Call to worship: Psalm 107:1-9
Text: John 4:31-42
The Lord's most recent convert, the woman of Samaria, has become a model disciple for 'the disciples.' All her concern is to bring her people to Jesus. All their concern seems to be refreshment. Granted, Jesus is weary, thirsty, and hungry but, even then, something else owns the place of priority with Him: the salvation of souls. That's His 'food.' His food is the work the Father sent Him to accomplish. That work is a harvest of souls, and it's not to be delayed by anything. The time to reap is now. So we sow with great expectation and humble, joyful collaboration. Again, the new-born instinct of the Samaritan woman serves as the example for evangelistic urgency, while Jesus further models evangelistic constancy. And as He labors among them, indeed, many more Samaritans believe upon Him, in truth, as the Savior, not just of the Jews, but of the world. Her testimony laid a lofty expectation for Him that He, in flesh and blood, does not disappoint.
- The food that's work. (4:31-34)
- The work that's 'harvesting' souls. (4:35-38)
- See the immediacy.
- Be moved by the motivation.
- Be joyfully collaborative.
- The harvest that's global. (4:39-42)
- The woman of Samaria.
- The Savior of the world.
- Read John 4:31-42.
- John 4:31 begins with 'meanwhile.' As Jesus' disciples urge Him to eat, what else is going on? How does Jesus respond to their urging? What could be more urgent than taking needed refreshment from food? What is 'the food of Christ'? In one necessary sense, how is the Father's work for Christ distinct from their work for us? How is it the same? Do we schedule our days around food or missions? Is the conversion of souls our priority 'meat and drink'?
- Beginning in 4:35, Jesus uses the imagery of a harvest. How does it relate to 'His work,' or the redemptive mission of God? What does Jesus bid His disciples to see about this harvest? How is that meant to correct them/us? What further motive does Jesus give for urgently engaging the work? Is the evangelization and conversion of souls intended to be sole-work---that is, independent or, maybe, dismissive of others? Why might it be important to recognize (at least) two roles in the conversion of a soul? How are you collaborating with others in this great ministry?
- In 4:39, how is the Samaritan woman again held out as a model of faithfulness to the redemptive mission of God? What factors, do you think, contribute to the urgency of her testimony? Think back on her story in 4:1-30. If she's a model of evangelistic zeal, are you following her example?
- Starting in 4:40, there is personal interaction between Jesus and that Samaritan town. He obliges to stay with them for two whole days. What does that say about Jesus? What does that say about the woman's testimony? Does Jesus meet expectations? What is their takeaway from their experience of Him? And what does their testimony say to us? How does it relate to our sharing of the Gospel? Do you know Jesus to be, not just the Savior of your sort, but the Savior of the world? Pending the grace of faith, is there anyone who cannot be saved by Him?