When the disciples found Jesus, He was talking to a woman. This was not a cultural norm. It puzzled them, but they didn’t question. Instead they said, “Rabbi, eat!” Again the men of earth encounter the man from heaven. In this encounter Jesus has a lesson for the disciples about His food, the ripened harvest and the workers in the harvest.
Food of Jesus
The disciples had gone into the city to buy food. Naturally, when they found Jesus by the well they thought He was hungry and encouraged Him to eat. “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Jesus told them. The disciples ponder His words when Jesus clarifies, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish His work.” Above all else, even above food, Jesus desired to obey God.
The Ripened Harvest
This door of questioning gives Jesus the opportunity to speak to His disciples about the work they are called to do. In Matthew 9, Matthew writes about the work of Jesus teaching in the synagogues, preaching the gospel and healing every disease and sickness. He also describes the compassion Jesus had for the weary, those scattered like sheep without a shepherd. He saw a harvest ready. The problem wasn’t the harvest, the problem was finding the workers and Jesus tells them to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers.” In John, again Jesus tells them the harvest is ready. He is calling them out to work the harvest.
Workers in the Harvest
Jesus had been reaping the harvest when He spoke with the Samaritan woman. Now He instructs His followers. There are wages for working in God’s harvest. There is also gathering fruit for eternal life. Both the sower and the reaper rejoice together. It isn’t a one person job. In fact, many have already been at work. Now Jesus is sending them out to reap for what they have not sown. Neither one nor the other is of greater importance but as Paul writes in 1 Cor. 3:6, one plants and another waters but it is God who gives the increase. In this encounter Jesus has a lesson for the disciples and any who would follow Him, about His food, the ripened harvest and the workers in the harvest.