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.

Jesus’ Holiness

John 4:27-29 WEB

At this, his disciples came. They marveled that he was speaking with a woman; yet no one said, “What are you looking for?” or, “Why do you speak with her?” [28] So the woman left her water pot, and went away into the city, and said to the people, [29] “Come, see a man who told me everything that I did. Can this be the Christ?”


The disciples would have been astonished that Jesus was speaking with a Samaritan, let alone a Samaritan woman. Yet, they knew their master well enough to keep silent. Because of their silence, the woman goes back to her city and stokes the interest of the citizens. In fact, she calls them to come and listen to Jesus. The Samaritan woman was an astute woman and good at social relationships. She waited until she knew how Jesus’ disciples were going to behave before she was willing to bring her friends and family to Christ.

How often does the scorn of a believer stop the gospel? The gospel is good news, yet, so often Christians have such disdain for sinners that they become ineffective in sharing the good news. Jesus’ disciples were raised up from childhood in an environment of righteousness apart from holiness. The disciples knew what the law prescribed as right and wrong behaviors. Unfortunately, they also learned the traditions of the elders as if they were scripture. They learned to despise foreigners, to despise women, and to despise anyone who failed to keep the law.

However, after spending time ministering with Jesus, they understood that he cared more for people than for the traditions of the elders. Jesus was both righteous and holy. He kept the commands of the Father, and he was also able to bring sinners into a right relationship with God. There were many leaders who did not view Jesus as righteous, but he did not let those judgments stop him from the holy action of sharing the gospel.

In keeping silent, the apostles advanced the kingdom. They did not uproot what Jesus was doing with disdain for the Samaritan Woman. They may have felt uncomfortable with Jesus talking to her, but they like Jesus, cared more for the Father’s will than that of the religious leaders. The apostles also cared more for Jesus’ opinion than that of their peers.

The apostles did not jump on the legalistic bandwagon with their contemporaries. They were astute enough to recognize that Jesus was sent by God. They often struggled to fully believe he was the messiah. Yet, they did believe that Jesus was working for God’s interests (John 14:11). So, they remained silent, despite the ugly feelings that may have been stirring inside of them.


Lord Jesus, please give me the insight to understand when you are working in another’s life. Please forgive me for despising people because of their sins. Let the love you have for the lost rise in me so that I can bring them to you to be saved. In Jesus’ name, amen.