What Jesus Did! 'The Surprise Harvest' — John 4:35

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"When you plant you always say, 'Four more months to wait before we gather the grain.' But I tell you, open your eyes. Look at the people. They are like fields ready for harvesting now."
— John 4:35
Illustration of John 4:35 — "When you plant you always say, 'Four more months to wait before we gather the grain.' But I tell you, open your eyes. Look at the people. They are like fields ready for harvesting now."

Key Thought

For the discerning heart and the listening ear, God reveals that we don't have to wait for the harvest. He has already called some of us to sow, others to be used by God to nourish the seed, and some of us to be his instruments of harvest. So let's pray for hands willing to sow, hearts willing to cultivate, and eyes to see the fields that are already ripe. Let's pray for God to send out more workers into his harvest fields. Most of all, let's pray for the people God places in our path each day by name, asking our Father to know whether it is planting, cultivating, or harvesting time in their lives.

Today's Prayer

Loving Father, please give me a farmer's eyes and your Son's heart so that I can see those you have placed in my life for me to touch with your grace. Guide my words so they are appropriate. Protect my influence where evil would like to stain it. Most of all, use me to do your work in the lives you have given me to touch. In the name of the Savior of all, Jesus. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

At that time Jesus' followers came back from town. They were surprised because they saw Jesus talking with a woman. But none of them asked, "What do you want?" or "Why are you talking with her?" Then the woman left her water jar and went back to town. She told the people in town, "A man told me everything I have ever done. Come see him. Maybe he is the Christ. " So the people left the town and went to see Jesus. While the woman was in town, Jesus' followers were begging him, "Teacher, eat something!" But Jesus answered, "I have food to eat that you know nothing about." So the followers asked themselves, "Did somebody already bring Jesus some food?" Jesus said, "My food is to do what the One (God) who sent me wants me to do. My food is to finish the work that he gave me to do. {When you plant} you always say, 'Four more months to wait before we gather the grain.' But I tell you, open your eyes. Look at the {people. They are like} fields ready for harvesting now. Even now, the person that harvests the crop is being paid. He is gathering crops for eternal life. So now the person that plants can be happy together with the person that harvests. It is true when we say, 'One person plants, but another person harvests the crop.' I sent you to harvest a crop that you did not work for. Other people did the work, and you get the profit from their work." Many of the Samaritan people in that town believed in Jesus. They believed because of what the woman had told them about Jesus. She had told them, "He (Jesus) told me everything I have ever done." The Samaritans went to Jesus. They begged Jesus to stay with them. So Jesus stayed there two days. Many more people believed because of the things Jesus said. The people said to the woman, "First we believed in Jesus because of what you told us. But now we believe because we heard him ourselves. We know now that he really is the one that will save the world." Two days later Jesus left and went to Galilee. (Jesus had said before that aprophet is not respected in his own country.)

John 4:27-44

Related Scripture Readings

There were some Greek people there too. These were some of the people that went to Jerusalem to worship at the Passover festival. These Greek people went to Philip. (Philip was from Bethsaida, in Galilee.) The Greek people said, "Sir, we want to meet Jesus." Philip went and told Andrew. Then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Now is the time for the Son of Man to receive his glory. I tell you the truth. A grain of wheat must fall to the ground and die. Then it grows and makes many seeds. But if it never dies, then it will always be only a single seed. The person that loves his own life will lose it. But the person that hates his life in this world will keep it. He will have life forever. The person that serves me must follow me. Then my servant will be with me everywhere I am. My Father will give honor to people that serve me.

John 12:20-26

And you say, 'If any person uses the altar to make a promise, that means nothing. But if any person uses the gift on the altar to make a promise, then he must keep his promise.' You are blind. {You understand nothing!} Which is greater: the gift, or the altar? The altar makes the gift holy. {So the altar is greater.} The person that uses the altar to make a promise is really using the altar and also everything on the altar. And the person that uses the temple to make a promise is really using the temple and also the One that lives in the temple. The person that uses heaven to make a promise is also using God's throne and the One that sits on that throne. "It will be bad for you teachers of the law and Pharisees. You are hypocrites. You give God one tenth of everything you own—even your mint, dill, and cummin. But you don't obey the really important teachings of the law—being fair, showing mercy, and being faithful. These are the things you should do. And you should also continue to do those other things.

Matthew 23:18-23

After this, the Lord (Jesus) chose 72 more men. Jesus sent the men out in groups of two. He sent them ahead of him into every town and place where he planned to go. Jesus said to them, "There are many, many people to harvest (save). But there are only a few workers to help harvest them. God owns the harvest (people). Pray to God that he will send more workers to help gather his harvest.

Luke 10:1-2

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.