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Lesson # John 4:31-38
Study Material - John 4:31-38
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
31 In the meanwhile the disciples were requesting Him, saying, 'Rabbi, eat.' 32 But He said to them, 'I have food to eat that you do not know about.' 33 The disciples therefore were saying to one another, 'No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?' 34 Jesus said to them, 'My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work. 35 'Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, and then comes the harvest'? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes, and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest. 36 'Already he who reaps is receiving wages, and is gathering fruit for life eternal; that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. 37 'For in this case the saying is true, 'One sows, and another reaps.' 38 'I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.'
Meanwhile... we have the conversation between Jesus and His disciples. The first conversation was between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. Jesus was sitting on the well alone. No crows of people surrounding Him even though He had just come from the Jordan River and before that from Jerusalem. He had changed water into wine, had performed several miracles, had baptized many more people, with His disciples, than John the Baptist had baptized. Yet where was the crowd?
Here is God in the flesh on this earth and there is no crowd following Him constantly around. He knows His task and His role on this earth. The woman came for water, but Jesus could provide her with eternal water. Salvation and doctrine thereafter. The disciples were sent to the city to get food, but the real food they should have been giving out was the gospel, rather than buying food for their bellies.
The had their priorities somewhat mixed up. They pressed Jesus to eat so that He would not be hungry. So that He would not get sick. We, when we do not eat, get weak, perhaps light headed. Some need that little sugar boost to keep going, or avoid headaches, or fatigue. The disciples thought they knew what Jesus needed, yet Jesus knew more than they what was needed.
The towns people are on their way based on the excited comments of the woman. The disciples had just come from town and had made no mention of their mission. Now if you were traveling along with Christ, wouldn't you be telling everyone you met that the Christ was nearby. Come and see Him, hear Him. Some would come, and some would not. But if no one knows He is around then they have no opportunity to come out to see Him.
There was positive volition in the town among the Samaritans. The disciples did not recognize it and did not make any effort to introduce the gospel to them. Jesus saw the harvest was ripe and ready for the picking, and gave His disciples a lesson in their responsibilities.
There is a time for eating and a time for teaching. Now was the time for teaching and bringing the gospel to those who were positive. The disciples were ingrossed in their mission or travel toward Galilee. They forgot that there were people along the way who might benefit from the gospel teaching they could have presented.
And now the harvest is at hand. There is a time for everything as I stated before. A time to eat, and a time to teach. God has given us a harvest annually. And the harvest is spread out during the spring, summer, and fall for various crops. Even during the winter there can be a harvest for certain crops. So there is a time specifically set aside for a harvest. Too, when the crop, or fruit as is mentioned here, is ready, then all hands must be out in the field picking and packing the fruit for market. Anything left behind will fall to the ground or rot on the vine or tree. Unpicked fruit is worthless.
Though the disciples left the city and did not recognize the harvest signs, God did not leave the city helpless. He selected one of their own, the woman, to begin the harvest process. 1 Tim. 2:4, God wants to bring all people to the knowledge of Himself, and to eternal life. God does not wish any to fall short of salvation.
Also, God pays good wages for His workers. There are sowers and reapers in the work force of evangelism and Bible teaching. And we are all in that work force. The Bible has been around for a long time and has sowed the seeds of spiritual information to all of humanity. We are the reapers who by merely administering the gospel, or Bible doctrine in study classes or when ever opportunity arises, can earn good wages posted to our spiritual account which God will reward us with in time and eternity.
We all of us, have a responsibility to other people, to bring them the gospel or doctrine, which ever is appropriate. We do not go out and hound people and harass people by bombarding them with an endless preaching. Preaching which probably would turn them off toward Christianity. But God will use you, when you are prepared and ready. God will provide opportunity and you merely use those opportunities to the advantage of yourself and those who are interested. We do not impose on others. Jesus did not force anything at the well. The woman was the first to mention the Messiah. Jesus merely continued that topic which she had started..
The disciples were intending to do nothing until they arrived in Galilee. They sort of went to sleep while traveling. But Jesus Christ reminded them that the time for the gospel and spiritual growth is now. Jesus came to this world for the Cross. To arise after the Passover, on the third day, and become the first of the harvest, the first fruits of many to follow. Now there is much more work to do and we are the ones who are in the forefront for that work. But, again God only uses prepared believers. And preparation comes from the daily study of Bible doctrine. God does not place any of us in an embarrassing position either. Your role will most likely come to you when you least expect it, and in the natural course of your life. So do not get excited about your having to go out to some street corner uptown and making a fool of yourself. That is most likely not the normal thing that you would do in your daily routine.
Notice that the Samaritans were on their way to Jesus and His group. God brings people to you. John the Baptist did not go out looking for people, they came to him. So too, in your life, opportunity will come to you. You have an obligation to study doctrine, grow up to maturity, and then you will be prepared and able to recognize those opportunities when they come to you.
The spiritual life is not an 8 to 5 life. It is a 24 hour a day life. You should be in fellowship always, constantly monitoring yourself to insure that you are in fellowship. Don't say to yourself that you'll function in the spiritual life while at the Jordan, and in Galilee, but while traveling in between you'll take a break. The spiritual life should provide you with an alertness to the world around you. Getting your eyes off the physical things like food, and onto the spiritual things like awareness of the needs of others.
God has done all the work for us, we now have the opportunity to benefit from His work.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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