Rev. Sudha Mehta©
John 4: 26 Jesus told her, “I am he, and I am speaking to you now.”
John Chapter 4 tells the story of the Samaritan woman. I recommend you read the whole chapter if you are not familiar.
To paraphrase, Jesus took a short cut on His way from Judea to Galilee through the territory of Samaria to get to His destination. The disciples complied but could not have been terribly happy. You see, the Samaritans were considered half-breeds, since they were part Jewish blood and part other. Their ancestors were settlers that the Assyrian king brought in from outside regions once he had emptied the land of most Jews, carting them to parts unknown. The few poor Jewish stragglers that were left in the land now found themselves living side by side with foreigners who perhaps also had little choice in the matter. The land was war ravaged and the inhabitants heavily taxed. As time moved on, alliances formed, rulers came and went, weddings happened and babies came. These were the Samaritans.
So, in Jesus time, the Jews looked down upon this lot and wanted nothing to do with them. They actually preferred to cross over to the other side if they saw one coming down the lane. Naturally they avoided the land of Samaria and would take the longer route to go around, rather than the shorter through it.
Needless to say, Jesus was not one to stick to manmade rules. Besides, this day He had an appointment that His disciples knew nothing of. The story is a great read, I find it fun, for I see Jesus entirely in control of the conversation. He takes it where He wants it to go. The woman tries to change the subject when it gets uncomfortable, but He hits the mark with precision when He asks her to go bring her husband.
Not a pleasant subject for her. She confesses she has none. Jesus reveals He knows all about her. She is somewhat flabbergasted at this point, taken off guard! No sense hiding. But she gets no condemnation, no mocking and not even pity. What she gets is something different, something soul converting. She knows He is different so she tries to change the subject again to bring Him to her comfort level. Surprise! This only leads to the revelation: Jesus says to her, “I am He, and I am speaking to you now.”
“Whaaaaat?! for real?!” (that is my paraphrase of her response, spoken and unspoken)
This man knew all about her before He started speaking with her! He was a Jew, a man, a rabbi, all things that said she should steer clear of him for she was a Samaritan, a woman, and a woman that had a mess of a life!!
In her defense, I must say contrary to common teaching, I do not believe her to be a loose immoral woman, a reprobate, a slut or anything like that. I believe the woman had married several times, some may have divorced her for reasons unknown, and some may have died. We are also not told who the man was that she was living with currently. Tradition would not allow a woman to live alone as in today’s society, she needed shelter after her last breakup, and the only reasonable option would be a father or a brother whose house she would be sheltered in. Nothing immoral.
She chose to come alone to the well after the other women were done, and why not?! Would you want to be questioned and gossiped about if you were her? How would you feel when you heard the whispers?! Her heart had been broken enough times, the last thing she would want is to be the topic of conversation. Even if they weren’t nasty, they might have been something along the lines of, “Poor dear, she has it so bad, I feel sorry for her.” She didn’t need any of that. Solitude is what gave her solace at this point in her life.
Then He came! “I am He” He said!!
Something said in the revelation of Himself to her was said in such a way that her heart stopped hemorrhaging. Suddenly she realized she was in the presence of the Healer! A change occurred within her and though she did not yet fully comprehend (who could?) she ran leaving her pot behind.
John 4: 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah? ” 30 They left the town and made their way to him.
She did return, not with just her father/ or brother, but her whole town. There is another clue here that she was not an immoral woman. Would all the town have followed her to Jesus if she had been a slut. She ran to town and cried out, (John 4:29) “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah? ” They came because what she said of Him impressed them and it makes clear she too was waiting for the Messiah!
It is at this point that the disciples come back and want Jesus to eat but He has no need. He then says something curious, this used to puzzle me until the Lord opened my eyes to it.
John 4: 35 “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.
He talks of the harvest. they are puzzled. He says to them “Fellas, the harvest is ready and plentiful! You didn’t seed, water or tend to it in any way, but it is here. Lets get to it.”
I am guessing they looked in the direction He was looking at, and they saw not a field with ripe grain, but a crowd of people, making usual people noises coming across the fields. This was the harvest . . . the people. He and the woman had done the work while they had gone to town, now they had to get the sickles ready to bring in the sheaves.!
Sweet, isn’t it?
The Bible says the reward, the harvest is shared equally, some plant, some water, some reap, but all share equally.
John 4: 37 For in this case the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap what you didn’t labor for; others have labored, and you have benefited from their labor.”
This Thanksgiving, remember the harvest. for it is plentiful.
Luke 10: 2 He told them, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest.
Jesus said the workers are few. For myself, right now this is my role in the harvest, I send messages on the internet. It is my hope that people around the world will read. Heaven knows who needs what around the globe, I do not. But somewhere there is a harvest to be taken in. The true impact will never be known to me this side of heaven. After all, it is just a little blog.
Everyone is to have a role in bringing in the harvest. everyone was given the Great Commission. Some pray, some share, go on missions, preach, teach, write, care, provide, send money, nurse, show hospitality, love, bring comfort, be a listener, a shoulder to cry on and so very much more.
What is your role? More importantly, is it a role you have designed for yourself or is it one He called you to? That is important you know, we tend to want to stay in our comfort zones, and sometimes He wants to challenge us to discover we are capable of more! Are you doing it? You can do more than one thing, He has gifted you with spiritual gifts and given you talents. There is no one that is unable to do at lest something. No one! Absolutely no one!
You also don’t lose a reward for your labor. Indeed He said you would be rewarded for even a cup of water given in His name. He doesn’t forget!
If this has helped you, share it with others, and leave a comment. Go with His Blessing and mine!
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PS: In this video below, i teach on this topic on YouTube: