Summary: Insight on how to experience a satisfying life is drawn from Jesus’ interaction with His disciples in this text.
Fortifying the Foundations # 10
Please follow with me as we read John 4:27-42
27Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?"
28Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29"Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" 30They came out of the town and made their way toward him. 31Meanwhile his disciples urged him, "Rabbi, eat something." 32But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." 33Then his disciples said to each other, "Could someone have brought him food?" 34"My food," said Jesus, "is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35Do you not say, `Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying `One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."39Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, "He told me everything I ever did." 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41And because of his words many more became believers. 42They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world." NIV
That time in Samaria must have been a wonderful experience in Jesus’ life. He meets the woman at the well and her life is marvelously transformed. In her excitement over that encounter with Christ she testifies to her friends in town. They come to hear Jesus and a two-day revival breaks out. During that revival a great number of people come to the Lord. I love what they say about Jesus in verse 42 “...we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
In verses 31-38 Jesus speaks to his disciples. He makes a series of statements that are profoundly important for his followers to hear—they are statements about how life can be fulfilling, satisfying, and rewarding. Jesus exemplified the kind of life he has called you and me to live. He tells his disciples and us how we can enjoy certain dynamics of living that the world knows nothing about. How many would agree, that there should be an essential difference in the way we experience life as Christians verses the world’s experience?
Our society is full of frustration. I wish I could say that only the non-Christians are frustrated but you and I know that Christians can experience an awful lot of discontentment and frustration as well. Have you noticed the difference in the way people drive to work on Monday morning compared to the way they leave their work on Friday after noon? On Monday morning they drive like a turtle on his way to execution. Then on Friday after work they tear out of there like they’re leaving the scene of a crime. You would get the idea that they don’t like their jobs. Then they run to and fro on the weekend frantically trying to find some kind of satisfying reward for all their hard work. And it seems the harder they try to have fun the emptier they feel inside. All of us have had those kind of experiences. What is the problem? More importantly, what is the solution?
I find in these verses three keys to living life the way it was meant to be lived. Is there something that I’m missing? Is there something these disciples were missing in our text? How can I enter into the fullness of God’s provision for me?
1st Seek satisfaction in the work God has given you to do.
When the disciples returned from town in verse 27 they were surprised to find Jesus talking to the woman at the well. They were not sensitive to what God was doing. They were focused on the food they had brought from town. When they offered Jesus something to eat, he was so excited about what had just happened in this woman’s life that he was no longer hungry.
That’s when Jesus said to them in verse 32, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” He explained what he meant by that in verse 34, “My food is to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.”