One day, Jesus was hanging out at a well. He was by Himself, the disciples had gone to get food. A Samaritan woman showed up to get water, and a great conversation began. You probably know the story – it’s classic. But what about the rest of the story? It gets almost personal – for you, me, every pastor/leader, and Christian on the planet.
The disciples show up at the well. From a short distance, they see Jesus talking to a woman – a major social adventure in out-of-bounds behavior. The disciples, of course, did not follow the New Testament culture of Matthew 18, or the injunction to “speak the truth in a spirit of love.” Instead, they gossiped and wondered, behind Jesus’ back, about this public display of talking to a woman. It was scandalous! Obviously, these disciple guys didn’t have the New Testament, so…what do they know?
These disciples – early followers of Jesus and the seeds of the yet-to-be birthed church – saw this woman leave her water jar and head for the village. This is a big deal. Water jars are your link to life-giving water. They are passed down for generations. You can’t just go out and get one at Wal Mart. So, these guys could have asked Jesus, “What’s up with the woman? Did she have a spiritual experience? Did you change her life? Is she going to her village as a missionary? Is this a Kingdom event?”
Instead, these guys – the Christian Church in embryo form – said, “Jesus, have something to eat.” Oh, yeah: Jesus changes lives, and the “Church” is focused on a potluck! Jesus, gently, says, “My ‘food’ is to do God’s will.” The infantile church – the disciples – grumbled among themselves, sounding like a 21st century, church board meeting in Paducah, and said something like, “Someone must have brought Jesus a hamburger” – or something like that.
Jesus pointed away from the well and said, “Look at the harvest. It is ripe and ready to be harvested. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers into His harvest field.” Some think that Jesus was pointing to an agricultural reality – wheat or something. I think Jesus was pointing to a crowd of people – maybe even the villagers the Samaritan woman was bringing to meet Jesus. Jesus was teaching the disciples focus: always focus on the harvest. It’s called a Harvest Worldview. What are you looking at?
Read more in the July/August 2012 Church Doctor Report.
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