The Joy in the Harvest! … continued
Then Jesus explained: ‘My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, “Four months between planting and harvest.” But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, “One plants and another harvests.” And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.’” (John 4:34-38 NLT)
To set the scene: the disciples of Jesus had gone off to get some food for them all because they were hungry on the journey. While they were gone, Jesus sitting by a well began a conversation with this Samaritan woman of “questionable repute”. He basically crosses all sorts of cultural barriers to share the gospel with her and let her know that He is the Messiah. She believes and runs off to her village to share the good news. In the meantime, the disciples come back and offer Him the food that they, being good disciples, had found. Jesus responds, “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” They were befuddled! Did He get food from some other source?
Don’t misunderstand. Jesus was not advocating some kind of ascetic lifestyle where we avoid food and spend all of our time in prayer and fasting and austere living. On the contrary, Jesus loved food; He loved celebration and parties. What He was saying here is that in comparison to the natural order of eating to satisfy hunger and to replenish our energy levels, doing what the Father wanted, in collaboration with the Holy Spirit, was way more satisfying and way more fulfilling!
For Jesus, being led by the Spirit to speak to that woman and to see her come to faith was the most satisfying thing ever! Not even tasty chicken shish kebabs and succulent lamb chops with mint sauce on the side could compare to the fulfillment He experienced by doing God’s work with Him. I bet many of you have had moments like I have had, where the presence of God was there and you were so jazzed by what you were doing that time didn’t seem to matter and you didn’t feel a single hunger pang! The way to have more moments like that in life is to be so tuned in to what the Father wants and then doing it in the Holy Spirit. Nothing compares! Nothing satisfies! Nothing feeds your soul quite like that!
So go ahead, ask the Father to give you an opportunity this week to have a meaningful conversation, in the Holy Spirit, with someone about Jesus and see if it doesn’t fill you up! Then let us know how it went.
This article first appeared in revivalmag.com.