Summary: The believer is supposed to labor for God. Sounds like work! The believer’s life is to be focused on the will and work of God. A Christian’s purpose for being on earth is to serve God, to obey and work for Him.
We’re still at the well with Jesus and the Samaritan woman. The woman has gone to town and witnessed to the people there about seeing the Messiah. The people responded to her witness and came to see for themselves. So this morning, we discuss the subject of labor for God.
The believer is supposed to labor for God. Sounds like work! The believer’s life is to be focused on the will and work of God. A Christian’s purpose for being on earth is to serve God, to obey and work for Him. Let’s begin in verses 31-35.
What we are seeing is the difference between the physical and the spiritual. Jesus had sent the disciples to town to get food while He stayed at the well. That’s where we originally entered the story. The disciples returned from town with the food.
Now, as the disciples sat eating, they noticed Jesus made no effort to eat. He had been famished and exhausted originally. They were concerned, so they suggested that He eat. There are two concerns we need to address.
1. The concern of the disciples was for physical nourishment. Their minds were not on the woman that Jesus had just witnessed to. They were not focused on her spiritual needs. That tells us that the disciples really had no spiritual depth yet. They weren’t focused on Christ and His mission of salvation. They weren’t concentrating upon a world lost in sin and shame. So they weren’t looking for any possible opportunity to reach and help people for God.
They hadn’t yet learned the great warfare being waged between the physical and spiritual concerns of life. Their minds were only on the physical, on food, on not missing a meal, on satisfying a temporary a craving of the body.
And that brings up a vital point for SEBC that needs to be made. I’ll start with the potluck dinners on the last Wednesday night of each month. There are so many of you that use that night as an end of the month break from church. “Oh, I can’t eat any of that food. (is an excuse) I don’t come to church just to eat. (is another excuse) There’s nothing spiritual about Potluck so I won’t go.” What is your excuse? And I am just going to make a point as your pastor.
Every function of this church should be focused on outreach—On building relationships—On getting to know each other better. We should be coming to potluck, not because it’s basically a free meal, but because God might use that event to provide the opportunity to witness to someone.
But what do I see happening at every potluck. If you even decide to grace us with your presence, you come in, you sit in your regular place, and few, if any, even get up to greet a newcomer. Am I right? Where is the witness in that? What if I did the same thing? Would you want me as your pastor if I said I don’t like potlucks so I just won’t come. Or if I came in, sat down in a particular chair as if it had my name engraved on it, and then just stared at anyone new that came in. Would you want me as your pastor if I acted like I really didn’t care if you were there or not, just don’t get in front of me in the food line? Why should it be any different with you?
Can God bless a function if we only come to eat and go home? Brotherhood. You wonder why attendance has dropped. Does this same thing apply to any of your groups that meet? It’s definitely something to think about.
And please don’t go away from here today saying that all I did was gripe at you. I am simply stating what I see happening. Isn’t it my job to help steer the church in the right direction? That’s all I’m saying.
Well, the disciples had the same mindset as many of us do at potluck. They were only focused on the physical food.
2. The second concern we need to note is the concern of Christ was for spiritual food and nourishment, to do the will and the work of God. There are three points in these verses that need to be noted.
a. The will that must concern man is God’s will, and the work that must concern man is God’s work, the will and work of:
• Leading people to the Living Water.
• Helping people quench their inner thirst.
• Bringing people to God.
• Seeking and saving the lost, even Samaritans, those who are looked upon with prejudice, thought to be of a lower caste, treated as the most despicable outcasts.
b. The second point is that God sent Christ. The words “sent me” in verse 34 are significant. Christ was not sent to do the will of men, but of God. His work was not the work of men, but of God.