In these 15 verses, I found seven valuable lessons:
1. Question only to seek understanding
2. Thank of spiritual rather than physical
3. The time to help someone find peace and joy and love is now
4. No one man alone saves a soul
5. Tell others about the miracles you experience.
6. Allow yourself to believe in others’ miracles
7. It takes a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to ground our faith.
So let’s start with verse 27. Being Jewish men, the disciples are confused as to why their rabbi is speaking to an unknown Samaritan woman. But the Bible says, “…no one said ‘What do you seek’ or, ‘Why do you speak with her?”
We can always ask Jesus questions if our intent is to seek understanding. However, when our questions would seek to only serve ourselves or try to put Jesus in a box of our preconceived ideals of him, we are just wasting breath.
I think the disciples knew that Jesus would NOT like their questioning of his actions.
Please see “I am the Savior that You Seek” for detail regarding verses 28-30.
In verse 31, we continue to see Jesus’ followers focus on the physical rather than the spiritual. I do not think that the message is to continually ignore the physical aspects of life. I think that Jesus begs us to focus on spiritual aspects so that we realize our need for His righteousness.
Jesus, in verse 32, lets them know that there is something more important in their immediate future than the physical side of it.
The disciples, of course, focus on the physical side and are concerned that someone met their master’s needs before they could.
31 “Eat, Rabbi.”
32 “I have food you do not know about.”
33 “Who brought him food?”
34 “My food is to do the will of Him - to accomplish His work.”
Jesus explains that his nourishment and energy come from doing the work that He was sent to Earth to do. Just like I sometimes get too busy volunteering at my son’s school to eat, Jesus is so busy ministering he does not even realize he has physical hunger. Just like the Samaritan woman in verse 28 forgot her thirst to run off and share the joy of her heart with anyone who would listen.
In verses 35-38, Jesus presents his point in a farming metaphor that he hopes the disciples will understand. He reminds them that when they plant wheat seed, it takes four months to be ready to harvest. He implores them to look around and view the souls of the people as wheat ready for harvest.
He explains that the seeds of faith were planted long ago (implying the OT prophets and John the Baptist were the sowers). Therefore, the time to help someone find peace and joy and love is now. He entices the disciples to reap souls by telling them they would “receive wages and gather fruit for eternal life.”
For a better understanding of “fruit” please see John 15:5
I think that verses 36-38 are important verses for all believers to note: “…so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.” No one man alone saves a soul. Celebrate with your brothers and sisters in Christ that together you helped a man/woman/child find peace in Jesus Christ.
Jews never spoke to Samaritans - much less Samaritan woman. Jesus, loving all souls, chose to ask this woman for a cool drink of water. She obliged, and in turn, “From that city, many of the Samaritans believed in Him.” What a beautiful tale of the “power of one.”
“Because of the word of the woman who testified.” It is so important that we tell others about the miracles we experience. Without that shared testimony, people continue to just meander through life forgetting sometimes that God even exists…
I know Christians can be annoying. I know others’ good fortune can be frustrating. But if we just occasionally allow ourselves to get wrapped up in the excitement of other peoples’ miracles, we too can find peace and joy and love that is everlasting.
There is only one way to Heaven - to believe in the love of Jesus Christ. Our relatives cannot pray us into Heaven. Our good deeds cannot earn us a spot on a cloud. We cannot be saved through our bloodline or through our religion (See Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus in John 3.)
“We have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”
It takes a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to ground our faith. We must believe that only through the redeeming work of Christ on the cross can we be righteous enough to be graced with the presence of God for eternity.