As a teacher, I try to watch for teachable moments to help my students. Sometimes they arise from questions the students have and sometimes they come from life situations. When I read about Jesus interacting with his disciples, the people he was mentoring, I am so impressed by how Jesus used teachable moments. I am also impressed by how he used examples from regular life to explain spiritual truths about himself, God the Father, and us.
In John 4 there are two teachable moments between Jesus and his disciples.
The first one is about doing the will of God and how that sustains us. The disciples returned to find Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman but said nothing about that. But they did encourage him to eat.
Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
Jesus responded in a way that peaked their interest.
But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
The disciples wondered if someone brought Jesus food and Jesus then shared a truth with them.
My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”
Following God the Father’s will was the food Jesus was talking about. In a small way, I can relate. There are times when I am busy writing bible study notes, blog posts about Jesus etc, that I do not notice I am hungry. I have had days of writing drama sketches and short stories to share Jesus with others that when I finish several hours later, I realize I have not eaten.
Jesus then connected eating with the harvest. Jesus used many examples from the agrarian culture of that day to teach.
Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
The harvest of crops was four months away. What harvest was Jesus talking about?
The Samarian woman had gone into the town and told the people about Jesus. They came out to meet him and came to faith in him.
Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. And because of his words many more became believers.
Jesus spent time with the Samaritan woman and she came to faith in him. The Samaritan woman then sowed the seeds of the message about Jesus. The disciples were blessed to be there to see the results. That is what Jesus was referring to when he said:
Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together.
Jesus works through us. He reaches out to a fallen world and hurting people through us. He has set up a team for us to work together with which is his church. There is no need for jealousy and a sense of competition between Christians or churches. We need only focus on what Jesus has called us to do and leave the results to him.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.