Jesus had a great day in Sychar. An encounter turned into an intervention. Linking up with God and touching people with His love is deeply satisfying. Jesus compared it to eating. He said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (John 4:34). He concentrated on one thing—hearing and heeding. Obeying God was like the satisfaction of eating a good meal.
What is your food? The disciples were hungry. When they returned, they found that Jesus had already eaten. His food was obedience to the Father. Genuine needs can distract us from higher pleasures. Their hamburgers satisfied them for a few hours. Jesus’ food lasted for days as the harvesting continued. The woman was thirsty for love, and she was drinking from the wrong well. Once she tasted what Jesus had to offer, she was hooked. But the disciples couldn’t help her, because they had food on their mind. She had husbands on hers. Jesus had harvest on his.
When we are driven by needs, we may not see the potential God is setting before us. Here is a woman starving for love. And here are twelve disciples starving for a lunch. And here is Jesus, hungry to please God. He makes the connection to the love-starved woman, surprising the disciples who had hunger pangs satisfied but missed a bigger meal.
What is your focus? Where are you looking? Are you hunting for some fast food? Does the need of sleep or solace or a sandwich so occupy your attention that you don’t see the Samaritan? Do you want to meet your needs or the needs of others? Nothing wrong with needs—we all have them. But who is more in need, you or they? What has captured your attention?
When you go to the grocery store, whom do you see? Are your neighbors next door invisible, or can you see them? Sometimes special people groups are particularly invisible—like the elderly or children? In that culture, the Jews could not see the Samaritans, especially women, and especially an immoral one. The Samaritan woman was invisible to the disciples. Not to Jesus.
Are you expecting God to use you for a divine appointment at work? Jesus was always ready for an encounter—and He had plenty of them. He could see a single lamb in a flock of them. He could see a lonely face in a crowd. Would you like to have some divine appointments? Learn to listen to the Father like Jesus did.
About the harvest, Jesus said, “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest” (John 4:35).
Some pray for revival but don’t expect it. Others are a revival and see it. Some say, “Four months…” Jesus says, “Open your eyes. It’s happening.”
We may have reasons for missing the revival: I have too many things going on. I am not experienced in revivals. I have a meeting to go to. I am booked. I have a plane to catch. For the disciples, it was simply time to eat. For the priest and Levite who missed another Samaritan, it may have been important religious duties.
The issue is not food. It is the will and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Paul wrote, “We are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do” (I Cor. 8:8). It is wrong to fast when it is time to feast.
Jesus did not put down the disciples for getting food. I wonder if one of them wanted to say, “I would rather stay here with Jesus.” He would have had a great meal!