Challenges of Evangelism and Jesus’ arrival in Galilee

Challenge of a spiritual harvest: John 4:27-38

Evangelization of Sychar: John 4:39-42

Arrival in Galilee: John 4:43-45


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One Reply to “Challenges of Evangelism and Jesus’ arrival in Galilee”

  1. There are few words from the disciples in this passage, they seem to be dumbfounded by how Jesus interacted with the Samaritans. The only thing they contribute to the conversation is to encourage Jesus to eat something.  Interesting. John points out that no one asked Jesus for an explanation (John 4:27).

    The Samaritan woman, however, took action immediately, she went and told others that she had met the Messiah. This rejected woman of an outcast people spreads the gospel and others listen to her. No doubt her manner of speech, her body language, her excitement all contributed to encourage others to come and see Jesus. “They came out of the town and made their way toward him” (4:30).

    The disciples really don’t know what to do and Jesus speaks to them about the harvest and something about a saying, “It’s still four months until harvest” (4:35). So many times the disciples are on one line of thinking while Jesus is on a completely different trajectory–they just don’t get it. Once again scripture unashamedly presents the chosen few as we are, or at least as I seem to be, out of phase with the plan of redemption for this world. The disciples talk about food, the woman gathers others to come and see Jesus and he is talking about a harvest. Confusion is rampant!

    Jesus is so concerned for these people that he stays in Sychar for two days. I don’t know if that’s a long time or not, but it is clear that he patiently stops his journey and interacts with these people.  I like to think he was not treating them as foreigners or unworthy people as the Pharisees certainly would have, but he is sitting with them and answering questions, eye-to-eye, face-to-face, unconcerned about his disciples in the corner scratching their heads and wondering what would happen next.

    Here is the harvest. Jesus provides his disciples with an abundant field of those willing to listen and learn and they missed it. “I 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” (4:38). I wonder how many times Jesus has done the same for me, put me in a place and time where people were willing to listen, but my posture was not like the woman at the well, my testimony was not evident in my facial expression or the sound of my voice. I’m not suggesting we have to be bouncy and smiling all the time, but seriously, we have found the Messiah! We walk each day filled with the Holy Spirit, the essence of God himself living inside of us!

    The testimony of the disciples is here to encourage us. Jesus didn’t toss them out because they missed the point, rather, he just kept talking to them, nudging them along. In just a few years he the Holy Spirit will come and change the world through these men and they will remember and as a result, they will be more effective for building the church. Lord, help me to be encouraged by these examples, especially not to judge someone by appearances. Teach me to be patient and willing to take time to understand, always giving thanks for the blessings we have received.

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