"I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest."
It's a hot day. The sun is directly overhead. The woman, shamed and embarrassed by her sordid past, lumbers to the well, desperate for a drink. She is accustomed to doing this at this awful time of day so as to avoid crowds and any who would point their finger, wrinkle their nose or spit in her direction.
As she approaches the well and prepares to lower her pitcher, she can almost feel the refreshing coolness of the water hit her lips. Her thoughts are interrupted by a Jewish man asking her for water.
She looks over her shoulder, wondering who must be standing behind her, when she realizes he was addressing her! What is this?! A Jew speaking to her, a Samaritan? And a woman, no less! She instinctively grabbed at the front of her linen dress and asked the man why he dared talk to her.
The words he spoke had all the power of a sand storm and nearly knocked her over. Her breath left her. Her heart raced. Could He be serious, this man who spoke with such authority? This man who knew her every move and all the things she had done in her life? This Jew who told her that He was the Messiah?
She ran, tripping and falling, so eager was she to get back to her home and tell everyone what had just happened to her. She ran with such haste that she left her pitcher behind.
In John 4:1-42 we get to be the proverbial fly on the wall as Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman at the well. We listen as she admonishes him for speaking to her, as was not the custom. We watch her become defensive as he acknowledges that she hasn't told Him the truth about her husband. We listen as He tells her that what she wants and what she so desperately needs is here right now and available, right in front of her.
After Jesus tells her that He is living water, and that God is looking at how people worship Him, not so much where, He says in John 4:35, "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest."
He commissioned her on the spot. There was barely a moment in between His reciting her scandalous past and His sending her back to be a missionary to her own people--the very people who ridiculed her. In one sentence, He motivated, empowered, and endorsed her as the perfect person--more than qualified--to reach others and lead them to the Lord.
There was no exhaustive interviewing process.
No hoops to jump through.
No references phoned.
No cover letter and resume.
No lofty bar set so high that she would never be able to attain it.
Jesus, the Son of God. The Messiah. The Savior of the world. Instead of continuously reminding her of all she had done wrong and who she was, He reminded her of who He was.
And then told her to go tell everyone.
Look around you.
Just as Jesus told the Samaritan woman, He's whispering to you: the fields are ripe for the harvest. Don't stop to second-guess. Don't pre-qualify.
Regardless of your past or of how unqualified you may feel, share the love and mercy of Jesus with others.
Jesus didn't choose perfect people to be His Disciples. He choose flawed, broken, ordinary individuals to be living examples of God's grace.
Individuals just like you and me.
Time to dig in! If you have not been reading along with us, please click HERE to start at the beginning and to download the Scripture Overview, the Study Guide and the Memory Verse Cards.
This devotional written by Mandy.
Focus on this today: "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest."
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