“The woman said, ‘I know that Messiah’ (called Christ) ‘is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.’ Then Jesus declared, ‘I who speak to you am he.’ Just then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, ‘What do you want?’ or ‘Why are you talking with her?’
Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?’ They came out of the town and made their way toward him” (John 4:25-30 NIV).
We’ve already seen how this woman was honest and straightforward in her conversation with Jesus and now Jesus is going to be honest and straightforward with her: “I who speak to you am (the Messiah).” Meanwhile, the disciples returned and were surprised to see Jesus involved in a conversation with this Samaritan woman. Of course, the reason that none of the disciples asked Jesus any questions about this may reflect the fact that they had learned to expect the unexpected whenever they traveled with Jesus.
In the meantime, this lady left her water jar at the well (which indicates that she had now totally lost interest in why she was there in the first place) in order to head back to town and tell the people of Sychar, “You have got to meet this man!” The response of this woman and the townspeople also helps us see the different reactions that people had to Jesus and his message.
For example, some people were uncomfortable with Jesus and wanted Him to leave (see Matthew 8:34). Other people (like those in this Samaritan village) eagerly came out to hear what Jesus had to say. And while times have changed, these very same responses are also seen in people today.
“Meanwhile his disciples urged him, ‘Rabbi, eat something.’ But he said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you know nothing about.’ Then his disciples said to each other, ‘Could someone have brought him food?’ ‘My food,’ said Jesus, ‘is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work’ (John 4:31-34 NIV).
In this section, Jesus makes the interesting comment that “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God who sent me, and from finishing his work.” In saying this, Jesus reveals to us that nothing is ultimately more satisfying than doing the work of God and being involved in His service, even if that service may seem minor and insignificant like this conversation with the woman at the well.
“‘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. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor”” (John 4:35-38 NIV).
While the people of that area had to wait for a certain time before their grain could be harvested, anytime is the right time to be a representative of God and do the work that He wants us to do. Perhaps Jesus was even using the example of this Samaritan village where the people of the town were streaming out to see Him as His case in point.
For some people, their job is “sowing” or communicating the truth about God in a way that people can understand. For others, their job is “reaping” or evangelizing by bringing people to Christ. Whether God has given you the responsibility of sowing or reaping -or perhaps both- do a good job so you’ll be glad when God looks over the work that you have done for 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. They said to the woman, ‘We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world'” (John 4:39-42 NIV).
So the people of this Samaritan village now show up to see Jesus for themselves. Although these people first came to see Jesus because of what they were told about Him, their belief in Him wasn’t based solely on what this woman said- their belief was based on what they saw and heard for themselves.
This helps us understand why it’s so important to read the Scriptures every day. Those who read God’s Word each day can meet Jesus on their own, just like the people of this Samaritan town did. And like the people of Sychar, anyone who reads the Bible can see what Jesus did with their own eyes and not base their beliefs on what somebody else says about Him. If the people of this Samaritan village teach us something important, they teach us the importance of seeing and hearing Jesus for ourselves.