John 4:27-57 (NRSV)
27Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?”
The disciples’ attitude reflects both the contempt of the Jews for the Samaritans and the male chauvinism that regarded giving instruction to a woman as a waste of time. (The Reformation Bible)
28Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, 29“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?” 30They left the city and were on their way to him.
Her first instinct was to share her discovery!
31Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”
33So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?”
34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
According to William Barclay, Jesus is using familiar agricultural proverbs to reveal spiritual truth. Jesus says that the usual cycle is to plant, then wait four months, then harvest. But with Jesus, the seed can be planted and harvested immediately. Barclay says, “God’s time is here; the time when the word is spoken and the seed is sown and the harvest waits.” The second proverb is that one person will sow while another will reap. Jesus is sowing the seed now, in the cross, and the disciples will go out and reap what his life and death have sown. And to carry it further — the disciples will plant seeds that will be harvested down through the ages in the Christian church. Jesus is saying, here is opportunity and challenge!
39Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” 40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. 41And many more believed because of his word. 42They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
The conversation with the woman at the well is the longest recorded discussion Jesus had with anyone—and she, a Gentile woman. Further, the lesson Jesus gave her about living water was just as profound as the lesson he gave to the Jewish leader, Nicodemus, and the woman had a better response. Unlike Nicodemus, she was willing to be associated with Jesus. She told her neighbors about Jesus, and many of them believed in Jesus because of her testimony.
–Grace Communion International
Jesus Returns to Galilee
43When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee 44(for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in the prophet’s own country). 45When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival.
Jesus Heals an Official’s Son
46Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. 47When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went (a distance of about 20 miles) and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.”
49The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.”
Spoken with the passion and urgency of a father of a sick child.
50Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.
The NIV has it: The man took Jesus at his word and departed.
51As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. 52So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” 53The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household.
We come to Jesus with desperate need. He meets that need. And we respond with overwhelming love. The pattern is shown here and in countless lives since, in stories of people who have been saved by Jesus.
54Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.
The second sign: In the Gospel of John the signs are given to lead the reader to faith (John 20:29-31). The relation between belief and signs is clear in John chapter 2 and chapter 4.
- · The first sign persuaded His disciples
- · The second sign persuaded a Jewish nobleman and his household
- · The Samaritans believed without a sign
The first two signs in the Gospel of John took place at Cana of Galilee. The first was at the best party ever – a wedding party. The second was connected with the worst tragedy ever – the illness and soon death of a child. Jesus is real in both aspects.
“No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus,” sung HERE so gently by the Signature Sound.
This song by Charles Weigle is the product of one of the darkest periods of his life. He spent most of his life as an itinerant evangelist and gospel songwriter. One day after returning home from an evangelistic crusade, he found a note left by his wife of many years. The note said she had had enough of an evangelist’s life. She was leaving him.
Weigle became so despondent during the next several years that he contemplated suicide. There was the terrible despair that no one really cared for him anymore. Gradually his spiritual faith was restored, and he once again became active in the Christian ministry. The point came when he felt compelled to write this song.
1) Re: the woman at the well and the Samaritans: Thank God right now for specific people who have told you about Jesus and so helped you to believe. Are some of those people still alive? Write them a note today and thank them for sharing the Good News of the Gospel with you.
2) The father of the boy realized that Jesus had healed his son. What has the Lord done for you? Remember James 1:17 — Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.