Today’s Scripture – August 15, 2015

John 4:39-42 (NIV):  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.”

The woman’s words to her family, friends, and neighbors resonated in their hearts.  The woman was convinced that Jesus really was a prophet, and might even be the Messiah Himself.  So they went with the woman to the well, where they found Jesus surrounded by a group of stunned disciples.

The Jews considered the Samaritans so far away from God that they held out little hope for them ever to be saved.  But now the disciples saw what Jesus had told them was coming:  a crop ripe for the harvest!  God Himself had done the work of preparing, planting, watering and growing.  Now it was up to Jesus and His followers to do the work of harvesting.

Jesus stayed with the Samaritans for two days, something that would have raised eyebrows among His fellow Jews.  But in those two days Jesus and His followers really did bring in the harvest.  The people of Sychar began by believing the testimony of the woman.  But as they listened to Jesus’ own words, they began to develop a first-hand faith.  Their own experience with Jesus convinced them that He was not only a prophet, but the Messiah Himself, the Savior of the world.

Also note that Jesus didn’t have to do mighty miracles among the Samaritans to persuade them.  Because of His WORDS many more became believers.  Jesus’ words resonated so deeply in the hearts of the people, told them what they could immediately recognize as true, that they turned wholly to Him, much like the temple guards that disobeyed their commands and didn’t arrest Jesus, because “No one ever spoke the way this man does.” (John 7:46 NIV)  It was what they heard that persuaded them of who Jesus really was.

Father, over and over again we can see You at work in the lives and hearts of the people around us, drawing them, preparing the soil of their hearts for the seed of the gospel, and then giving us the words to say that will bring new life to those hearts.  Help us, Lord, to never fall into the trap of trying to be too clever, of trying to program things too strongly, or trying to force things to happen in our way.  Instead, help us to work with You where You are working; to have eyes that truly see where the harvest is ripe, and then to speak clearly Your words into those lives, so that we can be powerful and effective workers in Your field.  Amen.

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