The Savior Of The World
31 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”
32 But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”
33 Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”
34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work. 35 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! 36 And he who reaps receives wages and gathers fruit for 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 have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”
The Savior of the World
39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of His own word.
42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.”
43 Now after the two days He departed from there and went to Galilee. 44 For Jesus, Himself testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country. 45 So when He came to Galilee, the Galileans received Him, having seen all the things He did in Jerusalem at the feast; for they also had gone to the feast.
46 So Jesus came again to Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come out of Judea into Galilee, he went to Him and implored Him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will by no means believe.”
49 The nobleman said to Him, “Sir, come down before my child dies!”
50 Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. 51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him and told him, saying, “Your son lives!”
52 Then he inquired of them the hour when he got better. And they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour in which Jesus said to him, “Your son lives.” And he himself believed, and his whole household.
54 This again is the second sign Jesus did when He had come out of Judea into Galilee. (John 4:31-54, NKJV)
You could almost call this part two of “The Woman at the Well.” Remember that last time, we saw Jesus’ meeting and discussion with a woman at Jacob’s well in Samaria. The disciples had gone into town to buy food, but as we pick up the narrative at verse 27, we see them coming back.
4:31-34 My Food Is To Do The Will Of God
Meanwhile, John turns the camera back to the scene at the well. The disciples, having come back from town with food, are trying to get Jesus to eat:
But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” (John 4:32)
As with most spiritual things Jesus said, the disciples were confused. They thought that He was talking about physical food for His stomach. He clarifies, telling them:
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work. (John 4:34)
He had compared physical water with living water to the woman. Now, with the disciples, He is comparing physical food to the food of doing the will of God. When we experience hunger, food satisfies. When we are weak, food strengthens. When we are dying, food sustains us. Jesus is comparing food to doing the will of God. Doing the will of God also satisfies, strengthens, and sustains us.
In the wilderness, Jesus hadn’t eaten for 40 days. The devil came and tempted Him to turn stones into bread. Jesus answered:
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4)
At the well, Jesus had just brought the gospel to a woman who was headed for hell. It was satisfying and strengthening to Him – even more so than the food that the disciples brought from town. If you’ve ever witnessed to someone, led someone to Christ, or ministered the Word of God to someone, you know that it is the most satisfying thing in the world. Doing the will of God is more satisfying than any meal you’ve ever eaten.
4:35-38 The Fields Are White For Harvest
Back in verse 30, we saw that the people of the city were coming out to the well where Jesus was. Decked out in their white robes and turbans, the multitude coming out must have made the countryside look like a white field ready to harvest. And that’s exactly what they were.
Sowing And Reaping
Often, a person is led to Christ by more than one person over more than one conversation. Remember what Paul told the Corinthians:
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor. (1 Corinthians 3:6-8)
The people of Sychar in Samaria were prepared to be saved, just as a field in its maturity is prepared for reaping. The disciples hadn’t done it all – but now they’re in the right place at the right time to lead these people to Christ.
God Needs Workers
I’m sure Jesus was quite blessed to have the disciples there. He said in Matthew 9 that:
Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. (Matthew 9:37)
Unfortunately, the same is true today. All around us are souls just waiting to be harvested. People who will respond to the invitation of Jesus Christ if only someone would tell them. Romans 10:14 says:
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14)
If no one will preach and proclaim the gospel, people won’t hear. And if they don’t hear, they won’t believe. And if they don’t believe, then they won’t call upon the Lord and be saved. The buck stops with you. Will you be a worker in the harvest?
4:39-42 Many Samaritans Believed
The woman had testified of Christ’s amazing ability to see what was in her heart and mind. That’s what brought the people out, but then their faith went from vicarious to first-hand.
This is an important point: your testimony can open people up to listen, but it is the Word and the work of God that brings faith. Romans 10:17 says:
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
You see, if people believe because of your testimony, of your changed life in Christ, then they will also disbelieve if you fall short (which you will). But the Word of God is unchanging, the work of God unmatchable. Use your testimony for what it is – it is not the gospel, it is just a tool that God can use to open up someone’s heart to hear the gospel.
Jesus is the Savior of the world!
4:43 Into Galilee
You may recall that after Jesus was born, an angel warned Joseph that Herod was going to try and kill the child. So he took Mary and Jesus to Egypt until Herod died. He then took them into Israel:
But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, “He shall be called a Nazarene.” (Matthew 2:22-23)
So Jesus grew up in Nazareth of the region of Galilee. He had been on His way into Galilee when He had to pass through Samaria, resulting in quite a revival. Now, after spending two days with the Samaritans in Sychar, He continues on, headed out to the region He’d spent most of His earthly life.
4:44-48 No Honor
The old saying is true: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Jesus’ effectiveness was often hindered by those who had watched Him grow up.
We see this happening in Matthew 13 when Jesus comes into Nazareth. He was teaching in their synagogue, and they were blown away. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? Isn’t this the carpenter’s son?” Because they were familiar with Him, they took offense at Him.
Notice that they haven’t rejected Him completely, but they’ve only got that shallow belief from seeing Him perform signs and wonders. They had been in Jerusalem at Passover and saw the signs He was doing. But remember that when we read that in chapter 2, Jesus put no confidence in that type of faith:
Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name when they saw the signs which He did. But Jesus did not commit Himself to them because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man. (John 2:23-25)
He even says to this royal official, “You won’t believe unless you see signs and wonders.” Fortunately, the official’s faith went deeper than that.
4:49-54 Walking Away In Faith
The royal official is asking Jesus to go to Capernaum with him. That was 12 or 15 miles away; easily a full day’s journey.
But Jesus doesn’t need to physically be in Capernaum to mightily heal in Capernaum. He heals the official’s son with a statement. John tells us:
Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your son lives.” So the man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and he went his way. (John 4:50)
What faith that must have taken! Here his son was dying, and the man simply believes.
Here again, we see the believing, leaving, and retrieving pattern. The man believed that Jesus could heal his son. He left his doubt in Cana of Galilee, and when he got home, he retrieved every lost sheep in his household – and every one of them believed as well.
How important it is for us to have that kind of faith that doesn’t require something visual or physical. Remember that Jesus told Thomas:
Jesus said to him, “Thomas because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
Is your walk this morning a walk of sight? Or of faith? Are you ready to take Jesus at His Word alone?