John: The Disciples at the Well

Read: John 4:27-42

There are actually two distinct parts to this section: the disciples and the woman. Both are significant, but I chose the title to reflect the part that I really hadn’t focused on very much. I’ll try to cover both parts here briefly. It’s up to you to dive into that which speaks to your heart at this time.

The Disciples

When the disciples catch up with Jesus at the well they demonstrate an amazing lack of concern for Jesus. I guess their spiritual gifts list did not include helps & service, giving, mercy, and the like! John makes of point of writing:

But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” John 4:27

Instead, it seems they were satisfied to simply be surprised, or perhaps Jesus was so exhausted from their travels that He wasn’t thinking clearly. Their solution? Offer something to eat (John 4:31). Jesus uses this as a teaching moment, a lesson that leaves them scratching their heads. Did someone one bring Him food? Surely not that woman!

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.” John 4:34-36

Jesus’ words don’t exactly clear things up. I don’t see the disciples shaking their heads and nodding in agreement. Not that they’re dense. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t buy into the notion that the disciples were a group of uneducated middle school dropouts. I honestly think they were wise in their own right, just not thinking on the same level as Jesus. Seriously, friends, I have no preconceived notion that I am anywhere near that level of thinking.

I’m not judging the disciples as much as it sounds like. John is using this interaction as a lesson for us to learn from. Their puzzled expression is for our benefit, “so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together” (John 4:36). Jesus wants to be in communion with us.

God’s desire to be with us stems from a very long time ago. This morning, as I was preparing for discussing this concept from Moses’ writings, I was struck with awe by this verse:

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Exodus 25:8

From way back then God wanted to dwell among His people. This was a foreshadowing of an event far into the future, the day when God would send His Holy Spirit to dwell within us. This is in our DNA. We should long for sensing His presence within us. Then we can be glad together. This theme will be seen again, especially in John 17.

The Woman

The woman, on the other hand, was so taken by Jesus’ words that she left her water jar and told everyone she could that she might have just met the Messiah.

“Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” John 4:29

It’s amazing that though these people knew this woman well, her reputation was no doubt well known, yet they came to see. I’d like to propose that her level of resolve and commitment overshadowed her personal life. She spoke with a conviction that was out of character. It was compelling and exciting to think that perhaps the Messiah was actually there in their presence.

They came to see Jesus because of the woman’s testimony. Imagine that. One who had to collect water in the middle of the day to avoid being seen with others is the one who leads them to the One.

So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers. John 4:40-41

She probably didn’t have it all right. Perhaps her theology was out of order or misspoken. But she knew what she knew and was excited to share this amazing news.

You and Me

That leaves you and me. The image I’m trying to paint above is that of a person who knows she is broken. She’s been reminded every day for who knows how long. I’d be lying to you if I tried to say I don’t feel this way all too often. My thoughts are not so pure and holy that they should inspire anyone except for this idea: meet Jesus.

Don’t take my word for it, please don’t put your faith in me at all. Let me introduce you to the One who is sitting at the well. He wants to be with you. He wants you to be part of His family.

Friends, this is more exciting than the crazy people at a football game seem to express (College or Pro). You don’t even have to paint your body in school colors or wear a shirt with J or E or S or U. You can if you want, but people will accurately assess that you’re crazy…unless it’s for football.

May I simply suggest we consider the incredibly good news of the Gospel and share with people as if their lives depended on this knowledge. As if.

Thoughts about serving others

This link includes a list of posts about Serving the Least, the Lost, and the Lonely.

My prayer is for you to join me on this journey. Subscribe to this blog below to get an email when a new post is available.

Let the Word evoke words. May your life encourage lives.

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