Saving Some

John 4:36-38 WEB

He who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit to eternal life; that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. [37] For in this the saying is true, ‘One sows, and another reaps.’ [38] I sent you to reap that for which you haven’t labored. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Jesus is telling his disciples they are about to reap a harvest that another planted. Jesus and the disciples are waiting for the Samaritan woman and her countrymen to return. While they are waiting Jesus lets the disciples know what is about to happen (Jeremiah 33:3). In the preceding verses, we get the idea that the disciples do not like what Jesus is doing (John 4:27). The disciples’ prejudice towards Samaritans would have caused them to walk through the area without stopping. That same prejudice has their minds dulled but Jesus tells them plainly what is about to happen (John 4:33). Namely, the disciples’ are about to reap a harvest of souls that they did not sow (John 4:39-42).  

This passage brings so much hope to those who labor to see the lost won for Jesus. It does not matter if we are planting, watering, or reaping. We all share the joy with Jesus when a lost soul is saved from damnation (Romans 2:7, Proverbs 11:23-25). For this reason, we must both wait and labor with patience. How we wait matters. We should be in a posture of readiness as we wait (1 Corinthians 9:22-23). Thus, we present ourselves ready to labor in every situation so that some may be saved. That interaction with the sales clerk matters. That interaction with the postal worker matters. That interaction with the person who cut you off in traffic matters.

It matters that we do not uproot the work in the lives of people that others have planted and watered. It is important that we recognize God desires all people to be saved (John 3:16). So, how we treat all people matters. Holiness matters. We should be putting our best selves out for all people, not just those who can do something for us. Our most significant contributions may be bringing smiles to those that serve us out in the marketplace. You are meant to be sharing Christ, so it seems reasonable that many of the people you interact with recognize you are a Christian (Matthew 6:20-21).

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for not recognizing the immeasurable worth of the people around me both at home and in the marketplace. Please help me represent you well and have a word of salvation for all people. Please help me not uproot what others have planted and watered. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

Someone Jesus can Trust

John 4:25-26 WEB

The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah comes, he who is called Christ. When he has come, he will declare to us all things.” [26] Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.”

The woman at the well marveled at the words of Christ. Jesus had been telling her wonderful things. However, this was a woman with great social skills, and she knew how to navigate politics. So, she tests Jesus with a statement of faith. She does not ask a question that will risk either of them losing face. Rather, she makes an exploratory statement. She states the facts, “Messiah comes, he who is called Christ.” And in a rare moment of transparency, Jesus simply tells her the whole truth, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.”

How often does the Lord speak the truth to us? A better question might be, how often do we listen? If we never listen, it is unlikely we will ever hear God’s secrets. In Jeremiah 33:3 the prophet tells us that God will tell us great things we do not know. However, if we want God to tell us his wonderful secrets, we need to cultivate a relationship built on trust with God. Before the Lord is going to tell us these great and unsearchable truths, he needs to be able to trust us. But we also need to trust Jesus.  

It is not enough to trust God for our salvation. If we believe fully, our behaviors will change. We will read and know the Bible so that we can understand God and what he wants from us. One of the benefits of the covenant of salvation is that God will tell us his secrets. To hear these secrets, we must cultivate a relationship with God that is built upon trust. And that trust looks like something specific to God.

A trust that God approves of will lead us to believe and obey the words of Christ. If we are not in obedience, the Lord said in Matthew 7 that he does not know us. If we are not in obedience the Lord will not trust us. Without trust and a listening ear, God will not tell us his secrets. He trusted the woman at the well. She was a sinner and yet Jesus trusted her. That tells us a lot about the Samaritan woman. She was a person who loved and pursued the knowledge of God. She had a relationship with God even though she was not a Jewish woman. In other words, she was not the right kind of person for God’s people to accept. Yet Jesus accepted her and told her his secret. Namely that He was the Messiah, the Christ.

Lord Jesus, please help me read and learn your word so that I can obey you. I want to have a trust relationship with you that allows you to tell me your secrets. Help me trust you more and help me be more trustworthy. In Jesus’ name, amen.