As we are being challenged to read and study the book of John, I wanted to share some of my personal sermon notes with you to help you understand the book. I preached through the entire book over the course of 1 year when I pastored First Baptist Church Del Rio. Enjoy!
Introduction—Jesus looked and He saw the spiritual harvest that was ready for peolple to come to Christ. He loves you so much that He gave His life as a payment for you to see through the lenses of love. Let us open our eyes wide today as we search for God in the Scriptures.
27 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?” 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him.31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” 34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 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.”
- Human eyes are limited in their vision of a spiritual view, vs. 27 & 31
- The human eye is one of the most vital organs we have
- If you can see this morning, you are blessed to have your vision.
- It has been said that those that are seeing impaired or blind have a greater area in which their senses are more heightened. For example, they may have a greater sense of smell since they can’t see or a greater sense of touch.
- In this passage of Scripture, we have Jesus disciples coming on to spiritual scene in which our Lord just revealed Himself as the Messiah to the woman at the well.
- They are surprised that Jesus was talking to someone that was unchurched or not a believer.
- But isn’t that what we are suppose to do? Share our faith with a world that needs Jesus?
- We need to change our human eyes into Spiritual eyes. We do this the same way this Samaritan woman did it. She spent time in communication with Jesus and her eyes were opened to fact that Jesus was the Messiah.
- You would think the disciples would have known better. They have been spending time with Jesus and yet it seems as if they didn’t get it.
- They are surprised in verse 27 and they are still focused on the physical in verse 31. They tell Jesus to eat something.
- As Christians, we too can miss opportunities to join Jesus in His work. We are so focused on our physical needs, the spiritual needs are overlooked.
- We are constantly looking through the eyes of our humanness and not through our spiritual lenses.
- How do we give our eyes a tune up? Spend quality time with the Lord. Ask Him to give you a new view.
Illustration—My family and me travel to West Texas all the time and at different seasons. I find it amazing to see the cotton when it is full bloom. To see this small ball of white cotton and all of the items it creates is astounding.
Cotton is the basic resource for thousands of consumer and industrial products manufactured in the U.S. and throughout the world, and the contribution made by cotton to the food and fiber industry continues to grow in importance. Cotton is grown in 17 states, stretching from Virginia to California, covering more than 12 million acres. From this combined acreage, the nation’s cotton farmers annually harvest about 15 million bales or 7.3 billion pounds of cotton. Business revenue in the U.S. economy is estimated at some $100 billion. Most of the cotton crop (75 percent) goes into apparel, 18 percent into home furnishings and 7 percent into industrial products each year. An often-overlooked component of the crop is the vast amount of cottonseed that is produced along with the fiber. Annual cottonseed production averages 5.2 million tons. More than 6 billion pounds of whole cottonseed and cottonseed meal are used in feed for livestock, dairy cattle and poultry. And 90 million gallons of cottonseed oil are used for food products ranging from margarine to salad dressing. Overseas sales of U.S. cotton make a significant contribution to the reduction in the U.S. trade deficit. You probably didn’t realize that when you put on your cotton clothing this morning, you were helping out our trade deficit. Annual values of U.S. cotton sold overseas recently have averaged $7 billion. The U.S. commonly supplies 12 million bales or more of the world’s cotton exports, accounting for over 30 percent of the total world export market. The largest customers for U.S. raw cotton are in Asia, Mexico and Turkey. The U.S. also exports more than 3.5 million bale equivalents of cotton textile products annually. When the harvest is ripe, it is time to start picking. Jesus used this analogy of harvest time to give us a visual of how people are ready to come into a relationship with Him. All we do is open our eyes.
Application—Are you seeing the fields of people with your human eyes or your spiritual eyes?
- The harvest is ready now—vs. 28-35
- Shortly after Jesus finished His conversation with the woman at the well, she goes and tells others about the Messiah
- She did not wait to be trained in the 4 spiritual laws of evangelism, she didn’t wait until she had gone to Sunday school, she didn’t wait to go talk to someone else and get the professional opinion of what just transpired.
- She left Jesus knowing that He was the Messiah and she could not contain it or keep it to herself. She had just met the Savior of the world who explained everything to her in a matter of minutes.
- When you come into contact with the real Jesus, you will know it. He is the one who changes lives. He is the one who gives sight to the spiritually blind. He is the one who forgives you of your sins.
- This once unlovable, unreachable woman now knows that Jesus is willing to save her and she believed it.
- She goes and tells the town that she has found the true Messiah. She says come and see this man who knew me inside and out. He knows me. Jesus knows me.
- We come back to the disciples who are back on the seen still wondering what Jesus is doing here.
- They tell Jesus to eat something. Jesus seems to be frustrated because He is at this crucial teaching moment.
- He says, “I’m not hungry. I have food that you obviously know nothing about.”
- Jesus wanted them to see that doing the work of God supersedes the physical needs we have. No amount of food can satisfy the power of the Gospel at work.
- When you see the Holy Spirit moving in the lives of others, it should get us excited about Kingdom work.
- That was the teaching moment Jesus is trying to teach us here.
- We need to worry more about the harvest that God has entrusted to us than we do our own physical needs!
- I have heard of churches where if the preacher preaches too far over into the lunch hour, people will walk out because they are more concerned about what they will eat than the work of the Holy Spirit.
- How is it possible to place a time constraint on the power of the Gospel?
- The harvest is ripe and ready for the harvest. All we have to do is open our spiritual eyes.
- As we watched the video in the opening of this message, give me you eyes so I can see Lord.
- That should be our cry, Lord give me your eyes so we can see the harvest!
Illustration—Act 9: Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. 3 As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” 5 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. 6 “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” 7 The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. 8 Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. 9 For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything. 10 In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. 11 The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12 In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” 13 “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. 14 And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” 15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” 17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
Application—Have you had the scales removed from your eyes so you can see with spiritual eyes? Have you been so focused on your physical needs that you have forgotten the spiritual needs that exist around you?
- The harvest is only ripe when the hard work is done—vs. 36-38
- Harvesting time comes after much preparation
- The ground must be prepared by killing weeds, tilling the dirt, planting seeds, watering, protecting from pests, animals, etc.
- A lot of hard word goes into a great harvest
- Jesus said that the sower and reaper are to be glad together. Without the sower, there would be no harvest.
- We celebrate the harvest, but we should also celebrate the hard work
- Ephesians 2:8-10—For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.For we are God’s handiwork or masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do
- You cannot earn your salvation. You cannot work for your salvation. You cannot boast about what you did in your salvation.
- Only Jesus receives the credit for your salvation. Only Jesus can save you and it is a gift. Jesus has given you unmerited grace.
- But since you have been given this wonderful grace, you are to do good works. The Scripture doesn’t say that good works are what save you, it says that you are God’s masterpiece created to do good works.
- The harvest is ripe and ready because hard work is being done all over this globe.
- Jesus says in our text today that we benefit from the hard work others have done. We are the recipients of the harvest when others have done the hard work.
- Hard work has been done here in El Paso because we are reaping a harvest that has been ripened.
Application—Have you given up on the hard work since you haven’t seen the harvest? Open your spiritual eyes and see that the fields are ready for harvest!
Stay in the Light, 1 John 1:7,