Wednesday, December 07, 2011

John 4:27-38

27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?
28 The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.
31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.
32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.
33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?
34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.
36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.
37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.
38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

Key Observation:
A lot of the times in my life when things happen that I do not understand, I later find out that the plan of God was present. I find out that He was really telling me, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.”

I find in reading this passage that John may be avoiding mention of himself, as he does in other places in the gospel. It says that “his disciples” marveled that he talked with the woman. That does not make me think of John particularly, but the next phrase does. It says no one questioned why Jesus was talking with a Samaritan woman. I understand from my reading the Jews considered talking with a Samaritan woman to be against the law. The next phrase says that no disciple questioned Him as to why He was talking to the woman. That is the phrase that makes me think especially of John, and perhaps not of Peter.

John was the faithful disciple—the one who got the message that Jesus was trying to deliver, whatever it was. It was he who, being quiet, and unwilling to put himself forward, would look at what the Lord was teaching, and get understanding. I believe we see that discernment in John’s writings. Except for Paul, John would be the one to teach us the most about our Christ, as he was the one who understood the most about Jesus. In John’s gospel he frequently refers to himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved.

Notice these scriptures from a concordance:
1.John 13:23
Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
John 19:26
When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

2.John 20:2
Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3.John 21:7
Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

4.John 21:20
Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?

Whoever it was with Jesus on that day, they seemed to understand that something important was going on, and this became verifiable as the disciples saw a whole village coming out to listen to Jesus and many believed. I do think that John was there, understanding from the beginning the motives of His Lord. They beseech Him to eat, knowing that He was in need of food, and his reply has rung throughout the annals of history, “I have meat to eat that ye know not of.”
He then explains that His “meat” is to do the will of the Father. Has it not been so throughout the last 2,000 years? To study our church fathers and to know how the ebb and flow of history sharpened and diminished the message of God is fascinating. How God sent saints like Patrick to Ireland, and William Carey to India, and how God brought revival to America through George Whitfield, Jonathan Edwards, and how God brought revival to England through Charles Spurgeon and John Wesley, and how again God renewed America through D. L. Moody, and later Billy Graham. I do not think that anyone can understand history at all without understanding how God used the proclamation of men to a dying world. For that reason, I like reading about these men, understanding the problems they faced, and savoring the victories that they had in Christ. There are many places in history where I see God’s handiwork crafting out His body of believers, where He has meat to eat that I know not of.
Say not ye there are four months and then cometh harvest. Early in my Christian life, God seemed to make this verse come alive in both my life and my wife’s. We saw a fruitful and abundant ministry where God placed His special hand on us, and allowed us to participate in a bountiful harvest. I remember walking into a youth pastorate campout one weekend, and watching 16 young people come to Christ at the same time. Did I do any of the sowing? No, others had sowed faithfully with the Word of God in these children’s lives. I entered into their labors, and together we rejoiced in an abundant harvest. What a special time were those years at college and seminary! God seemingly would just take us from place to place where we were allowed to watch revival break out and renewal as people gave their lives over to Christ. Together we rejoiced that the Lord had used us abundantly for His purpose!
One day soon we will see the results of our historical fathers; I believe that we do not know how connected we are to other generations. I watch my wife, whose family goes back, unlike mine, with many examples of believers. Do you know she can go back several generations with fair confidence, and know that her ancestors were often Christian? Imagine what will happen when we all come together. I will be able to go back many generations, and see the handiwork of God working, and be able to trace just how God brought the Word to me. I will be able to see a closeness to ancestors that I know not today. Or perhaps not? Perhaps I will be so filled with the joy of knowing my Savior that all else will not matter. We will be one family with one God.

Nothing Compares

Everything right
Everything beautiful is you
The good that I am
Is just a reflection of you too

Even the best this world can do
Will never be close to what I’ve found in you

Nothing I have compares to you
Nothing I have compares to you, to you

I’m seeking your light
Shine through my life and lead the way
Come help me stand
Against the distractions of the day

Even the best this world can do
Will never be close to what I’ve found in you

Nothing I have compares to you
Nothing I have compares to you, to you
Nothing I have compares to you, Lord to you
No Nothing I have compares to you, to you

I’ve searched this world far and wide
And found the truth that’s changed my life
These things I buy these things I do
None can take the place of you

Nothing compares, no nothing compares

Nothing I have compares to you, no nothing
Nothing I have compares to you, to you
Nothing I have compares to you

Lord to you, to you , to you
Lord nothing compares
To you , to you , to you
Lord nothing compares

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