John 4:35-54

White for harvest. One sows and another reaps. Hear and know for yourselves. Prophet in own country. Healing faith?

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35 Don't you say, 'There are four more months and then comes the harvest?' I tell you, look up and see that the fields are already white for harvest! (John 4:35)

The prophecy regarding the Messiah’s arrival has been realized. Jesus has now appeared to shoulder the world’s sins and ultimately sacrifice Himself on the cross to grant salvation to those who have faith. In a similar sense, the time for the Old Covenant may also be seen as ending, as it has fulfilled its purpose in demonstrating that humanity cannot achieve justification before God through obedience to the law. This suggests that the field is now ripe for harvest.

24Thus the law had become our guardian until Christ, so that we could be declared righteous by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. (Gal 3:24-25)

11Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith. 12But the law is not based on faith. (Gal 3:11-12)


36 The one who reaps receives pay and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that the one who sows and the one who reaps can rejoice together. 37 For in this instance the saying is true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38 I sent you to reap what you did not work for; others have labored and you have entered into their labor.” (John 4:36-38)

There are instances in life when you engage in sowing, and it’s important to recognize that the reaping task may be delegated by God to someone else. Similarly, when you’re reaping, you should acknowledge that the sowing may have been carried out by another person before you. The underlying lesson here is that no one can lay sole claim to credit. This raises another significant point regarding rewards.

If you sow what others will eventually reap, what kind of reward can you expect? Likewise, if you reap what others had previously sown, can you genuinely claim any deserving reward? Furthermore, if Jesus had to endure the cross to save the beneficiaries of your sowing or reaping, can you dare to assert any entitlement to rewards? The Parable of the Master and Servant, as stated in Luke 17:10, conveys the message: “So you too, when you have completed everything you were instructed to do, should say, ‘We are humble servants; we have merely fulfilled our duty.’”


39 Now many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the report of the woman who testified, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they began asking him to stay with them. He stayed there two days, 41 and because of his word many more believed. 42 They said to the woman, “No longer do we believe because of your words, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this one really is the Savior of the world.” (John 4:39-42)

Listening to someone else’s testimony, even if it includes those who were firsthand witnesses to Jesus’ miracles during his time on earth, is one thing. However, it’s an entirely different matter to truly “comprehend” the God who was attempting to reveal Himself through these miraculous acts. John defines eternal life in the following manner: “Eternal life is knowing you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you sent.” (John 17:3)

If you claim to have knowledge of God but still adhere to the law’s requirements in the hope of attaining justification from Him, you are mistaken. In fact, you do not truly understand Him. This is because there is only one way to approach Him: through faith in the One He has sent (John 6:29).


43 After the two days he departed from there to Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own country.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him because they had seen all the things he had done in Jerusalem at the feast (for they themselves had gone to the feast). (John 4:43-45)

Prophets tend to be used by God to communicate his will to the people. Usually, the communication involves words of warning or rebuke. So it’s no surprise that “a prophet has no honor in his own country.”


46 Now he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had made the water wine. In Capernaum there was a certain royal official whose son was sick. 47 When he heard that Jesus had come back from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and begged him to come down and heal his son, who was about to die. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will never believe!49 “Sir,” the official said to him, “come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus told him, “Go home; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him, and set off for home. 51 While he was on his way down, his slaves met him and told him that his son was going to live. 52 So he asked them the time when his condition began to improve, and they told him, “Yesterday at one o’clock in the afternoon the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that it was the very time Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live,” and he himself believed along with his entire household. 54 Jesus did this as his second miraculous sign when he returned from Judea to Galilee. (John 4:46-54)

When Jesus stated, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will never believe,” He was alluding to people’s belief in Him as the Savior from their sins. He wasn’t testing whether they believed in His ability to perform miracles, as many had witnessed His miracles but still did not believe. He sought individuals who could have faith even without having witnessed any miracles.

As Christians, we have faith and can confidently lay claim to God’s promise that Jesus died for our sins.

(Next study: John 5:1-47)

Nghi Nguyen

- Scripture quoted by permission. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved.

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion on the topic, which does not necessarily reflect the church's theology, or beliefs of the individuals in it — Nghi Nguyen

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