Today is the harvest — God's work today. There's an urgency about the Will of God of which you and I must always be aware.
Alright, thank you very much and hello again, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing alright? Yes, it’s your friend Bob Cook. I’m glad to be back with you. We’re looking at the Gospel of John Chapter 4. The last time we got together, we were looking at the detours that human nature puts up in the effort to avoid honest confrontation with the truth of God. The first is to focus on the human instrument, the person. And the second is to raise theological differences. And the third is to say, “Well, sometime, but not yet.” So our Lord Jesus gives the answer; logical quibbling gives place to spiritual reality, spirit and truth. “They that worship Him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” There’s only one way to God and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. And when you say, “Sometime but not yet,” He says, “I that speak unto thee am He, God, now and you.”
Well, we come then to Verse 27. Remember now, the disciples had gone into town, this is high noon, and most of the shops are closed because people are taking their noon siesta. And they probably had been trying hard to find some place that was open where they could get something to eat. Finally, succeeding, they’re back and say, “Upon this came the disciples and marveled that He talked to this woman, yet nobody said, ‘What seekest thou or why talkest thou with her?'” Now, is there any point to that? Why did the Holy Spirit put those words in there? They were amazed that He talked with her, but they didn’t ask Him anything. And I suppose, when you come right down to it, most of our prejudices and biases are kept pretty well under wraps, but they become the basis for our value judgements.
Same thing happened when the Lord Jesus was being entertained in the home of a Pharisee during the dinner. People in those days used to recline on a couch around the table to do their eating. A nice custom. Too bad, it isn’t followed today. But while they were eating, there crept in this woman of the streets and anointed the feet of Jesus with perfume and wiped the perfume away with the tresses of her hair. And so the Pharisee thought in his own heart, “Well, if this man were a prophet, if He was everything He says He is or people say He is, He would have known that this is a sinful woman and He would’ve ordered her out of the place.” The Lord Jesus knew what He was thinking and addressed the matter immediately.
Why am I bringing this up at all? Simply this. Watch for your inner prejudices and biases that affect your value judgements. The disciples were operating upon the idea that no good person of Jewish lineage would even speak to a Samaritan man, let alone a Samaritan woman. Remember, this was before the days of the women’s lib. If you were born a female, you had a subservient place in the culture from birth to death. So they were operating on the idea, a good person of Jewish lineage wouldn’t even speak to a Samaritan man, let alone a Samaritan woman. And so they were amazed that He was talking with her. They kept still about it, but that was the background of their thinking.
The other element in their thinking was they said, “It’s lunchtime, let’s get done with the conversation.” In the meantime, His disciples prayed to Him saying, “Master, eat.” He said, “I have meat to eat that you know not of.” They said one to another, “Hath any man brought Him something to eat?” They were upset. Two things that affected the motivation of the disciples at that point. One was their prejudices and the other was their appetite. Just think a little bit about your own life and ask yourself this question, “How much of my daily life is controlled either by my biases or my desires?” You’ll be surprised at the answers. That is, if you’re honest about them.
Well, Verse 28 says, “The woman then left her water pot,” left her water pot, she didn’t even take it back with her, “And went her way into the city and said to the men, ‘Come see a man which told me all things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ.’ Then they went out of the city and came unto Him.” I say, sometimes when I’m talking with people about this passage that there’s a good deal of humor in the Bible and this is one place where there’s real humor. Can’t you see what happened when this woman who had slept around with a number of folk and who had therefore a certain amount of information, let us say, about them which they in turn might want to keep from the rest of the community? That’s the set up. Can’t you see her coming back and saying to the crowd generally, there’s a man out there by Jacob’s well that just told on you. Oh, boy, I’ll tell you, that would upset them, they would immediately wanna say, “Who is this fellow and what is he saying?” So it says, “Then they went out of the city and came to Him.” The only way to avoid embarrassment about your past is to bring it to Jesus.
