Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sowing What You've Reaped

John 4:27-38

And at this point His disciples came, and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, "What do You seek?" or "Why are You talking with her?"

The woman then left her water pot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, "Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" Then they went out of the city and came to Him.

In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?"

Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, 'There are still four months and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors."

As the Samaritan woman went back to Sychar to share what she had been told, Jesus was about to enlighten His disciples yet again. In our daily lives little scenarios might play out that open doors to "preach" a little, or instruct or enlighten. So it did with Jesus! The disciples wanted Him to eat and boy if that didn't erupt into a message for them! I wonder if it was a prelude to what was about to happen (and which we are not told) when the people from Sychar heeded the Samaritan woman's words and came to see if this truly was the Christ?

So here we have a message about sowing and reaping. For many of us, someone first had to have  sown a message about Jesus. We either receive it...reap...or reject it. Let's say we've received it. The next step is to sow ourselves, share what truth we now know,  based on our own story of how or why we received Christ.

This is how Christ and Christianity have never faded away. There has always been someone who needed to hear the Gospel and always someone to share. There always will be. The fields are as white and ripe today as before. Maybe even more so as we approach, what I believe are the last days before Jesus' return.

Jesus was in an area normally off limits to the Jews. There was hatred among Jews and Samaritans. Then comes Jesus. He knew these people were just as important to reach as anyone else because of the "whosoever" in John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus claimed earlier to the woman at the well He was the living water, that all who receive the water He offered would never thirst again and have eternal life. He also claimed He was the manna from heaven, the bread of life. You no doubt recall how He fed thousands of people (which comes later!). The people came to hear Jesus speak. They heard the Word of God speaking the words of life...and they were fed spiritually and physically. Boy, did they get fed.

We get fed from His Word, from Jesus Himself. Through the Bible...He is the Word, He is the Bread...of life. Remember, our daily bread? Whenever we reap what He has sown (and it always starts with Him) we have a natural desire to sow even further that others might reap. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes not so much. Persistence and patience are two keys. Sometimes thick skins, too, for those not interested in hearing!

Christ reveals Himself to us. He testifies of Himself. We can testify of what He has revealed to us. Christianity will never die because there will always be someone wanting to share, like He did..."My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work."

1Peter 1:12 - To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things which angels desire to look into.

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