When Jesus told this woman at the well of Sychar that He was the Messiah, she had to make a decision that everybody must make: to believe or not to believe. We can’t be absolutely certain from what we’ve read today, but it seems this woman at the well was convinced that Jesus was the Messiah. Soon after Jesus told her who He was, she left her water jar and went back into her village, telling everyone to come and meet a man who knew her past. “Can this be the Messiah?” she asked them. Perhaps she was sincerely uncertain at that point and wanted to hear the opinions of the people of her village. Or, perhaps she was already convinced about Jesus, and her apparent uncertainty was just a means of wise persuasion by a woman with a bad reputation in her village. Regardless, after Jesus stayed with the people of Sychar for two days, many of them believed that He was the “Savior of the world” (John 4:42). Though they had previously hated all Jews, these Samaritan people now loved a Jewish man who had first loved them.
While the woman was back in her village telling people what had happened to her, Jesus’ disciples returned from the village with food. They urged Him to eat something, and, not surprisingly, Jesus saw the opportunity to convey a spiritual lesson. He responded, “No…I have food you don’t know about” (John 4:32). They thought someone else had brought Him food, but Jesus was talking about His spiritual hunger being satisfied by doing the will of His Father. Just as they had a physical hunger that could only be satisfied with food, He had a spiritual hunger that could only be satisfied by obedience. And, just as we feel much better after eating a good meal (especially if we were really hungry beforehand), Jesus was enjoying the good feeling that came from sharing God’s truth with the woman at the well.
Comparing them to harvesters, Jesus then encouraged His disciples to get involved in telling people the good news of who He was. They didn’t need to wait for the harvest to ripen as do those who harvest wheat or apples. Jesus’ followers were hired to harvest people, and there are always people who are ready to receive the gospel. When Jesus told His disciples this, they were just minutes away from being crowded by spiritually hungry people from Sychar who would soon be saved!
Q. Is there a spiritual hunger inside of us to do God’s will?
A. Yes, if a person is born again, Jesus lives inside him by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus wants to obey God the Father. When we obey God by telling people His truth, we’ll get a good feeling on the inside, because our spiritual hunger will be satisfied for a while.
Q. Is leading people to Jesus the only thing that we can do that contributes to the spiritual harvest that God desires?
A. No, Jesus said that some people plant seeds, while others harvest. We can plant seeds by loving unbelievers, living rightly before them and by sharing the good news. Although they might not believe in Jesus immediately, hopefully our good influence will lead to their eventual conversion, even if someone else gets the privilege of actually seeing them repent and become a follower of Christ. However, Jesus said that there is joy awaiting both planters and harvesters. When we get to heaven and see the people there whom we helped come to Christ, we will be very happy!
Application: We should live our lives in such a way that people are attracted to Jesus. The most important thing that we can do is tell someone else about Jesus.