet God used her for good. Sometimes we can ask ourselves, “How can God use me? I am such a sinner or I have messed up so much!?” Or we worry about what we will say. It doesn’t have to be complicated, we just have to tell people what Jesus has done in our lives and then invite them to come to Jesus themselves, if they want to come and see they will.
III. 4:31-34, Doing the Will of God is food for the soul.
A. V31, Jesus makes good use of time. When the disciples left to buy bread he spoke to the woman, when the woman left he spoke and taught His disciples until the Samaritans returned.
Jesus was so consumed with doing the will of God that he at times didn’t eat, so much so that His disciples would have to urge him to eat. In urging Jesus to eat they show their love for Jesus and His well being, but in refusing to eat Jesus shows His love for God and passion to do the will of God more than even the most basic necessities of life.
B. V32, Jesus is going to use this opportunity to try to teach His disciples a lesson. To the Samaritan woman he spoke of salvation being as living water, but to His disciples, who had already begun to taste from the living water He is going to speak of doing the will of God as food for the soul.
C. V33, The disciples, like usual, have no idea what Jesus is talking about.
D. V34, Jesus explains what He meant, that the food that He has is to do the will of His Father and to finish the work God gave me. Doing God’s will and finishing the work He calls us to do is like food to our souls, it is extremely satisfying, a thousand more times so then regular food. This doesn’t mean that Jesus didn’t eat food, because we see elsewhere that He does. Only here He is using the concept of eating and being full to that of doing God’s will and being blessed.
1. There is nothing more personally rewarding in this life then knowing that you are doing God’s will.
2. At times you may have to choose between satisfying the needs of your body or doing the will of God, here Jesus teaches that the food that should take preference over the food for our bodies is the food of doing the will of God, which in the end is much more filling anyway. Those who desire to make their lives devoting to doing the will of God will often find it means putting your needs last.
3. Jesus not only did the will of God but He finished the will of God. Jesus gave us a good example to not only start out doing the will of God but finish what we start. This requires self-sacrifice, diligence, and perseverance.
IV. 4:35-38, What is the will of God and what is the work He sends us to finish? To bring in the harvest.
A. Jesus, speaking of doing the will of God as food for his soul, now will speak about what exactly is the will of God for Him. The will of God for Jesus and the work He came to do was to save souls and Jesus uses the analogy of bringing in the harvest.
B. V35, This was a saying that meant after sowing you would have to wait about 4 months before the harvest, or in other words you still have plenty of time to wait until the harvest comes. Jesus though calls the attention to the multitude of Samaritans that are now likely coming out of Sychar to Him at the beckoning of the Samaritan woman and tells them that the harvest is now.
1. We always think we have more time to tell someone about Jesus, and we always tell ourselves the time for harvest isn’t yet… I still have plenty of time to tell them but the time for harvest is now. I had a friend that I kept running into at college, his name was John. He was one of my friends that I had when I wasn’t walking with God and had not really seen him since then. I kept running into him at college and I was wondering why, especially since I hadn’t seen him in a long time. I had wanted to tell him about Jesus but I kept telling myself not yet. Finally, I gave him a daily bread devotional, but still didn’t tell him the gospel. Only to find out the next week that he overdosed and died. I had missed my opportunity to tell him about Jesus, it is possible he may have read something in the devotional that led him to Christ, but it is not likely. I missed the time of harvest. When God puts it on your heart to talk to someone about Jesus we need to take it seriously, because the time of harvest is only for a season and the opportunity can pass us before we know it, only for it to be too late.
C. V36, Those who reap are those who get the honor of leading someone to Christ in prayer, their reward is knowing that person will get to enjoy eternal life with them in eternity. Both the one who reaps and the one who sows are share in the joy of knowing that the person who came to Christ gets to enjoy eternity, both are just as important.
D. V37, Sometimes in life, as Christians, we do the work of God in sowing. Sowing is sharing the Word of God day in and day out with someone, and praying for them, although you may never get to be the one who leads them to Christ. Reaping is getting to have the honor of praying with someone as they accept Christ. Both are important roles and both rejoice together that someone came to know Christ.
E. V38, In this current situation that the disciples were seeing they were getting to reap what they had not sown. The Samaritans that were now coming to Christ didn’t come to Christ because of anything that the disciples had done, Jesus had done the work, the Samaritan woman had done the work, likely John the Baptist before Jesus had done the work of preparing the way… etc. The disciples got to be part of reaping the harvest (bringing in souls to Christ) even though they hadn’t sowed. They were entering into the labors of others.
1. The Apostles had also entered into the labors of the prophets of the Old Testament, who had prepared the way for the coming Messiah, Matthew Henry writes “This also intimates two things concerning the ministry of the apostles of Christ. First, That it was a fruitful ministry: they were reapers that gathered in a great harvest of souls to Jesus Christ, and did more in seven years towards the setting up of the kingdom of God among men than the prophets of the Old Testament had done in twice so many ages”
a) Will the next generation say, I have entered into the work of my forefathers and am blessed because of it? Or will they have to start sowing from scratch? The work that we do for God not only affects those around us, but it makes it easier for the next generation to do the work of God as well.
2. It is important to know that when God uses us to lead someone to Christ that it was not something we did on our own. We only entered into the work that others had already been doing. Likely others had spoken to them about Christ or had been praying for them. This verse came alive to me when I was in York, England. We used to do a lot of street evangelism and a lot of people were coming to Christ, in that time I was allowed to be used by God in a reaping sort of way. Even still though for my entire life I have been talking to my cousin about God and praying for Him, I have been sowing, and he has yet to come to know the Lord. The amount of time I have spent sowing into my cousin’s life, with very little fruit, has shown me how great of an honor and miracle it is when God allows you to be a part of reaping someone’s soul for eternity (leading them to know eternal life in Christ Jesus).
V. 4:39-42, The Tools of the Harvest, Testimony and The Word of God.
A. V39, People come to know Jesus in different ways. Some come to believe in Jesus through the testimony of what someone tells them about Jesus. These Samaritans, although her testimony was only 18 words long, had come to believe in Jesus because of her words. It is not the length of our testimony that counts, but the reality of it.
B. V40, The Samaritans received Jesus with so much joy that they didn’t want him to leave. This is in stark contrast in how Jesus will be received by his own people and his own home town, who for the most part reject Him.
C. V41, Other people came to know Jesus when they came and heard from Him Himself. Some people will accept Jesus when they hear a testimony about how He has changed their life, others need to read and hear the words of Jesus themselves before they are willing to believe in them. These are the two tools that God has given us to lead people to Christ, our testimonies and the Word of Christ, AKA the Bible (since we have seen that Jesus is the word).
1. They come to believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Savior of the World. These Samaritans come to believe in Jesus with more understanding than the Jews had, for the Jews had only seen the Christ as Savior of the Jews. Here though we see that salvation is for the whole world.