John 4:27-42: Truly the Saviour of the World
To listen on podcast click here.
In our passage today we find Jesus still talking with the women at the well when his disciples return. They realise it is an awkward moment as Jesus speaks to the woman.
John tells us that the woman then leaves her water jar and heads to the town she was from. Leaving her water jar is one of those incidental but meaningful details: the woman has no need of her water jar in the sense that she has now found the one who offers living water that bubbles up to eternal life. Her earthly thirst will return but there is a thirst that is now satisfied forever.
The woman returns to her town and testifies to what she has discovered about Jesus. Once again, we are reminded in this Gospel that an essential part of a response to Jesus is to testify to what he has done. In her case she simply speaks of the detail of her encounter.
She may not be a great theologian, but she can speak about meeting someone who understood her and offered her eternal life. Every Christian person has a story like this to tell. Her invitation is one that we can all make, ‘Come and see’.
While this is happening, Jesus and his disciples are talking. They urge Jesus to eat and Jesus takes this opportunity of their urging him to eat to help them understand another profound truth. Through the symbol of water, the woman learned what Jesus could offer; through the symbol of food, Jesus’ disciples will now learn what motivates him. Jesus is sustained by doing the will of His Father and finishing the work he has been given to do.
The implications of Jesus’ motivation and work is now spelled out as Jesus tells the disciples to lift up their eyes and see fields ready for harvest. In fact, so ready are these fields there is no delay between sowing and harvesting. The prophet Amos spoke of the days when the reaper will be overtaken by the ploughman and the planter by the one treading grapes. These days are here as the Samaritans are coming towards Jesus after hearing the woman’s words.
The harvest is Jesus’ work (verse 38) and the disciples will play their part but they must ‘lift up their eyes’ and see the possibilities. While they were buying food, Jesus was offering eternal life. The disciples could also have offered spiritual food to the Samaritans as well as purchasing their own.
That opportunity is now presented as the Samaritans come towards them and they go and stay for two more days. The Samaritans want Jesus to remain with them, they want to become his disciples. Verse 41 tells us that that many more believed because of his word.
Their final words in verse 42 are wonderful. They have come to Jesus on the basis of the woman’s testimony, and they have heard the words of Jesus and believed more deeply. Salvation may be from the Jews (v 22) but is for people from every tribe, language, nation, and tongue.
Let’s ask the Lord to help us to look up that we may see the fields around us that are white for harvest. We have water for the thirsty and food for the hungry in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is truly the saviour of the world.
In a world of would-be saviours isn’t it good to know the one who is truly saviour of the world?
Lord of the Harvest, Jesus told his disciples the fields were white for harvest. Help us to see the opportunities around us and we pray that you will send more workers out into the harvest. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
In Valparaiso diocese in the Iglesia Anglicana de Chile they are planting a new church in Playa Ancha, despite just emerging from an 18-month period of no physical church meetings. The 24 strong planting team is meeting already, and the launch is on Sunday November 28. Pray for each member as they seek to evangelise and show practical love in various ways.
To access daily prayer requests click here: