“Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.“/John 4:27-35
These verses from John 4 come from the story about Jesus meeting the Woman at the Well. It’s a story that I have went back to time and time again in my short Christian life because there is so much to take away from it. Today, I was thinking about a situation that I’m going through where God was teaching me some awesome lessons then this example of Jesus hit me!!! I’m so excited to share this awesome Word with you today and I also highly recommend going back to read John 4 it it’s entirety, you won’t be disappointed.
The context of this story is that Jesus and His disciples are in the middle of His earthly ministry that only lasted a few years. They are on the road traveling to Galilee, I’m sure you can imagine, Jesus was a busy man. He had many people to see, miracles to preform, and down the road saving the world. It’s odd though because in verse 4 it says, “Now he had to go through Samaria.” So you’re probably thinking Samaria was on the way to Galilee and He had to cross through there to get to His destination but nope. Samaria was actually out of Jesus’ way, if He used a GPS it would tell Him this was a detour from His journey. If Jesus is in the middle of what was the most world changing ministry ever known, why would He take a detour. Notice in the verse that it says, “Now He had to go,” why did He have to go through Samaria? In verse 34 Jesus answers why He goes where He goes, the secret to why He does everything He does. “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” Jesus gets fed not from physical food but He lives and is fully filled by doing God’s Will.
Jesus’ example here is so so awesome! So often in my life I get caught up wanting to do what I want to do or dreaming about doing great things for God in the future. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, having vision for your future, but when I looked at his part of the story I was stunned that with what Jesus had ahead of Him and the short time He had to minister, why would He take detours to talk to a woman at the well. Not only that but the Samaritans were seen as the lowest of the low in Jews eyes. Jesus wasn’t operating out of anything but God’s will so instead of getting caught up in the awesome things God was going to use Him for down the road, Jesus was focused on following God’s will right then, each moment every second. Dreams and having vision for what’s to come is awesome, it helps us strive for more but sometimes it can be easy for us to get caught up in the future to the point we forget about what God wants to use us for in the present.
I have made this mistake more lately than ever so seeing Jesus’ example here is so convicting but also perspective shifting. I want to look to a better tomorrow where I’m doing all these awesome things and am this greater version of Jordan but in the meantime I lose focus on the right now. Jesus stops to talk to this woman at the well which turned out to be Him witnessing to her. A woman that had many husbands so she was basically a prostitute in this time, there’s so many things about why Jesus stopped to do this that doesn’t make any sense in our human eyes. It says the disciples came back from town where they were gathering food and supplies to find Jesus talking to this woman. They were “surprised” and probably thinking the same thing we are. Why? They ask Jesus if He wants some food which He probably needed but God’s will was too great to even stop to eat. God’s will filled Jesus like nothing of this earth could and God’s will was being played out right in front of them.
Remember Jesus stopped to talk to this Samaritan woman who was a prostitute and an enemy to the Jews. Jesus took this detour to Samaria when He didn’t have to but “he had to.” We sit here surprised thinking, “Jesus why? This makes no sense?” Although God’s will may not make sense to us horizontal thinking and seeing humans. Look at this. Jesus witnessed to this woman at the well telling her of the “living water” that she can have with Him, a water that never runs out but last eternally. The woman was so thrown off at first, when feeling convicted about who she was tried to change the direction of the conversation but Jesus kept speaking truth to her and her eyes were opened to see the beautiful message of the Gospel, to see the Savior right before her eyes. So she took off to town telling everyone! “I know this may sound crazy but you’ve got to see this man who knows everything about me, I know that sounds crazy too but He may be the Messiah.” So as crazy as Jesus’ actions have sounded, as crazy as they seemed to this woman at the well, and as crazy as it probably sounded to the people in the town, we begin to see the purpose God had behind it all. All these people come out of the town to see Jesus and looked what happens in verses 39-41,
“Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers.”
What looked so crazy was actually God’s will being fulfilled by Jesus. The disciples asked Him to eat because that actually makes sense but with the people coming Jesus tells them of what matters much more than filling ourselves with our hunger for things of this world. Doing the Will of God, that’s it. I sit here so much and try to make sense of God’s will, try to figure it out but God’s Will is simple. It may not make a lick of sense but just keep moving with Him through life and you will step into situations and opportunities that you could’ve never dreamed up on your own. It’s great to have great intentions for the future of what you’re going to do and who you are going to be but to live in God’s will, it’s not a “one day” thing, it’s attacking everything that God has placed in front of you with all you’ve got. Go to Samaria and take some detours from what makes sense, talk to the woman at the well, who cares if she’s looked down upon by everybody else or maybe a prostitute, tell her of why you’re there and the Living Water that she can have access to through Jesus Christ. Just don’t waste these precious opportunities that God has given you right now in front of you, there’s a reason you are where you are and no matter how bad you want to be that 5 years down the road version you’re dreaming of or doing some awesome work for God then. The path to get there to the person God wants you to be starts right now, attacking each moment with God right now. That’s how you get to what happens down the road, it’s doing the work of God and living in His will that makes dreams become reality. Good intentions are great but they won’t get the work done. They will just hold you back from the wild, awesome work God has set right in front of you. “Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.”/ John 4:35