John 4:27-42 – the Samaritans Find Jesus
*Someone summarize where we left off last week?
Read John 4:27-33
27 Just then his disciples arrived. They were astonished to find him talking to a woman, but none of them asked him why he was doing it or what they had been discussing.
28 The woman left her water jar beside the well and went back to the village and told everyone,
29 “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did! Can this be the Messiah?”
30 So the people came streaming from the village to see him.
31 Meanwhile, the disciples were urging Jesus to eat.
32 “No,” he said, “I have food you don’t know about.”
33 “Who brought it to him?” the disciples asked each other.
*How is the disciples’ confusion about food similar to the woman’s confusion about water?
*Meanwhile, the Samaritan woman ignores these men and their prejudice she says nothing to the disciples and simply leaves – she forgets her waterpot, why? John includes this detail to demonstrate her urgency and excitement o But there is also a great symbol in her absentmindedness • A moment earlier she had been defending this well and chastising Jesus for offering a better source of water And she had even mocked Him for not having a bucket to draw water • But when Jesus offered her the living water He promised, she found it so exciting that she had no need for the other water • Just as Jesus had promised
*What kind of courage is required to go to her city? The men of the city would have been sitting in the city gate on a normal day of business • brought her tattered • entering the city gates would have provoked stares and perhaps mocking comments she doesn’t let these things stop her
*Compare her reaction to the disciples • That group of Jewish men couldn’t bear the thought to talk to a single Samaritan woman about the Messiah standing next to them • This shamed woman is willing to run right to the leaders of the city and declare the arrival of a Christ that no one had yet even seen • Faith leads us to do crazy things • Formulaic religion just leads us to conform
Read John 4:34-38
34 Then Jesus explained: “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.
35 Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest.
36 The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!
37 You know the saying, ‘One person plants and someone else harvests.’ And it’s true.
38 I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and you will gather the harvest.”
*Is Jesus denying the need to feed His physical body with food? He’s asking the disciples to think about spiritual priorities ahead of physical priorities • They had been so focused on eating that they hadn’t even considered the possibility of reaching this Samaritan woman with the message of the Kingdom
*”Open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest!” What was Jesus describing? The conversations they were about to have with all the Samaritans that were on their way to meet him.
*How often do we eat? So how often should we be doing God’s work?
Everyday, and hopefully several times a day.
*What does Jesus mean by, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’”?Given the fertility of Israel, there are two planting seasons per year and four months is the time between planting and harvest. Jesus is telling them not to wait around, for the fields are “already white for harvest!” (John 4:35)
*What does John 4:36-37 imply?The person who “sows” or first tells someone about Jesus may not be the one who gets to witness Jesus’ become his or her personal Savior. But both the sower and the reaper will “rejoice together” in heaven if not already on earth.
*Do Jesus’ words to the disciples sound congratulatory or admonishing? Why? Admonishing. Between them and the woman, who was more qualified to tell the villagers about Jesus?
People need a savior. Even now people are lost and lonely. They need you to tell them about Jesus so they can have living water giving them eternal life.
Read John 4:39-42
39 Many Samaritans from the village believed in Jesus because the woman had said, “He told me everything I ever did!”
40 When they came out to see him, they begged him to stay at their village. So he stayed for two days,
41 long enough for many of them to hear his message and believe.
42 Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe because we have heard him ourselves, not just because of what you told us. He is indeed the Savior of the world.”
*What lessons do you get about the priorities in life from this story? For Jesus, the highest priority was accomplishing the work of the Father, and this was all the satisfaction Jesus needed. He wasn’t even willing to delay obedience for the sake of a single meal • He hadn’t stopped at this well to get a drink or to get food • He stopped here to reach a Samaritan woman • And through that contact, Jesus anticipated reaching an entire community with the Gospel •
Interestingly, the Samaritan people customarily wore solid white robes as a sign of their spiritual purity • So as Jesus spoke these words, the disciples might have been able to look up and see a “field” of white walking toward them
*Who is responsible for reaping of this harvest? Jesus’ disciples • These men and all believers who come after them are responsible to assisting in the harvest
*How did the woman help in this harvest? The woman told others and she harvested by bringing other to Jesus. That is why we are here not just to live and have pleasure, but to work for Christ and to tell others about Jesus.
*Why might they have been intrigued by what she had to say?
Since she was on her sixth “husband” (John 4:18), she may have had a reputation in the town, and for her to declare, “He told me all that I ever did”(John 4:29) may have perked some ears. This also means that she risked or took on personal embarrassment for a chance to tell people about Jesus.
*Would you risk embarrassment to tell others about Christ?
*Why or when did “many more” believe in Jesus?
After having heard “His own word” (John 4:41) for themselves. It’s imperative for what you believe to be grounded directly in the Word of God, which you must read for yourself. The destiny of your soul is too important for you to outsource it to someone else regardless of how learned they may seem.
*What was the simple testimony of this woman that was enough to draw out a large crowd from the city? All she told them was that Jesus had the ability to know her innermost secrets • Not the most compelling testimony, at least not in earthly terms • Nevertheless, it was enough to bring out this crowd
*What is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility in the Harvest? Lord is capable of taking even the most meager testimony and using it to change a heart
*What is our work in the harvest? Sharing our testimony of Jesus with the world
*Is that enough to save people? But in the end our testimony merely brings someone to an encounter with Christ, and in that encounter Christ makes Himself known.
*Why should we focus on heavenly food over earthly food? What are our eternal rewards?
*The apostles were surprised to see Samaritans accepting the truth of Jesus as Messiah, but who did Jesus come to save? Jesus is the Savior of the world, Jesus wasn’t just a Jewish Savior
*Jesus ends up staying in the area two days at the request of the Samaritans. And as a result of being there, even more believe John says. Normally, Samaritans wouldn’t even allow a Jew to stay in the area overnight. How does this demonstrate the power of the Gospel to change hearts? These people, inspired by their leaders, are now worshipping in Spirit and Truth. And these Samaritans stood in marked contrast to the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem who discounted Jesus in favor of their own dead, religious system.