Feb 14, 2009

Christ's conversation with the samaritan woman - spiritual harvest!

Joh_4:25-38 

The ignorant Samaritan woman was much struck with the conversation of the stranger sitting by the well. It put her in mind of the promise she had heard of a Messiah, who would come into the world and instruct men. She seems at length to have desired instruction. She said, "When he has come, he will tell us all things." He has come already, and has told us all things. Are there not some here who love his words, and desire to keep them? 

What a joyful moment that was when the Lord revealed himself unto the woman, and said, "I who talk unto you am he." In her joy, it is probable, she did not remember that she had refused him a cup of cold water. She was now anxious that others would hear the heavenly stranger, and she ran with haste into the city. She told her countrymen how she had been convinced that Jesus was the Christ. She said, "Come see a man who told me all the things that ever I did. Is not this the Christ?" Now one great proof that the Bible is the word of God, is, that it tells us all things that ever we did—not that it can tell each person his own life in particular, but it describes such men as we are, shows us the secrets of our hearts, and makes us feel that He who wrote it knew everything concerning us. For this reason some hate the bible; they will not believe that their hearts are deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. This woman did not turn away from the Savior's word because it exposed the sins of her life. Had she turned away, what infinite blessings she would have lost! 

The disciples were astonished when they returned from the town with food, to find their Master talking in a friendly manner to a Samaritan woman. They thought that he was as prejudiced as themselves; but He who has made of one blood all the nations upon earth, is no respecter of people. There are white people in some countries at the present day, who treat the poor blacks with as much contempt as if they had no souls to be saved; but these people have not the mind of Christ—"He who despises his neighbor sins." When we look down upon another on account of the circumstances of his birth, we sin against God. 

The disciples showed both respect and affection for their Master in their conduct on this occasion. They had too much respect to ask him why he talked with the woman; and they had so much affection, that they could not bear to see him refuse the food they brought him. But Jesus was too intent upon the souls he was now going to save, to be able to eat. When we are going to enjoy a great delight, our appetite is taken away, and so it was with Jesus; his food was to do his Father's will, and to finish his work. What was that will? What was that work? To seek and to save those who were lost; to glorify his Father by the salvation of sinners. Joh_17:4. O what love Christ had, to take delight in saving us, his enemies! Did He thus spend his life in willing labors for us, seeking no other pleasure than that of doing good; and shall we spend ours in doing our own will, and seeking our own glory? 

Jesus directed his disciples' attention to the people who were thronging to hear him from the town. He compared their conversion to a harvest he was going to reap. Then he explained to his disciples that God often appointed one person to sow and another to reap. A minister who enters a place where the gospel has never been heard, may be compared to one who sows the good seed. Sometimes he is removed without seeing any fruit of his labor. Another follows him, and meets with great success in converting souls; and this last minister may be compared to a reaper. 

Thus it was in Greenland. When Hans Egede first visited that land of ice and snow, he met with neglect and scorn; and though he remained there fifteen years, he could not make an impression upon a single person. Other missionaries from Germany followed in his steps, and they reaped an abundant harvest of souls; and Greenland is now a Christian country. Shall not Hans Egede who sowed the seed rejoice in heaven with the blessed men who reaped the sheaves? Jesus promised his apostles that they would reap many souls when they preached; his prophets had sown good seed long before, and had not reaped. Would God forget those poor persecuted prophets? 

It is a great delight to be permitted to reap; but it is a great comfort to think, that if we only sow, and even shed tears because we meet with no success, yet that our labor is not in vain in the Lord; and that at the last day we shall doubtless come again, bringing our sheaves with us. There have been parents who have died fearing that their instructions had made no impression on the hearts of their children, and yet after their death some friend or minister has reaped those children's souls. Will not the parent rejoice with that friend when they all appear before God? He who sows and he who reaps shall rejoice together.