LESSON 6 5/1/2014
LIFT UP YOUR EYES: A CALL TO ACTION
Suggested Hymns: G.H.B. 27, 28
Devotional Reading: JOHN 9:1-5
Topic For Adults
WAKE UP FROM YOUR SLUMBER
Topic For Youths
WHAT IS ON YOUR “THINGS TO DO” LIST?
Memory Verse: Do you not say, “there are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest (Jn. 4:35) NKJV
DAILY BIBLE READING
My Meat Is To Do God’s Will
When Jesus told the disciples, when they brought physical food for Him to eat, that “I have food to eat”, they wondered who had brought food for Him to eat. However, Jesus was talking about doing the assignment God gave Him to do. As He was preaching to the Samaritan woman weariness and physical hunger disappeared. He then declared to the disciples that His meat, His desire and goal, is to do the will of God who had sent Him and to finish God’s work given to Him. What about you? What is your greatest desire or goal in life? What is your spiritual life and work like? Know that man should not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord (Deut. 8:3). Re-order, therefore, your priorities in Christ.
Point of Emphasis: Let your great passion and desire be to do God’s will.
Prayer Point: Lord, grant me the grace to do Your will in bringing others to Christ.
Jesus, during His earthly ministry, spoke about the world being ripe for
harvest. If the world was ripe for harvest that time, it would have become “over” ripe in our contemporary time. Jesus is expecting the believers to get into action and start harvesting souls into the kingdom. But are the believers doing the work today? What are the distractions on the way? This lesson will look at these issues in relation to the different concerns between Jesus and the disciples.
NOTES ON THE LESSON
(A) THE PHYSICAL CONCERNS OF THE DISCIPLES – JOHN 4:31-33
Both Jesus and the disciples became wearied as a result of their journey and were hungry. When they got to Samaria, the disciples went out to the city to buy food (verse 8). By the time they came back they met Jesus talking with a Samaritan woman (verses 9-30), then they sat at meal and began to eat. But Jesus did not worry about eating, He was busy talking with the woman. Sometimes we Christians are too occupied with material or physical things so much that we would not be able to see the spiritual needs of people. That is what happened here with the disciples.
Believers have so many lessons to learn from this attitude of the disciples. First, we should not be too pre-occupied with physical or material things that can rob us of our spiritual obligations. Second, we should not allow our personal needs to override the needs of others. Third, let us know that too much attention to materials things will blind our vision for spiritual things.
After the woman had left for the town, the disciples urged Jesus to eat. His response was baffling, “I have food you don’t know about”. The disciples didn’t understand Jesus, they thought He was talking about physical food, instead, Jesus was saying that he was spiritually satisfied with sharing the Good News with the Samaritan woman. Let us know that when we pre-occupy ourselves with concern for physical and material things of life, they make us dull in understanding spiritual truth and this will make us inactive in carrying out spiritual tasks or assignments that are given to us.
(B) THE SPIRITUAL CONCERN OF JESUS – JOHN 4:34-38
The Lord Jesus was much concerned about spiritual food and nourishment for perishing souls in the world. Though He was hungry as the disciples were, yet He abandoned His own need and faced a despised, notorious and adulterous Samaritan woman. Jesus said “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work” (verse 34). This statement is very significant in many ways. The first thing to note is “my food” we all know that food is part of our daily needs, that means, we eat every day unless we are fasting. This also means that apart from physical food, Jesus had the spiritual food He ate everyday. That food of Jesus is to do the will of Him who sent Him. Jesus was very concerned about doing the will of the Father, this should be the concern of all Christians too.
Jesus also has an obligation to finish God’s work that He purposely came into the world to accomplish. This is the work of salvation of mankind. Jesus would not leave the important work half-done. He would not waste time to do the work. He said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day, for the night is coming when no one can work” (Jn. 9:4). This implies that God has works for Christians on earth to do and there is no other group of people on earth that could do those works apart from Christians. The works are also enormous and require many labourers.
Jesus’ food is, therefore, to seek and save souls. This one great task absorbed all His powers and made Him forget His weariness and want of physical food. The mind may be so absorbed in doing the will of God as to forget all other things. We may rise above fatigue, hardship and want and bear all with pleasure to see the work of God advance (see Job 23:12)
Verse 35 may have been a proverb. The meaning may be expressed as “when the husbandman sows seed, he is compelled to wait a considerable period before it produces a crop. He is encouraged to sow because he expects fruit, his labour is heightened by that expectation. But Jesus is saying, it is not so with His preaching. The seed has already sprung up, no sooner had it been sown before it produced an abundant harvest. The gospel was just preached to a woman and see how many of the Samaritans came to hear it also. There is therefore more encouragement to labour in this field (of soul-winning) than the farmer has to sow his grain”.
Jesus, therefore, commanded the disciples to “lift up their eyes” for the field already is white for harvest. Grain, when ripe, turns from green to yellow, indicating that it is time to harvest it. So with the response of the Samaritans to the gospel, they were indications that the gospel was effectual and that the harvest was to be gathered in. Jesus told the disciples that some have laboured far in sowing the seed, theirs was to move in and reap the labour of others and that there is also reward for those who reap souls into God’s kingdom.
What Jesus said to the disciples many years ago to lift up their eyes and see the souls ready for harvest is still relevant to our generation. The statement indicates that many Christians are busy facing their business and neglecting the business of God. Many are so busy to the extent that they are no longer conscious of the opportunity to win souls for Christ with which they are surrounded. Jesus is calling our attention to “lift up our eyes and see those opportunities and make use of them to win souls for Him”.
(1) What made Jesus to become weary and hungry?
(2) What was the reaction of the disciples when they saw Jesus talking to a woman?
(3) What really showed that the disciples had concern for physical and mundane things than spiritual things?
(4) What is the food of Jesus?
(5) Why must believers lift up their eyes and see what they are to see?