Week 24 | Section 35b,c

Ripe for HarvestNo bones about it, Jesus was certain of his identity and word of his deeds were spreading as quickly as the sun was ripening the grain fields.  The air was being filled with the sweet aroma of a promise – a harvest of souls and the hope of Israel.


Scripture:

Section 35b | John 4:27-38
27 At this, his disciples came.1 They marveled that he was speaking with a woman;2 yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?”3  28 So the woman left her water pot,4 went away into the city, and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man5 who told me everything that I did.6 Can this be the Christ?”7 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to him. 31 In the meanwhile, the disciples urged him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” 33 The disciples therefore said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.8 35 Don’t you say, ‘There are yet four months until the harvest?’ Behold, I tell you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, that they are white for harvest already. 36 He who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”9

Section 35c | John 4:39-42
39 From that city many of the Samaritans believed in him because of the word of the woman, who testified, “He told me everything that I did.”10  40 So when the Samaritans came to him,11 they begged him to stay with them. He stayed there two days.12 41 Many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of your speaking; for we have heard for ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”13


Group Dialog:

  1. Have you ever felt as though you were fully welcome and accepted by another even though you had been feeling and treated as a social outcast by others? What was that moment like?
  2. What might have happened within the heart and mind of the Samaritan woman during this interaction? (review section 35a | John 4:5-38)
  3. What has been your response in the past when you have heard/understood Jesus’ words to you? What was the effect?
  4. What repercussions might there be to sharing or not sharing the good news with others?

Learning Objectives:

Our testimony, conviction, witness, work of God, vocation,  healing, serving others, foreknowledge, law and grace, cross-cultural ministry


Photo: Native wheat growing on the highlands of the pacific coast in Big Sur.


Study Notes:

  1. His disciples had gone into the town of Sychar to get some food (John 4:8).
  2. Jewish custom held that it was inappropriate, nor lawful, for a Jewish man to hold a conversation (discourse) with a woman.
  3. The disciples seem to be showing their confidence and trust in the Lord’s discernment and reasoning even though they could think of no situation that would allow him to do so. They must have been anxiously waiting for him to explain this new interpretation of the law and grace.
  4. Like the disciples themselves who left their nets, and Matthew who left his coin box – the woman is excited to share the good news with others.
  5. who said to me that he is the Messiah
  6. She is excited which indicates that her mind and soul received in part his grace as she did not flee or hide from the light of truth.
  7. He told me so. Come judge for yourselves.
  8. Here is another summary of Jesus mission and identity. Read also: John 5:30; John 6:38; John 17:4; Luke 19:10; John 19:30; Isa 61:1-3
  9. Read also: Luke 10:2-3/Mt 9:37-38
  10. The language here does not indicate that this is all she said. It is most likely that she shared much more. Her excitement was contagious, and her testimony convincing, yet when the town met him they reckoned themselves that Jesus is the Christ.
  11. Jewish culture and law (Dt. 19:15), it took the witness of two men to validate an event and the word of another.
  12. We have no record of what more Jesus said or did there in Sychar, but he most certainly rejoiced as many more also believed that he was the Messiah and placed their faith in him (Luke 19:10; Luke 15:4-6).
  13. Like the woman we are called to give our testimony and be ready to give a reason for the hope within us. Read: Acts 1:8; 1Pet 3:15. The woman had no training, but shared her testimony openly and the results were impressive.