Fall Bible Reading Plan Week 11: John 4:31-54
As we finish John 4 we continue to see the depth of the Father's sovereign plan in salvation and Jesus's absolute commitment to accomplish his Father's work with his disciples, the Samaritans, and the nobleman.
As the disciples encourage Jesus to eat, he compares physical bread to his spiritual sustenance. He exhorts his disciples to"lift up their eyes and see that the fields are white for harvest". He then gives them and us a valuable lesson in the partnership believers experience as we share the gospel with unbelievers.
Because of the Samaritan woman's dramatic salvation, many people in her town are also saved. They ask Jesus to come and stay for a few days. He does and many more are saved, proclaiming Jesus as the Savior of the world!
After Jesus arrives in Galilee, an official whose son is sick to the point of death comes to Jesus asking him to come and heal his son. Jesus does not go. Instead he speaks the word of healing. The man believes Jesus's word and returns to his home! On the way his servants come to meet him with the wonderful news that his son is recovering! He had started to recover the very moment Jesus spoke the words to the official!
John 4:31-54 (ESV)
31Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”
39 Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.
So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.
Questions (John 4:31-54)
- In what specific ways can we be more committed to the Father's will and work to seek and save the lost... in our lives, our neighborhood and our city?
- Jesus said, "lift up your eyes for the fields are white for Harvest". What are we to lift our eyes up from...and to? What should we be 'seeing'?
- Have you ever been discouraged because you haven't seen the fruit of your witnessing? How does Jesus's teaching in verses 36-38 encourage us?
What can we learn today from the official's faith and belief that Jesus' word is enough...even though he couldn't see the result of Jesus's word? Hebrews 11:1 says 'Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen'. These passages help us in our lives and our intercessory prayer as we continue to believe and trust the Lord's promises until we see His answers!