May 28, 2017 – June 3, 2017
“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35).
Study Help: The Desire of Ages, 188–195.
“Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary.” The Desire of Ages, 195.
1 THE WATER JUG LEFT BEHIND
Upon recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, what did the Samaritan woman immediately do? John 4:28, 29.
Note: “The woman had been filled with joy as she listened to Christ’s words. The wonderful revelation was almost overpowering. Leaving her waterpot, she returned to the city, to carry the message to others. Jesus knew why she had gone. Leaving her waterpot spoke unmistakably as to the effect of His words. It was the earnest desire of her soul to obtain the living water; and she forgot her errand to the well, she forgot the Saviour’s thirst, which she had purposed to supply. With heart overflowing with gladness, she hastened on her way, to impart to others the precious light she had received.” The Desire of Ages, 191.
What did the inhabitants of Sychar do when they heard the testimony of their fellow citizen? John 4:30.
Note: “ ‘Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did,’ she said to the men of the city. ‘Is not this the Christ?’ Her words touched their hearts. There was a new expression on her face, a change in her whole appearance. They were interested to see Jesus. ‘Then they went out of the city, and came unto Him’ (John 4:29, 30).” The Desire of Ages, 191.
2 THE HARVEST AND THE REAPERS
As Jesus saw the inhabitants of Sychar coming, what did He say to His disciples? John 4:35–38.
Note: “As Jesus still sat at the well side, He looked over the fields of grain that were spread out before Him, their tender green touched by the golden sunlight. Pointing His disciples to the scene, He employed it as a symbol: ‘Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest’ (John 4:35). And as He spoke, He looked on the groups that were coming to the well. It was four months to the time for harvesting the grain, but here was a harvest ready for the reaper.
“ ‘He that reapeth,’ He said, ‘receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth’ (verses 36, 37). Here Christ points out the sacred service owed to God by those who receive the gospel. They are to be His living agencies. He requires their individual service. And whether we sow or reap, we are working for God. One scatters the seed; another gathers in the harvest; and both the sower and the reaper receive wages. They rejoice together in the reward of their labor.
“Jesus said to the disciples, ‘I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labor: other men labored, and ye are entered into their labors’ (verse 38). The Saviour was here looking forward to the great ingathering on the day of Pentecost. The disciples were not to regard this as the result of their own efforts. They were entering into other men’s labors. Ever since the fall of Adam Christ had been committing the seed of the word to His chosen servants, to be sown in human hearts. And an unseen agency, even an omnipotent power, had worked silently but effectually to produce the harvest. The dew and rain and sunshine of God’s grace had been given, to refresh and nourish the seed of truth. Christ was about to water the seed with His own blood. His disciples were privileged to be laborers together with God. They were coworkers with Christ and with the holy men of old. By the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, thousands were to be converted in a day. This was the result of Christ’s sowing, the harvest of His work.” The Desire of Ages, 191, 192.
What was the effect of the woman’s testimony about Christ? John 4:39.
3 JESUS IN SAMARIA
What petition did the Samaritans make to Jesus? John 4:40.
What was the result? John 4:41.
Note: “In the words spoken to the woman at the well, good seed had been sown, and how quickly the harvest was received. The Samaritans came and heard Jesus, and believed on Him. Crowding about Him at the well, they plied Him with questions, and eagerly received His explanations of many things that had been obscure to them. As they listened, their perplexity began to clear away. They were like a people in great darkness tracing up a sudden ray of light till they had found the day. But they were not satisfied with this short conference. They were anxious to hear more, and to have their friends also listen to this wonderful teacher. They invited Him to their city, and begged Him to remain with them. For two days He tarried in Samaria, and many more believed on Him.” The Desire of Ages, 192.
How can we benefit from having a similar experience as the people of Samaria?
Note: “If we meet obstacles in our path, and faithfully overcome them; if we encounter opposition and reproach, and in Christ’s name gain the victory; if we bear responsibilities and discharge our duties in the spirit of our Master—then, indeed, we gain a precious knowledge of His faithfulness and power. We no longer depend upon the experience of others, for we have the witness in ourselves. Like the Samaritans of old, we can say, ‘We have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world’ (John 4:42).
“The more we contemplate the character of Christ, and the more we experience of His saving power, the more keenly shall we realize our own weakness and imperfection, and the more earnestly shall we look to Him as our strength and our Redeemer. We have no power in ourselves to cleanse the soul temple from its defilement; but as we repent of our sins against God, and seek pardon through the merits of Christ, He will impart that faith which works by love and purifies the heart. By faith in Christ and obedience to the law of God we may be sanctified, and thus obtain a fitness for the society of holy angels and the white-robed redeemed ones in the kingdom of glory.” The Sanctified Life, 83.
4 THE TESTIMONY OF THE SAMARITANS
What did many Samaritans declare after having accepted Jesus as the Messiah? John 4:42.
Note: “The Pharisees despised the simplicity of Jesus. They ignored His miracles, and demanded a sign that He was the Son of God. But the Samaritans asked no sign, and Jesus performed no miracles among them, save in revealing the secrets of her life to the woman at the well. Yet many received Him. In their new joy they said to the woman, ‘Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard Him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world’ (John 4:42).” The Desire of Ages, 192, 193.
Upon what prophecy did the Samaritans base their faith in the promised Messiah? Genesis 49:10.
Note: “The Samaritans believed that the Messiah was to come as the Redeemer, not only of the Jews, but of the world. The Holy Spirit through Moses had foretold Him as a prophet sent from God. Through Jacob it had been declared that unto Him should the gathering of the people be; and through Abraham, that in Him all the nations of the earth should be blessed. On these scriptures the people of Samaria based their faith in the Messiah. The fact that the Jews had misinterpreted the later prophets, attributing to the first advent the glory of Christ’s second coming, had led the Samaritans to discard all the sacred writings except those given through Moses. But as the Saviour swept away these false interpretations, many accepted the later prophecies and the words of Christ Himself in regard to the kingdom of God.” The Desire of Ages, 193.
How can we reproduce the work of Christ with the Samaritans?
Note: “Christ’s teaching softened and subdued the soul. The truth received into the heart will work a renovation in the soul. Those who love Jesus will love the souls for whom He died. The truth planted in the heart will reveal the love of Jesus and its transforming power. Anything harsh, sour, critical, domineering, is not of Christ, but proceeds from Satan.” Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 156.
5 CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES
Give some examples of what Christians become when they truly receive Christ. Mark 5:18–20; 7:31–37.
What essential lesson do we learn from the Samaritan woman? 1 John 1:1–3; 2 Corinthians 5:1, first part.
Note: “As soon as she had found the Saviour the Samaritan woman brought others to Him. She proved herself a more effective missionary than His own disciples. The disciples saw nothing in Samaria to indicate that it was an encouraging field. Their thoughts were fixed upon a great work to be done in the future. They did not see that right around them was a harvest to be gathered. But through the woman whom they despised, a whole cityful were brought to hear the Saviour. She carried the light at once to her countrymen.
“This woman represents the working of a practical faith in Christ. Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary. He who drinks of the living water becomes a fountain of life. The receiver becomes a giver. The grace of Christ in the soul is like a spring in the desert, welling up to refresh all, and making those who are ready to perish eager to drink of the water of life.” The Desire of Ages, 195.
PERSONAL REVIEW QUESTIONS
1 What did the woman do when she recognized Jesus as the only Saviour?
2 What is the meaning of the words, “Look on the fields, for they are white already to harvest”?
3 How many days did Jesus remain with the Samaritans?
4 What testimony did the Samaritans give concerning Jesus?
5 What do people do as soon as they receive Jesus into their hearts?