The Time is Now!
“In the meantime the disciples kept urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” 33 The disciples said to one another, “Could someone have brought him something to eat?” 34 “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work,” Jesus told them. 35 “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months, and then comes the harvest’? Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest.” (John 4:31-35 CSB)
Have you ever been so busy or consumed with a project that you didn’t have time to eat? For Jesus’ disciples, this was not the case. It was a bit of the opposite. There was only one thing on their minds. It was food.
Earlier they had headed into town to buy something to eat (v.8). When they returned to the well where Jesus was, they found Him talking with a Samaritan woman. While it was strange to them for several reasons, they didn’t say anything to Jesus about it but instead asked Him to eat something.
Jesus responded to them by saying, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about” (v.32). Naturally, this was confusing to the disciples. How had Jesus already gotten His hands on food? Had someone else shown up with lunch before they had? What exactly was Jesus talking about?
Jesus wasn’t hiding food from them. In fact, He wasn’t actually talking about physical food at all. He had something much more important in mind that He was trying to communicate. “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work” (v.34), Jesus said to them. It wasn’t that lunch wasn’t important. Rather, Jesus was attempting to highlight the urgency and priority of obediently engaging in the kingdom mission.
He continued by saying to them, “Don’t you say, ‘There are still four more months and then comes the harvest?’ Listen to what I’m telling you: Open your eyes and look at the fields, because they are ready for harvest” (v.35). Jesus was reminding them of the typical process for a farmer. He would spend time first sowing his seeds, and then, after a period of a few months, the crop would sprout up and be ready for harvest.
But in the case of the kingdom mission, the time is now for both sowing and reaping! Like the Samaritan woman whom Jesus just encountered, there are those right now who need to hear and respond to the gospel message. There is no time to sit around or get distracted by other things. There is work to be done. The fields are ripe and ready for harvest.
Like the disciples, it is easy to get sidetracked from the mission. Whether it’s our family, friendships, education or careers, we all have demands in our personal and professional lives that compete for our attention. Most of these things are good and necessary. But Jesus reminds us of what is most important. There are people around us who need to hear the gospel. There are those in our family, neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces who who are ready to respond to the good news of Jesus Christ, if we will take the time to go and tell them.
In another encounter, Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few” (Matthew 9:37). So today, don’t get so consumed with everything else in life that you forget to do the will of Him who sent you. The time is now to prioritize the kingdom mission and to finish the work.
* Originally posted at www.kingdomdrivendaily.com. Used with permission.