DAY Eight John 4:27-54 Joel Estes,
Grace Presbyterian Church, Pennington NJ
Harvest in Plain Sight
The disciples find Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman. They know nothing of the conversation they have just had - how utterly life-changing it was, how full of mystery and revelation. They do not perceive the living water that is flowing beneath the rim of their mundane concerns. Instead, all they think is their master is associating with a person they would rather not.
They do not see what Jesus sees. They have not learned to "look." The disciples wonder if Jesus is hungry. They don't perceive that, while they have been out searching for food, he has been feasting on the will of his Father. "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work," he tells them. And what is that work? It is the work of the harvest. Look up, Jesus says, the harvest is before you, if only you have eyes to see.
The harvest comes in the form of a person we'd rather not rub shoulders with - a person we dislike, devalue, or with whom we disagree. The harvest involves outsiders, Gentiles beyond the bounds of Jewish piety who, nevertheless, exhibit extraordinary faith. Outsiders are seen by Jesus, are recipients of his love, are transformed by his grace, and become witnesses of his power. Because of the Samaritan woman, an entire town comes to faith. And it all happened because Jesus saw what was hidden in plain sight: a harvest ripe before his eyes. Who do we encounter everyday, but don't really see? Where is our harvest in plain sight?
Action Step: "Look around you," Jesus says. Take a moment and reflect on the people around you in your life. Consider especially those you find difficult to be around. How can you be a witness of God's grace and an agent of God's love to them? Ask God to show you one way you can do that today, and then commit to obeying God's call, taking on the attitude of Jesus "to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work" (v. 34). Prayer: God, give me eyes to see the harvest all around us. Give me grace to love those I find hard to love. Give me faith to believe you can transform anyone into a witnessing disciple, even me. Give me a desire for your will that is stronger even than my need for food. Use me to do your work, in your way, for your glory. Amen.
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Rev. Dr. Shannon Smythe
United Presbyterian Church