Summary: How God is interested to do the evangelism and bring many to Christ
John 4:31-42 Harvest is Ready
By Rev. Andrew B Natarajan
THE LORD IS GOOD AND HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER.
The scripture portion for our meditation for this morning is taken from Gospel according to John Chapter 4 verses 31 thru 42.
The Larger Context of this passage is Christ continues his personal evangelism. The immediate context of it is a reference to the story of a Woman in Samaria and the healing of an Official’s Son.
We need to note that the land of Israel was in fact the Land of Emmanuel as per Isa. 8:8, it is not only the place of his birth, but the panorama(scene) of his preaching and miracles, crucifixion and death. This land in our Savior’s time was geographically divided into three parts: as Judea in south, Galilee in north, and Samaria lying between them.
The splendor of this chapter is that Christ is at hand in each of these three parts of land.
4:1-3 narrate his Departure from Judea, 4:4-42 describe his presence in Samaria and 4:43-45 report his arrival in Galilee.
This chapter also very vibrantly and vividly recount the flight of a woman in those days. No where the writer calls this woman as a prostitute,
I don’t know which commentator and preacher started wrong diagnosis about this entire episode and it is followed for many years. Jesus never said that you are a prostitute or you are a sinner, he never said that you must repent of your sins, whereas he usually did with others,
such as he asked Nicodemus to “be born again”(3:3), and the woman caught in adultery to “sin no more”(8:11).
Do you think that a woman without moral values would be respected by the villagers. So she was a religious lady having the biblical knowledge and the history of her ancestors. She was expecting a messiah and an end to their sufferings. So she was interestingly conversing with Christ.
Then you may think then why 4:18 says that she lived with five husbands. We need to read it carefully that she lived with five husbands and not with five illegal men, now she is waiting to be married to the sixth man of that house according to the law of Moses, (Jn. 4:18), for clarity kindly read and refer Lk. 20:28-32 & Dt 25:5.
Now let us go to the text of John 4:31-42. For our easy remembrance and understanding; I would like to divide this passage into three sections:
The first part of this passage is PREPARATION FOR HARVEST
In (v.31) Jesus said “My Food is to do the will of God”
Jesus’s heart, mind and soul were filled with the will of God. He learned day by day and moment by moment the will of God and fulfilled it. Knowing and doing the will of God is our strength, our victory in life and also we have meaning for our existence.
The commentator Barnes writes: “Jesus said that my meat was to do the will of God. He came to that place weary and thirsty, and at the usual time of meals, probably hungry; yet an opportunity of doing good presented itself, and he forgot his fatigue (Exhaustion) and hunger, forgot his weariness and hardship, and the wants of nature”.
We need to renew our mind in prayer, fasting, and waiting upon the Lord. Look to God for his directions, leading and guidance. The prayerful life makes our hearts, hands, eyes and minds as that of Jesus. We just need to crucify our self and exhibit the character of Jesus in our day today life.
In (v.35) Jesus said “open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest”
The eyes of Jesus saw the harvest of the souls and communities.
When we are closer to the Lord, our eyes become compassionate, it weeps for the poor, needy, downtrodden and oppressed. Our values become, God’s values.
The theologian Clark comments: “Let the salvation of souls lie nearer your heart than life itself. Let eating and drinking, labor and rest, reading and thinking, study and prayer, and all things, be directed to the accomplishment of this great work”.
Look at the Field:
Every day we meet people, we go to duty, we go to office. Our bus, train, our residential areas, and everywhere we are called to sensitize and consciously sow the seeds of KOG.
God saw the sufferings and slavery of Israelites in Egypt, he raised Moses to save them, means to suffer with them, mold them, bring them and lead them to rest. He told Moses that he observed, knew their sufferings, heard their cries. He was not a spectator but involved in toiling experiences of People. He says that I have come down. (Ex 3:7-9) to save them. As per Phil 2:6-7,God emptied himself from the loftiness and highness, We need to do that.