Jim Voss and his wife and I sat in his ancient Ford, he had sold the nice car that he had when he had brought his life to Jesus Christ and been saved, really saved. He sold his car to pay some debts that he owed and bought this old Ford, a clunker sort of a car, and he and his wife came down to see me. I was holding meetings in San Diego at the time. And he told me that when he got right with the Lord Jesus that night in the big tent in Los Angeles where Billy Graham was preaching, the next day, he went to the phone company, said, “I’ve got about half a ton of stolen telephone equipment, wiretap equipment in the trunk of my car. I want you to assign somebody to help me dismantle it, take it out and give it back to you.”
And he told the executive with whom he was speaking, the telephone company executive, how that he had given his heart to Christ the night before. The man, amazed and delighted, said, “You’re the kind of man we want working for us,” and he offered him a job. “No,” Jim Voss said, “I think the Lord is calling me into his full-time ministry, but I would appreciate it if you’d help me give this back.” And so someone was assigned to help Jim Voss take that stolen wiretap equipment out of his car. And then from there, he said he went to the camera store where he went in with a big suitcase in his hand and he said, “Here’s some equipment that I took from your store and I want to bring it back because I’ve given my heart to Jesus, I’m now a Christian and I want to arrange to pay whatever is necessary.” And so that was taken care of.
And from there, he went to the judge’s chambers where he had been a witness in some kind of litigation. He told the judge that he had falsified his testimony and that now he was a Christian and he wanted to make things right. This could’ve landed him in jail, but the thing worked out all right, God took care of him and so that worked out. He told me about these different things and then he leaned back. I was in the back seat and he and Alice were in the front seat and he leaned back and turned around toward me and he said, “You know, Bob,” he said with a big smile. He said, “It’s so wonderful to walk down the street and not wonder who knows something about you or even care, because you know you’re right with Jesus and with people.” The only way, beloved, to get rid of fear of your past is to level with Jesus about it and let Him straighten you out. Good idea? You try that on for size today, you’ll find that it works beautifully.
So, all right, the men came out, it says, “Of the city and came to Him. Meanwhile, the disciples said, ‘Come on, eat, soup’s on, time to eat.’ And the Lord Jesus said in effect, ‘I’m not hungry, I had something to eat.'” Well, now, they were upset. They said, “Look, we were walking our feet to the bone trying to find some place that was open so we could get some food and here we got it, we got corned beef and rye and dill pickles and all the rest. Has anybody given Him something to eat?” Now, He had to tell them something. He said, “Fellows,” He said, “What really satisfies me is to do the will of Him that sent me and finish His work.” He said, “Really, what you don’t see, men, is that what is going on here is God’s work.”
Now, back up a minute, beloved, and see what had been happening. Stopped by the well, sit down on the stone coping because He was tired, there comes a woman to draw water, talk with her, reveal Himself to her as the messiah, she goes and testifies to her faith in Christ, others come back to meet Him. And later on the text says, “Now we believe not because of thy saying, only because we have seen and heard Him ourselves.” “We believe.” So that there was one woman that resulted in a whole town’s full of people trusting Christ as the messiah. “This,” said our Savior, “Is God’s work going on right here.” “My meat, what really satisfies me is to do the will of Him that sent me and finish His work.” The work of God going on right under their noses and they didn’t see it.
So He began to explain to them. He said, “You say 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.” What was He saying? Well, people who know that area, I’ve never walked those fields myself, but the nearest I ever came to the Holy Land was to fly over it. One of these days, I hope to visit it. But He said, “You talk about harvest, there, fellows, is your harvest,” and he pointed to these men tumbling out of the city in their eagerness to find who it was that had told on them. He said, “There’s your harvest, fellows. The harvest is ready. And when the wheat fields are ready, you get in there and you reap them.” I’m enough of a farm boy to remember that. When the harvest is ready, you don’t say tomorrow, you say today, let’s get going because there could be a thunderstorm, a hailstorm, a windstorm and all of the wheat would go down. Today the harvest, God’s work today, God’s will today, there’s an urgency about the will of God that you and I must always be aware of. Well, we’ll get at some more of this the next time we together.
Father God, today, may we have our eyes on the harvest, not on ourselves. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Until I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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