At the end of ourselves we often find Jesus! Often, I’ve come to the end of my strength while ministering in the Word or through Christian Art productions on the life of Christ. I always found a refreshing when people received spiritual nourishment from my times with them. Many of those times were outside of public ministry as I found myself sitting in a coffee shop with one person. Those times were fulfilling beyond my imagination.
This must have been what Jesus experienced among the Samaritan woman. What God demonstrates through scripture He also desires to illustrate through the life of His followers. In verses 35-39 Jesus speaks of a harvest time to His disciples. He commands His disciples to “Lift up their eyes and look to the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” (John 4:35)
Jesus is strategic here:
- Lifting up our eyes requires getting our focus off of ourselves.
- Looking to the fields requires seeing opportunity from His perspective.
- Our readiness must grasp the ‘urgency of now’ for those around us.
Our labor for the Kingdom is not a solo act. Others have gone before us and others will come behind us. We may not be the author nor finisher. We are often the in-between ones! We’re the closer for those the Holy Spirit has been working on. The Kingdom work is a dream team encounter with many hands making “light” work! Jesus says in verse 37: “One sows and another reaps.” In verse 38 Jesus says:
“I SENT YOU TO REAP THAT FOR WHICH YOU HAVE NOT LABORED; OTHERS HAVE LABORED AND YOU HAVE ENTERED INTO THEIR LABORS.”
In verses 39-42 we must understand that there had been groundwork done in the heart of the Samaritan woman before Jesus arrived at the well. Her evangelistic efforts in town after meeting Jesus connected with the hunger already rising in the hearts of the crowd she gathered that day. Imagine, too, what the Holy Spirit stirred in the minds of the disciples before they returned with lunch. They had to process Jesus’ insistence that He had nourishment they knew not of! Later, in verse 42, the new believers said to the woman:
“NOW WE BELIEVE, NOT BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU SAID, FOR WE OURSELVES HAVE HEARD HIM AND WE KNOW THT THIS IS INDEED THE CHRIST, THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD.”
Believing in Jesus is a one-on-one experience even when others pave the way. We rarely see the whole picture because we are more focused on the part we play. But we need to live confident that as we yield to Jesus, He sets us up to prepare the way as much as He does to bring in a harvest. We are laborers together with others that we may never see on earth. We are members of the Body of Christ. We’re the Church.